Only about 2% of first time visitors to a company’s website are ready to make a purchase. The B2B sales cycle can be quite long, so leveraging retargeting technology can be a great way to bring potential leads back to your website that didn’t “convert” the first time.

While retargeting continues to gain traction in B2B marketing, forty-six percent of search engine marketing professionals believe retargeting is the most underused online marketing technology available. Due to it’s effectiveness in reengaging previous website visitors and helping to convert leads, your B2B online marketing program could greatly benefit from this technology.

What is retargeting?

Retargeting, also called remarketing, is a marketing technology that helps reengage prospects who have previously visited your website by showing them ads as they browse the web. It allows you to promote a product or service to people who have previously interacted with your company, but just might not be ready to purchase yet—keeping you top of mind and increasing brand awareness.

Search retargeting is not the same thing as site retargeting. Search retargeting focuses on engaging new prospects that have an interest in your product or service but might not be aware of your brand yet. However, this post will focus on using site retargeting to attract prospects back to your website and increasing conversions.

Site retargeting can be accomplished in several ways such as display ads, search, banner ads, etc. Here are a few companies that provide this service:

– Google Adwords Remarketing
– ReTargeter
– AdRoll
– FetchBack
– Perfect Audience

Why site retargeting matters

Site retargeting is an effective way to target a narrow audience and nurture leads. It’s an alternative to mass digital advertising, and is a way to spend your advertising dollars more wisely—targeting people that have already peaked an interest in your brand. Retargeting can boost ad response up to 400%.

Site retargeting complements the longer B2B sales cycle since it keeps your brand top of mind with prospects as they research and do their due diligence. Retargeting could even help shorten the sales cycle by nurturing leads. It also provides an opportunity to cross sell other products or services you offer that complement the original item.

Best practices

Retargeting is best utilized by segmenting your visitors to provide the most relevant ads possible. For example, if one visitor looked at Product A, you’ll want to segment them from visitors that looked at Product B. Segmenting allows your campaign to provide the most relevant ads possible and increase your chances of clickthroughs.

Once visitors do come back and purchase a product, you will want to either remove them from your retargeting list or add them to a different list that promotes a similar or complimentary product or service.

Monitor, test and tweak consistently. Don’t just create your retargeting campaign and let it run its course. In order to have a successful campaign, you will need to monitor it and change your ads depending on their clickthrough rates.

Concerns around retargeting

Most likely we’ve all been exposed to retargeting. Some advertisers are concerned that retargeting is too intrusive or “stalker-like.” Others sometimes see it as spam. However, it’s really no more intrusive than any other type of online marketing—as it uses cookies stored on your computer to track your online activity. And no matter what, you are always going to see online ads. So why not have them actually be relevant to you?

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Retargeting is an effective way to convert prospects into customers, especially for B2B companies with a longer sales cycle. By following best practices, you’ll be able to spend your online advertising budget more wisely and convert more of your prospects into customers.

I recently re-read an excellent post by Jeanne Bliss, The Power of Suspending Cynicism in Business, and it served as a reminder of the importance of energy and energizers in both business and innovation. Jeanne shares examples of the benefits that result when businesses decide to trust and believe in their customers and employees. Research confirms that there are specific behaviors that energize others and fuel creativity, innovation and results.

Energy and Networks

Several years ago Rob Cross, a professor at the University of Virginia, conducted ground-breaking research into social networks. He was curious to understand why some groups thrived and produced great results while others struggled. By mapping the social interactions among individuals within organizations, Rob was able to visualize and analyze these networks. The research revealed what many wise business leaders had long suspected—that energy plays a key role in who is effective at work and why.

Our Behaviors Energize or De-energize

Rob and his team found that energy and the ability to energize others isn’t rooted in personality. One doesn’t necessarily need to be outgoing or charismatic to energize others. Rob found that quiet, soft-spoken individuals could also be energizers. The key to energy, they found, was rooted in behaviors.


Much of Rob’s research is described in his book, The Hidden Power of Social Networks, which he wrote with Andrew Parker of Stanford.

Developing an Innovation Environment

So, what should leaders do if they’d like to energize others and foster an environment conducive to innovation? Here are a few simple things to try.


“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” – William James

Every organization has an abundance of good ideas. Yes, right now, within your own organization, synapses are firing, conversations are happening, creative brainstorms are occurring. Will these ideas ever see the light of day? Will people feel comfortable sharing them, confident that they can make a difference? Or, will they be withheld? Will their originators feel rejection and criticism? Will they fear the “corporate black hole” into which great ideas flow and never again emerge?

Having a great idea doesn’t amount to much if you’re unable to motivate others to take interest, believe in the idea, and take action. Energy plays a substantial role in generating those ideas and making it possible to implement them. Armed with this insight, how will you energize others and encourage innovation in your organization?

Photo copyright: bellemedia / 123RF Stock Photo

Marketing automation is a powerful technology platform that provides marketers with a rich set of tools to manage the components of their online marketing programs. But without a successful implementation, companies are less likely to realize the full potential of the software.

In many ways, marketing automation software is a lot like CRM software in that it’s a fantastic technology tool with tremendous potential, but it’s only as good as the implementation, process and commitment behind it. And much like CRM, some companies are wowed by the capabilities of the tool, but fail to put the right plan and process in place to ensure success.

Recognizing the potential pitfalls that exist when adopting and implementing marketing automation, here are 6 tips to ensure your company starts off on the right track.

1. Define your requirements and goals upfront 

Before you implement marketing automation software, it’s critical to define what requirements you have for the software and identify what goals and objectives you’re looking to achieve. In many cases, marketing automation can replace existing tools (paid and free) that you are already using, such as email marketing, social media management, surveys, etc.

One of the benefits of marketing automation is that it serves as an all-in-one solution for online marketing; so being able to consolidate your tools will not only help your process, but can also cushion the expense of the software for budgeting.

2. Choose the right marketing automation solution

Once a company has identified its requirements and set a budget (at least a range), it’s important to choose the marketing automation software solution to implement. The marketing automation industry is becoming a more crowded space every day, with many viable solutions available. So, what should you look for and how do you evaluate potential vendors?

Here are 5 main criteria to consider:

Feature set
Most automation platforms have a similar set of tools, such as automated programs, website visitor tracking, lead scoring, etc. Look for a solution that meets your requirements, but be sure that you aren’t paying for a slew of features you don’t necessarily need.

Ease of use
Usability is a critical selection factor. You should look for a solution that has an intuitive interface and makes it easy to do the things that you want to do. Each solution has their own way of doing things, so find one that will require the least amount of learning and training.

Most marketing automation platforms can integrate with a variety of 3rd party systems such as Salesforce, GoToWebinar, AdWords, etc. Consider what integrations are critical to your marketing and sales teams and select a solution that has the tightest integration with those systems.  If you use a more obscure CRM, look for a solution that provides either FTP synch or an open API for custom integration.

Regardless of your requirements, choosing a platform with best-of-breed support is absolutely paramount. You want to make sure that you select a vendor that stands behind their product and treats all customers—from the smallest entry-level account to the very large enterprise—with the same level of customer service and support.

The pricing models of marketing automation vendors vary considerably. Some offer pricing that seems considerably less than others, but when you add up mandatory upfront costs for training and implementation, and other features that are “add-ons,” the price goes up considerably. The point is, be sure you consider all costs involve, as well as terms of the contract (e.g. month-to-month, annual, multi-year, etc.). You don’t necessarily want to be locked in for a long-term commitment.

3. Consider what it’s going to take for implementation

Once you’ve made a selection, it’s important to consider what it’s going to take to implement marketing automation. This includes obviously your budget, but also making sure you have the right staff and internal resources in place and possibly hiring a consultant to help with planning, implementation and execution.

Another important cost to consider is how the culture will need to change or adapt in order to achieve improved marketing and sales alignment. Marketing automation blurs the lines between the territory of marketing and sales (or BD if that’s your lingo), so considering the implications of that upfront is essential.

4. Put a plan and process in place

As with everything else in marketing, having a strategy and plan in place is absolutely critical to the success of your implementation. As you’ve considered what’s involved with implementation, you’re going to want to develop a documented plan for rolling it out. Some things to consider in your planning include (but are not limited to):

  • Identifying the admins, users and rules for governance
  • Working with sales to define what constitutes a qualified lead
  • Determining if/how the platform will integrate with other systems
  • Migration of contacts, opt-outs and hard bounce list from current email platform
  • Integrating contact forms/subscription forms/lead gen forms on your website
  • Setting up subscription management
  • Adding visitor tracking code to your website
  • Designing email and landing page templates to match your brand

There’s a lot more that goes into planning, but your marketing automation vendor and/or implementation partner should provide you with a punch list or guide to assist in your planning.

5. Start simple and build out 

As tempting as it is to start using all of the exciting new tools and features you’ll have at your fingertips, one of the best pieces of advice I can give is to start by deploying what you’re currently doing first and then consider adding other features once you’ve built some confidence with the platform. Start simple with your current uses and build out as you go along, learning from the analytics, adjusting and tweaking your efforts based on your experience.

For example, if you’ve not previously leveraged lead nurturing or automated programs, don’t start out with a complex, multi-branch program. We like to say, “crawl, walk, run.” The point is, don’t feel obligated to exhaust every possible use of your marketing automation platform just because it’s there and you’re paying for it.

6. Consider bringing in an automation agency partner

Lastly, it might be worth considering bringing in outside help to assist with your implementation. Many firms wouldn’t consider implementing a CRM system without hiring a consultant to help, and while marketing automation is perhaps a less complicated process, it does require knowledge, skills and experience that many firms simply don’t have in-house.

A qualified agency partner can not only provide the expertise and guidance needed for planning and implementation, but can also help you with ongoing strategy, content and campaign development along the way. Regardless of the automation solution you choose, most have similar agency partner programs and can recommend a partner for you to work with.


Marketing automation can provide your marketing team with a powerful platform to manage your online marketing program, but having the right approach is absolutely necessary for ensuring success. While not exhaustive, these 6 tips can provide you with some guidance on how you should approach implementing marketing automation software.

I’m sure by now you have heard about Google’s update and how many have suffered the wrath of the Panda. The aim of their Panda and Penguin updates have been to remove poor quality sites from the top of Google’s search page.

Matt Cutts, Google’s head of spam, stated it in a blog post announcing Panda:
“This update is designed to reduce rankings for low quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.”

In order to have a strategic marketing plan for your website and avoid being stalked by the Panda, check out these 5 marketing strategies to help you develop a great website:

1. Evaluate the content on your site and make changes to improve the overall quality of the pages on your domain. Make a list of your different types of pages including quality articles, low quality articles, products, blog post, etc. Put the list in a column and start creating a table within a spreadsheet. Add columns for relevant factors like ads, little content and percentage drop in Google US organic visits. Fill in the values for each type of page and look at how much of your site it taken up by your lowest quality pages.

2. Don’t copy from another site’s content but replace it with quality original content. You can test this by removing some of the pages and adding 301’s from them to relevant pages up your site’s hierarchy.

3. Offer users more when they first enter a page. Use images, videos, attractive text and pages linking to your best, related editorial content.

4. Promote your content on social media including Twitter and Facebook-create a media presence with quality content. Promotion is sharing what your content has to offer and making sure that it gets distributed to the people that want to see it. By using the various social media channels, you can circulate content and put your brand in front of potential clients or new audiences.

5. Build your brand awareness of your company. Building a connected brand requires creative and strategic thinking. Start with blogging and add free content like ebooks, templates or infographics. Your brand tells the story of who you are and your personality should shine through.
Make as many of these changes as quickly as you can. With your content improving, you should be able to improve your strategic marketing plan to overcome the Panda.