There was a time when organizations were skittish about exploring experimental types of online marketing strategies. They didn't want to try anything involving new technology unless they were certain their customers would love it.
But there are some businesses that have moved too far in the other direction. Some organizations feel so desperate to “be seen" and improve campaign productivity that they take certain types of online marketing strategies too far, which can alienate customers in the process.
Retargeting Madness: Are You Guilty?
When it comes to the types of online marketing that can turn off customers, there's a major culprit many of us know all too well. Social media ad retargeting.
Retargeting allows businesses to show ads on these customers' social profiles that remind them of products they liked and hopefully encourage them to take action. One customer may go to your website and look around. They don't buy or sign up for anything, but you might have their information because they arrived via a cost-per-click campaign. Another customer may already be in your database because they attended an event or contacted customer service.
Either way, both customers will see an ad for your business online.
It's not a bad idea in theory, but organizations can miss the mark when they over-target. Ads that appear too often or otherwise intrude on a customer's personal space can be a big no-no.
When retargeting starts to resemble stalking, customers will hide your ads (at best) or post negative commentary about your brand that could influence other potential customers (at worst).
Going Over the Top With E-Newsletters, Push Notifications and YouTube Ads
According to Adam Mendler, CEO of technology business incubator The Veloz Group, e-newsletters are another type of online marketing strategy used over-zealously.
"While visibility to your target market is imperative," Mendler says, "when you are too intrusive, you run the risk of turning off the very audience you are trying to attract.
"Sending out e-newsletters too frequently is an example of this mistake," he continues. "As much as a customer might appreciate your offering, they would rather do without it if they deem you to be annoying."
Browser or web push notifications can be problematic, too. If you haven't used them before, these notifications are messages delivered to customers' browsers after they've visited your website.
Of all the new types of online marketing strategies, this one got businesses excited because you could use it to re-engage visitors without capturing any contact information. David Braun, CEO of website development company TemplateMonster, was one such enthusiastic user.
"The response rate on browser push notifications was amazing, so we started to use them heavily. We notified users about new products and features all the time," he said. “But then, we experienced massive churn with customers disengaging with us completely, and we had to rethink the whole strategy."
Braun pointed out that sometimes, types of online marketing strategies involving YouTube are equally damaging. In this context, users are impatient to see the desired content and do not want constant interruptions, whether they are a fan of your brand or not.
“We showed interested customers our ads before they wanted to watch a video on YouTube, and they hated it," he explained. “Fortunately, we noticed and were quick to stop."
Braun brings up an important point about engaging with different types of online marketing strategies. And that's to pay attention. You can avoid employing the types of online marketing strategies that backfire by testing them with small groups of customers and carefully registering their reactions.
You don't have to bang customers over the head to get their attention. Tasteful, occasional reminders can go a long way.
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