When Remarketing Goes Wrong

aka When Remarketing doesn’t keep up with your Promotions…

This weekend Cargo, the homewares retailer, have a big promotion on. In honour of the bank holiday weekend they’ve taken 10% off almost all products – even those in the Sale. A great way to drive some sales on a weekend when people are thinking about DIY and their home, and the artwork on the website is really powerful – looks great.

But their remarketing activity isn’t up to speed. They’ve got a very detailed remarketing set up – so you don’t just get an ad for Cargo, you get an ad for the product you looked at:

In this case, a small purple saucepan. The ad is great, I was looking at the saucepan earlier today, the design is reminiscent of the Cargo website, it’s got a strong call to action, and the brand is strong too.

So where’s the problem?

The problem is that on the website (that I looked at this morning) the saucepan is on sales at only £6.30, not selling at full price for £7.

So the ad is going to confuse, and not entice customers back to the site.

What should Cargo have done?

Firstly, have considered all the marketing activity when they planned the promotion – that’s why you need great promotional calendars and records. So that it’s easy to work out where promotions overlap, and what messages and copy and artwork need to be changed.

Given the remarketing campaign is a complex one, which clearly has 100s of ads set up you want to smart with your approach to this type of campaign. I wouldn’t create new artwork for every product for 2 reasons:

  1. It’s going to take a lot of time (and therefore money) to change every image, sign off every image, and then load them up. Plus the time it will take to change it all back after the promotion. That effort is over the top for a short term discount promotion – you’re already giving away the profit with the discout, don’t give more away with unnecesary workload.
  2. Making all those changes will really interrupt the optimisation process on those ads – so it will set back performance overall too.

Instead, I’d have a blanket campaign ready to go in the wings – so a campaign that holds everyone who’s been to the website. Turn that on, with artwork referencing the offer, and turn off all the individual ads for the weekend.

What would you do?