‘Marketers are not making use of intent data that is readily available’

Marketers are not optimising paid search strategies in a way that allows them to make use of consumers’ intent to purchase, which can have impact on cost and is easily solved with a ‘test and learn’ approach, according to a new report.

A report published by The Boston Consulting Group today (11 March) says that brands that have invested in paid search often fail to retarget consumers that have clicked on their digital ads, which results in missing data that shows a consumers’ intent to purchase.

Retargeting display ads from paid search results can deliver a 40% reduction in cost per action (CPA) for marketers and this data can be derived from existing campaigns that have already been paid for.

The report says that marketers that do not use the data available from their own campaigns are “leaving money on the table”.

Dominic Field, partner and managing director at The Boston Consulting Group told Marketing Week that this is because marketers have not been using ‘advanced behavioural targeting’.

“This form of targeting uses fresh data based on cookies that people leave online to target display ads. Another part of this process involves using the right technology and people who understand the technology well.”

One reason that marketers are not making use of this data when they already have access to the technology is that they are sometimes not aware of the techniques needed to spot the right data. This is partly due to the rapid pace of advancement in digital.

But, the report also suggests that marketers can overcome this by using ‘unified platforms’ – so unifying all of the technology they use, to source data from a single pool. In addition, marketers can benefit from adopting a ‘test and learn’ approach.

Marketers that do not use multiple attribution models also stand at risk of missing important data. For example, they can gain a huge amount of audience data early in the consumer purchasing journey but this can be missed by those that only evaluate performance using models that only give credit to the last interaction before a purchase.

The Boston Consulting Group measured 5 campaigns for major brands in the US and Europe for the finding. Across 4 to 6 weeks, the research group did an A/B test on the campaigns with one group focusing on traditional keyword targeting and the other with the ‘advanced targeting’ technique.