Rodrigo Fuentes, co-founder and CEO of ListenLoop.com, suggests looking at how the loop can be closed via retargeting by looking at a hypothetical example: Carl, the CIO of Acme Construction Company (decision maker), has been tasked with buying construction management software for a new project Acme is starting. Carl delegates this assignment down the chain, and it eventually ends up on the desk of Anne, an engineering project manager.
Anne starts the buying process via a Bing internet search for “construction management software.” During her initial research, she comes across HCSS, a construction software company. HCSS, our hero in this example, was also on a list of prospective firms that Carl had passed down to her.
Anne visits HCSS’s website, exploring pages that give a high-level overview of various problems that construction companies have. She finds a landing page for a white paper that gives an in-depth analysis of the specific problem Acme has, and gives particulars of the benefits of HCSS’s construction management solution.
Anne downloads this whitepaper, saves it to her desktop, and then moves on to another project. You see, as mentioned earlier, Acme is a qualified buyer, but isn’t yet ready to buy. For Acme, it will be a 4–6 month buying process, and Anne has moved on to address more immediate deadlines.
But by downloading the white paper, Anne has been entered into HCSS’s CRM via its marketing automation platform. Carl is already in the system, filed under the Acme account profile. With the addition of Anne, HCSS is beginning to develop an account profile.
Based on her initial behavior, HCSS is going to put Anne in its lead nurturing program, sending her an email with content related to her interest and behavior on the HCSS website (gleaned from the marketing automation platform).
Additionally, HCSS is going to also serve Anne retargeting ads that support the nurture program. Those retargeting ads will be displayed on various third-party platforms, such as internet news sites.
The first retargeted ad offers an eBook on construction safety programs (based on her behavior on the HCSS website). A second, then third retargeting ad offering content focusing on the top of the funnel is sent out every seven days.
If Anne engages with this content, then next month HCSS will send her another batch of retargeting ads (and emails) that offer her middle of funnel content. Then, based on Anne’s engagement with the middle of funnel content, HCSS will send her bottom-of-funnel nurturing content.
Additionally, based on Anne’s behavior, HCSS will serve Carl retargeting ads that offers top-of-funnel, middle-of-funnel, and later bottom-of-funnel content targeted to his persona as a decision maker.
Over the course of four to five months, HCSS will have been nurturing both the influencer and decision makers at Acme about their software solution. They will have also been generating brand awareness with Anne and Carl as the two traveled around the rest of the web via retargeting ads, including ads that featured Acme’s logo in them.
“It’s really important to understand that in this postmodern marketing world that we live in, people are becoming a lot more marketing savvy,” Fuentes said. “You really have to get creative and understand how to nurture audiences across digital channels. And I think that’s really where intelligent retargeting and intelligent email nurture marketing can be extremely valuable.”