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Prospecting & Retargeting Strategies for Display

More and more advertisers are jumping into the world of programmatic buying. At first it can be difficult to piece together an initial strategy, for this reason we are going to run through some of the most used prospecting & retargeting strategies for display and where they fit in the funnel.
Programmatic buying is fundamentally about using data to buy your audience at scale while maximising efficiencies. You should therefore have a clear idea of your audience before running a campaign as you will tailor your targeting for this audience.

It’s important to first distinguish between prospecting & retargeting. Prospecting is any activity in which you target users who have not yet visited your site. Retargeting, in contrast, is targeting users that have been to your site, this is achieved by leveraging cookie pools collected on site.

Take a look at the funnel below, prospecting activity (becoming aware & researching) is used to drive leads higher up the funnel while retargeting is used to reach users lower in the funnel and hopefully convert these users into customers. Prospecting activity helps determine what works and allows you to stop what doesn’t through automated and manual optimisations. You can then narrow in on the audiences & inventory that work well for the campaign.


Prospecting –         Becoming Aware
Prospecting – Researching 
This is a broad strategy with limited targeting overlaid such as demographic & location. The goal here is to gain a lot of exposure and build up learnings which will help isolate the inventory that is more valuable to your campaign. The CPM should be low when compared to other strategies as there is more inventory available on the exchange.
Premium inventory, as the name suggests is better quality inventory. You can determine where you want your ads to run and this of course gives you more control. This is a nice prospecting strategy to fuel your cookie pools by driving more potentially in-market users to your site. 
Lookalike Audience  
An algorithm builds up an audience of similar users to those who convert on your site. At its most effective, this strategy can deliver CPS results similar to retargeting strategies. A pixel must be placed on site in order to build up an audience of similar users.
 An algorithm scrapes content from millions of websites to determine areas that match your chosen keywords. For example football contextual topics will sever on sites with football related content. This is a useful strategy for reaching potential customers in the researching stage of the funnel.
Retargeting – In-Market
Standard Retargeting 
No-frills retargeting, simply put advertisers can show display ads to users in-market for their product or service by leveraging their existing cookie pools.
FBX Retargeting 
Retargeting as above but on the facebook exchange. This gives you access to more inventory and the opportunity to reach your audience in a different environment
Dynamic Retargeting 
Dynamic retargeting works similarly to standard retargeting except the creative is highly personalised. It is generally a far more effective means of retargeting as the user can be shown the exact product they viewed on the advertiser’s site rather than a generic creative message.


There is No Winning Formula

That's why it’s best to try out multiple strategies and then optimise towards what works for your target audience. Begin by accessing the quality of the 1st party data available to you. If you have existing cookie pools then retargeting is a good place to start, as you know you are reaching users interested in your product. After that it’s about trialling different prospecting strategies to see what works for you.