What is the difference between retargeting and account based advertising

Hey everyone this is Rod at ListenLoop and today we are going to be discussing an issue and a question that is near and dear to ListenLoop’s heart which is what is the difference between retargeting and account based advertising. How are they different? How are they similar?

Let us get into some of the details. So first, let us describe what each of these different techniques refer to. The first is retargeting. I will abbreviate that as ‘RT’ and the second one is net new advertising. Let us call it net view traffic. I will call that ‘NNT’.

So the difference between these two is a neatly divided line that determines whether you fall within retargeting or NNT. And that is cookies. The cookie determines which paradigm you are operating in. Under retargeting you are dealing with a first party cookie. What does that mean? It means that a visitor, John Smith, has to come to your website (let us say you are ibm.com selling very sophisticated servers at ibm.com). Now John Smith has to come to your website and has to receive a cookie from this website that segments John into a specific audience about whether or not they want to be retargeted. Now that would be decided of course by the B2B marketer over at IBM and on that basis you can then deliver ads that follow John as they browse the web typically very cost effectively.

Now here is the challenge with that approach. You are always limited by the amount of traffic going into your website. For most B2B marketers, that volume of traffic tends to be on the low side maybe thirty thousand and so on the high end maybe two hundred thousand monthly unique visitors. And retargeting is not always the way to push enough kind of traffic and legend 0:02:11.9 through that channel. It is very cost effective and at least you know you are getting somebody who is already interested in your solution. That is great. So what can we do about this challenge? We will solve that using a Net New Traffic approach. But before I go there I want to touch on one more challenge with a retargeting based approach.

If you are taking a true account based marketing approach you might want to reach out to companies who have never engaged with your brand at all. And so that presents a potential challenge because if you have people over here from one of your target companies and they haven’t been to your site then you are not going to be able to retarget them and that is a problem.

So now, what is the difference between that and NNT? NNT (it means as first party) NNT uses third party cookies. These are cookies that have been collected by different data providers and they license that data for sale by vendors like ListenLoop on your behalf. So, now with third party data cookies, we can get information about job titles. We can get information about industry and company segments and we can get information about geo location when the ad is served. Now what we do is we triangulate and find this little tiny area of overlap that represents your target company with a specific job title and advertise to that account. Okay so that is a lot of technical jargon. It basically says that retargeting the first party cookie, Net New Targeting relies on third party cookies.

Let us talk about the actual pros and cons and benefits and what that means for you. Under a third party NNT approach, you are then actually able to target specific accounts that may have never been to your website to begin with. Now remember that is a group of people that under the retargeting paradigm may not be reachable at all. So that is a really important distinction between the two. Now if there is a pro there should be a con. So what is the downside of using an NNT approach? Well the downside is that with retargeting you can get down to an individual level and hit ads that might speak to them specifically based on their job title, their industry, and any other information you might have about them in your CRM or marketing automation system. Now the flip side of that is of course on a Net New Targeting you are really focusing on this overlapped area which could represent one person or could represent multiple people. For instance, let us say we selected an audience of marketers at software companies and a specific geo location. Now this might be one person if this location and these individual factors are sufficiently tight. It might represent multiple people. Now the positive side of this is you get to target and deliver your impressions to group of folks who are potentially your buyers but of course the downside as I mention is you may not be getting that true one-to-one personalization or directed ad as you would in retargeting.

Now I am going to kind of throw you a curve ball here and show you a different method.

This is called CRM retargeting. What is that about? You may have heard of this. This is a bit of a mix between these two different paradigms. It tries to combine the first party cookie kind of retargeting concepts but also it allows you to do some targeting of people who have not been to your website to begin with. So that could be pretty powerful. Let us dive in to that.

The CRM retargeting usually takes a list of contacts, maybe a CSV file or some kind of connection to your sales force and it provides email addresses (let us call it john@city.com). Then typically it will run through what we call the ‘hashing function’ that will turn this email in to a cryptographically secure set of characters. It will look like gobbledygook to us. You know, Z1x blah blah blah blah. And this is then matched against another table provide by people like Facebook, LinkedIn, and LiveRamp. If you provided this john@city email address and their data also matches the same email address without providing the actual email, they are able to say ‘yes we have a cookie on that individual and we can deliver an ad on them’. And so you might get a list that says ‘hey your list of people were able to match on thirty per cent of the emails that you provided’. So here in lies the rub. Although it is great that you have first party matches on cookies that have already been placed on john@city.com and whoever else, the challenge often is that the match rates can be low in a B2B environment. In a B2C, business to consumer environment, this approach works fantastic. Why? Because everyone who is browsing the web often uses their personal email address for transactions like e-commerce checkouts and signing in to Facebook and you probably even signed in to LinkedIn with personal email address. So that is where the match rates can be really great. B2C, I have heard of ninety plus per cent match rates. I have heard as high as ninety seven per cent. Alright, this is like where target uploads a list of their data base into one of these providers and it gets excellent match rates.

For B2B, we do face that challenge. Lower match rates can be very powerful if your list is big enough. I definitely recommend you give this a shot. Use something like the Facebook create an audience or LinkedIn create an audience. If you want to get a specific license to LiveRamp do some data onboarding and push in to DSP, push in to ListenLoop, and you can take this approach as well.

So this has been a great recap of the different methods to deliver ads to try a specific prospect or account. You can see some of the relative pros and cons for each. Now fortunately ListenLoop is got you covered. ListenLoop offers both a Net New Traffic solution that go after unengaged accounts in addition to a retargeting solution to get after prospects who have already been to your website. So either way you cannot lose.

If you have any questions leave a comment below or email me rod@listenloop.com. I love reading and replying to all the emails that come in. Until the next time. Talk to you soon.


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Originally published at ListenLoop’s Marketing Blog.