I admit I finally fell for it. After seeing a dozen of the Hello Friends commecials over the last week and debating with my wife what it was all about, I finally decided to Google it and see if I could track down the culprit company. The commercials vary in subject but all have a common theme of proving what friendship is supposed to be – ie cat-sitting 12 cats for your friend on a 12 week vacation.
Commercials generally fit into a format of a product being offered creatively with a call to action to purchase or get more information about that product – a web address, a store address, a phone number. But in this commercials we got nothing. Nothing but the two words, Hello Friends.
Even the Hello Friends website offered no clues. No logo. No company or brand. It wasn’t until a search on YouTube turned up several uploads of the commercials with the words in parantheses – Brighthouse Networks. Blast you evil cable companies! While this discovery seemed to calm my curiousity, the videos were not uploaded by Brighthouse. In fact, a check of the Brighthouse YouTube page revealed no Hello Friend ads. Neither did Brighthouse.com.
So this brings up an interesting question. Was this effective? The question will likely not get answered until the culmination of the ad campaign, if there is one. I will be expecting to see some kind of resolution by Hello Friend that explains the ambiguity of these commercials. For now, I remain frustrated not knowing and irritated of the lack of coolness of the final product. Who really LIKES their cable company anyway.
Here is a bold prediction for the next 2 years : Re-Targeting will become one of your best producing marketing tool.
I limit that prediction to only 2 years because technology has been evolving at such a rapid pace it seems like new products either adapt to the changes or suffer a short shelf-life. So what makes it so special? Because retargeting is how you’re going to win back the 98% of your online visitors who come to your website and don’t convert into a lead. Ever wonder what happens to all of those people who visit and disappear? Now you have a method of re-engaging those lost customers as they travel around the internet. You likely spend a good portion of your marketing budget pushing customers to your website, so why allow the majority of that traffic to slip through the cracks?
Here is how it works : Once a customer visits your website, a pixel (a small snippet of code) that has already been placed on your homepage and subpages, identifies that customer and places them in what’s called an “audience”. The audience you collect is “cookied” and as they visit other websites they are shown your banner ads. The websites your ads display on only show on the display ad network you choose and they only show to the customers who have been collected in your audience. The result is a highly targeted ad campaign that gets your message repetitively to the right customers already familiar with your brand.
So how would this work in the real world for a marine dealership? Imagine you had a customer who came to your website after seeing you at a boat show and viewed the details of brand new 40’ sport yacht. They spend 10 minutes online viewing photos, going over the boat specs, and watching an online video. But before they submit a lead, they get distracted by life, and shut down the computer before submitting a lead. Without re-targeting you would have no way of reaching this customer. Had this customer been “pixeled” they would have seen your banner ads while shopping on Amazon, reading their Yahoo mail, or visiting their favorite local news site reminding them to re-engage with you about the boat.
You have two options for deciding how to use re-targeting and I recommend both of them. The first is placing the pixel on your own website so you can begin marketing to your own visitors. There are a variety of services out there that can help you get started including :
Your second option to use re-targeting is to purchase impressions to an audience that were collected on another website, not your own. For example, Boats.com and BoatTrader.comwill offer retargeting services. You would essentially be able to target your banner ad across the internet to anyone who has viewed a particular type of boat on these websites.
Even if you don’t plan to use re-targeting now, it is still in your best interest to get the pixel loaded on to your website and start collecting your audience. The more customers you can collect in your audience, the better resulting campaign. The value of advertising to your own online customers via retargeting is important for not only retaining these customers, but building brand awareness, battling “lead form abandonment”, and pushing your audience one step closer to a sale.