Retargeting in Classifieds Websites
(Co-authored by Lokesh Rai and Rohit Agarwal)
Classifieds – An Overview
With the advent of e-commerce and growing popularity of the internet as a medium for business, like the other business segments, Classifieds followed suit. Companies like Magicbricks, Olx, Naukri, 99acres, Bharatmatrimony, Gaadi.com, etc. opened their shops online. Classifieds can be broadly categorized into Real Estate, Matrimony, Job Portals, Automobiles and B2B companies that focus on creating a website, microsites, product catalogues and SEO.
Classifieds are known to follow a C2C business model which sets itself apart from other e-commerce segments that follow the B2C model. Online classifieds industry grew at a rate of 29% CAGR from 2008 till 2011 crossing USD 290 Mn (Source: ResearchonIndia) in the same year. The classifieds market is undergoing a paradigm shift from offline to online with the latter growing its share from 43% in 2009 to 51% in 2012 (Source: Netscribes).
Retargeting in Classifieds
Subscription is the highest revenue generating source for a classifieds company. The crux here is to increase lead generation through various marketing channels like TV, print and online media. Of all the marketing channels, online media is the only one where marketing messages can be customized to a very large extent. In return, it creates stronger brand associations and helps in driving traffic back to the website.
Retargeting is the most interactive channel that enables marketers to reach website drop-offs at the right time and location with personalized messages that can really prop up conversion rates when compared with traditional channels.
Retargeting in Real Estate
So does retargeting really play a major role in Real Estate? Vizury did extensive research around this and the results are awesome!
- Retargeting creates stronger recall for classifieds websites’ inventories that eventually results in stronger brand association.
- Retargeting plays a significant role in conversions. Vizury delivers close to 4% of the entire website contribution, a great deal for marketers.
- 3/5th of retargeted users return to the website within 5 days! Close to 70% of them are single leads.
- The highest number of conversions are in the ‘Buy’ segment. 63% of leads generated by Vizury falls in this category.
- 68% of retargeting conversions are from the top 8 cities in India which includes Metros and Tier I cities. Vizury’s retargeting engine optimizes the campaigns to focus on these cities.
- Non-peak hours like lunch, snacks and dinner-time especially during Wednesdays and Thursdays are the prime-time for classifieds retargeting.
- Retargeting is more in sync with Social networks when compared with traditional channels. Facebook has proven to be a very strong channel to reach users at different times during the day. Social media platforms have helped in increasing the reach by 20-30% when compared with conventional channels.
Segmentation and Retargeting
This is the most important part of retargeting channel’s success. The classifieds vertical is prone numerous changes on their website on an hourly basis. The following techniques can be used to segment users based on their behaviour:
- More focus on New Property segment followed by Sale and Rent segments. Retargeting helps in prioritizing the new property segment by using a differential messaging scheme.
- Location based targeting for city specific properties are driving up the conversion rates. Vizury’s retargeting engine prioritizes the properties based on the location of the user and properties that are closer to them appear more frequently on the banners. The banners also carry the major USPs of the displayed property. Vizury props up the leads by an astonishing 250% in less than a week’s time!
- Customization of landing page drives high rate of customer acquisition for marketers. Vizury optimizes search results and customizes property landing pages. Search result customization drives conversions as it gives users more options to browse.
- Segmenting based on # of properties viewed helps in classifying users into hot and cold prospects. Users who visit more frequently are the ones that convert first. Retargeting aims at pushing these users deeper into the sales funnel by taking them straight on the lead generation page(s).
Customization is the mantra here
Customized Banners help in bringing down the cost spent by marketers as they target only the relevant segment. It also fosters strong brand recall. The level of customization offered by Vizury is as high as 95%. A large pool of creative designs are experimented with in order to make the banners go in-sync with the website theme. It results in a very strong mental association between the brand and the drop-off users. The click through rate can even double when banners are personalized. Static banners are a passé.
A typical real estate customized banner will display very relevant details such as Property name, Property image, Developer’s name, # of bedrooms, Price per area, Covered area, etc. A personalized banner is an instant connect!
Here are some examples of customized banners
Image, Developer’s Name, # of bedrooms, Price per Sqft, Covered Area, etc. on the banner which helps the user recall his search criteria quickly.
Retargeting is poised to enter the next level of personalization. Vizury is working on a new recommendation engine that will help in recommending properties to the user based on the type of properties the user has been browsing recently. It is expected to improve lead generation volume by at least 20%.
Mobile is the next big channel for websites to reach users with personalized messages. Location-based targeting will be more impactful on mobile devices as they can generate a faster response when compared with other channels.
Social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook News Feed will soon carry personalized messages to further improve the marketers’ reach for the classifieds vertical.
India’s projected 330-370 Million internet user base by 2015 (Source: Internet World Stats 2010) will provide an immense opportunity to the classifieds industry in India to diversify their portfolio into more strategic end user oriented businesses. Retargeting will continue to be one of the most influential marketing channels for reaching out to the target audience in more meaningful ways.
Like they say, ‘Relevant ads are best ads’.
Please note: All data points in the blog are based on data insights captured by Vizury from the Real Estate vertical.