A Bridge To... Better Ads?

Last week, Marketo officially announced the launch of their new Ad Bridge product at this year’s Marketing Nation Summit in San Francisco. 

These new Marketo features will start to break down the wall between your core database marketing and your paid advertising, by allowing marketers to link data already in your Marketo system to PPC, Social and DSP platforms. Previously, this first-party Marketo data typically sat dormant behind a wall, as far as your online advertising was concerned. 

The science of retargeting has been, for the most part, in the hands of the media partner or programmatic platform. And rolling out a complex strategy of multiple ads with various messaging combinations based on a limited number of online actions or behaviours requires a lot of time, tagging and teamwork.

One opportunity that Ad Bridge should bring is the ability of marketers to regain a significant amount of control of their retargeting activities and apply offline data to that retargeting. For example, it’s a relatively standard process now to track through to on-site conversion but what happens if that conversion took place offline? With Ad Bridge, the personalised target opportunities will be myriad; you can base it on product interests, past purchases, level of buying intent, overall engagement score to name a few. Anonymous website visitors can also be re-targeted with ads relevant to their location, company size or inclusion on a target account list. As a result, marketers should now be able to target audience segments with ever more personalised ads. 

These features also open up a whole new range of options based on proprietary data and makes testing new messaging copy easier than before. With personalised ads performing at up to five times the CTR of standard ads, this is an area that marketers can’t afford to ignore. 

For agencies like DWA, the ability to link up more and more online and offline actions is the ultimate goal. Delivering the right message in the right place at the right time is a check mark in every box when it comes to engagement marketing. Any time we can identify and connect concrete actions that inform the customer journey, that’s a step closer to true one-to-one marketing. The net outcome will predictably be better performing ads, greater ROI and a consistent cross-channel experience. 

The only question is how will audiences respond to this ever more hyper-targeted world?  Privacy and permission-based marketing is always hotly debated and over-enthusiastic retargeting can quickly become an irritation, and even turn a neutral prospect to a negative one, who associates your brand with ‘ad-stalking.’

If we do our jobs well as a marketing community and reach potential customers based on their individual story, this should lead to more intelligent, more relevant and thus less annoying ads. If more personalized ads means I’m less likely to get bombarded with offers to join the gym I’m already a member of, I’m all for it. 

About the Author

Sarah Osborne is a Senior Account Director and Marketo Certified Expert at DWA. She is located in London.