New Targeted Advertising Tool: Google’s Dynamic Remarketing

By | June 28, 2013

A few days ago, Google launched a new service called dynamic remarketing for its Google Merchant Account customers. This is an innovative enrichment of retargeting, the cookie-based technology that generates customized display ads that “follow” users who visit a commercial website then leave without interacting. They’re cookied using information about what they’ve viewed, and related display ads will show up on various sites as they travel around the web. Retargeting has become an important part of many businesses’ internet marketing strategy. Dynamic remarketing will make it more effective, maybe markedly.

If you’re an online seller who has dipped a toe in this way of recapturing the interest of potential buyers with computer-generated targeted advertising, you may have gone the self-serve route by using AdSense or Google’s own AdWords. Or you may have paid a full-service provider to fully manage your retargeting campaign, including designing banners and providing data reports. Dynamic remarketing (Google’s synonym for “dynamic retargeting”) is a more sophisticated take on the self-serve approach. After reported highly successful test runs, the service is being offered to AdWords retail customers who have Google Merchant accounts.

Using images from your Google Merchant feed, the service generates instant display ads using an algorithm that predicts good conversion based on a detailed analysis of what that visitor actually did when visiting your website. This customization offers a pathway to intelligent pay-per-click management. The software attaches info such as tags for product ID and individual visit to the visitor’s cookie, plus it will incorporate products viewed, related products, and high-performing products into the resulting display. So a visitor who has looked at swimsuit pages will see suits already viewed plus other beachwear, beach towels, sandals, etc, all selected by the software from the images fed from your Merchant Center catalog.

You control the overall ad look and content by choosing among the dozens of templates Google offers to make creation easy, picking out the colors, fonts and overall layout that work best for your business and the campaign as a whole, and of course providing the images, including your logo and other branding graphics. The whole ad is optimized automatically each time a page loads.

The algorithm creates each ad based on that user’s past behavior while visiting your site. To make this happen, dynamic remarketing separates visitors into 4 lists:

General visitors – those who didn’t view specific products. Their dynamic ad will show the most popular items on your site.

Product viewers – they looked but didn’t add anything to their cart. The dynamic ad will show what they viewed plus related items.

Shopping cart abandoners – they didn’t get as far as buying their choices. The ad shows the cart items, other things they viewed and similar products.

Past buyers – previous customers will see a dynamic ad featuring items like their purchases, including popular products and things often bought together.

Google reports that the dynamic remarketing test run for Sierra Trading Post, the outdoor outfitters, produced a doubled click-through rate and a 5 times higher conversion rate compared to their previous retargeting campaign. The European online retailer EMP had an conversion rate increase of 230% and a cost of sale figure that fell by 30%.