By Nicole Priestley

Dynamic remarketing display creatives have drummed up somewhat of a bad rep in the past, but a creative of this type doesn’t have to be the annoying product ad following you around that everybody thinks of. This blog is going to evaluate the best solutions available to all advertisers, and how each solution can drive direct response for different verticals whilst maintaining brand continuity and a strong user experience.

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Why remarketing ads have gained a bad rep

The day that product feeds for display creative were created, and the subsequent platforms to host them were built too, was an exciting one. Advertisers were finally able to show users who had already been to their website through highly tailored creative with the simple addition of a pixel tag or floodlight to their site. Whilst the excitement was high, the focus on good design and strategy was low, as advertisers thought that the power of the product would always win and templates were knocked up with minimal thought to design or branding. 

This was even a recommended creative design from none other than Google themselves back in the day:

Google old remarketing ad

This image unfortunately still tarnishes the market with ideas of what dynamic remarketing really is; it’s portrayed as a tech driven solution rather than a creative one. Whilst it is both, there are many options available to ensure great looking creative can also be linked to sophisticated back end technology.

The two types of dynamic remarketing creative

There are two main types of creative when it comes to dynamic display remarketing; a brand lead creative or a product lead creative.

A product lead creative is most suited to eCommerce clients as it's linked to a product feed, which typically only eCommerce (or job site) clients have as they have multiple products on site. These are some examples of ones we have built for other clients:

Hilton dynamic creative

Hilton Hotels dynamic product remarketing

Superdrug dynamic product remarketing ad

Superdrug dynamic product remarketing

These are what most people think of when you mention a dynamic remarketing creative.

The second option if you don’t have access to a product feed is to go down a brand creative route. This would typically look like a more standard ad, but it has been tailored to users who have already been to site, like the below:

Legal & General dynamic brand remarketing ad

Legal and General dynamic brand remarketing

This is a great way of showing users who have been to your site a more personalised message without the use of a product feed. In this case a Google Doc feed is manually built and used to populate the imagery and copy within the creative.

The key focal points of any dynamic remarketing ad

Whether you choose to run with a product or a brand creative there are four key areas that you should focus on to ensure your creative looks and performs its best.

Design

Whilst this should be a predominant focus of any creative it is even more important with product remarketing ads as you need to ensure your template is brand lead, engaging and generally just looks nice (which can be harder than you think!).  Whilst using a pre-made template is quick and easy to set up, it doesn’t always lead to a creative that is consistent with your overall customer experience and branding. Always try and reserve some of your media budget for a custom-made template which will guarantee to be on brand. Pushing budget into good design will boost performance from the beginning.

Pre-set templates for a brand dynamic creative are near impossible to come by as there is no ‘one template fits all’ for brands, so here you need to invest in a template which gives you the opportunity to ensure it’s on brand and flexible enough for you from the start.

Both template types must include the fail-safe components including CTAs, logo, key message and campaign imagery.

Animation

Animation is a great way to engage users and enhance the user experience. With product remarketing ads, animation can sometimes be very simple or non-existent; this doesn’t have to be the case. We always ensure we include a click gallery with auto-play animation so users can see all the products in the gallery without having to engage. An intro frame of some sort can also be effective to showcase the brand and grab user attention. Here is an example:

B&Q example dynamic ad

For a brand lead template, animation can be as advanced or simple as you like as on the face of it these just look like your normal HTML ads.

Frequency

As with all digital activity, you must be careful and ideally data driven with your frequency approach. Showing too few ads may be detrimental to your performance, whilst showing too many can annoy users and lead to you losing their trust. In a remarketing environment, a user is likely to have already seen your upper and mid funnel ads so may have already been exposed to a few dozen of your creative already. In remarketing, whether it is dynamic or not, it is extremely important to pay attention to and implement the ideal equilibrium frequency cap for your brand.

Strategy

On a basic level remarketing is simply showing users an ad who have been to your site – but it can be so much more than that. To ensure a successful remarketing strategy you should have your site thoroughly tagged up to collect granular page data. Below is an example of 'good vs. weak' tagging and how it can affect your creative remarketing strategy, based on what information we as marketers can see:

On-site tagging scenarios

With scenario (1) we can only remarket to people based on the fact they have been to site, but with scenario (3) we can remarket with a whole host of information, and tailor the creative based on this information collected. For example in the third scenario we can show users specific products they have viewed, or products in the same categories, or cross sell them products. This wouldn’t be possible in scenario (1) as we can’t see what users are doing on site.

The right tagging can make the world of difference to your remarketing strategy.

Conclusion

Dynamic remarketing can be a hugely effective strategy within the display banner space when set up correctly and designed well. There are four main areas to focus on when you are thinking about setting up dynamic display remarketing, these being: design, animation, strategy and frequency.

Ensure you are focusing on these areas to avoid any customer annoyance or loss of brand love.

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