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Retargeting platforms seem to be popping up everywhere these days. It appears that any company with the ability to create and implement a segment pixel is claiming that they are a formal retargeting platform. Be careful. There’s a big difference between providing a segment pixel to be used in a retargeting campaign and offering a high quality auto-optimizing retargeting service through your online advertising platform.


What Is The Kaizen Way?

There’s an insightful read offered by Dr. Robert Maurer in his book entitled, “One Small Step Can Change Your Life – The Kaizen Way”. Dr. Maurer shares a philosophy that amazing changes can be made through small steps, ranging from small actions to solving small problems. In short, small consistent steps “can circumvent the brain’s built-in resistance to new behavior”. Japanese for “improvement” or “change for the best”, Kaizen, is a practice that focuses on continuous improvement or good changes. Doing so will result in overall improvement with whatever task or goal is at hand.


What Does Kaizen Have To Do With A Retargeting Platform?

Yes, the Kaizen concept focuses on human behavior and interaction with their tasks, environment, goals and situations. However, if you expand the same theory to how technology behaves and interacts with implemented goal metrics and campaign objectives then similar concepts can be applied.

How does the retargeting platform standardize an operation or task (i.e., dedicated user interface)? How are the operations recorded or tracked while gauging the measurements against the campaign’s requirements and objectives (i.e., frontend campaign analytics and automated backend data mining)? If analytics show goals are not being met then what continuous advertising optimization changes and real-time bidding price adjustments are taking place? Once a campaign’s goals are being met what other adjustments and techniques can be implemented to further improve results?

This process will automatically continue through the campaign’s lifetime while investigating improvement opportunities ranging from price points to the type of websites targeted to comparing the pros and cons of static banner ads versus dynamic ads and so on.


Ask Small Questions To Minimize Confusion

Online advertising is a complicated industry that is constantly changing and transforming. The level of complexity increases as you dive deeper into targeting types, creative options, optimization techniques and backend data mining abilities. In order to defuse some of the unnecessary confusion start off by asking your potential retargeting platform partner more simple questions. This will help you create a baseline in which to more easily compare one potential partner to the next.

Any worthwhile advertising platform will welcome even the most complicated questions but asking overly complex questions may be a disservice to your company if you truly do not understand the answers provided. Don’t pretend to understand more than you actually do, I am sure you are already smart enough, just ask what you know based on the goals at hand.

Does your platform offer real-time bidding? What processes to you have in place to ensure brand safety? What daily frequency cap would you suggest for my retargeting campaigns? Do you offer dynamic display ads? Does your retargeting platform have campaign minimums? How often does your campaign reporting update? Would you suggest adding in a behavioral targeting element to a traditional retargeting campaign? Does your retargeting platform perform automated optimization? And so on.

Keep it simple. Keep it consistent. Keep continuously improving. Keep Kaizening.

Topics: retargeting, Kaizen, retargeting platforms

Tim Nichols

Written by Tim Nichols

Tim Nichols is a founding partner at ExactDrive, a digital media buying agency with white label, reseller and managed service options available. ExactDrive plans, manages, and optimizes online advertising campaigns with the objective of delivering measurable value and empowering clients to find precisely targeted audiences. ExactDrive has offices in Minneapolis, MN and Milwaukee, WI.

Tim Nichols is also a contributing author on Forbes.com.