blogRecently, Salesforce online marketing manager David Tam joined us at AdRoll to talk Programmatic Personalization: driving revenue in the digital era. Here, we answer some of your most pressing questions on how modern marketers are using customer data to create a deeper engagement.

Q: What are some examples of intent signals?

JP: On a high level, intent signals tell you what a customer is interested in, and whether they might be in-market for your product. The specific intent signals that are important for your company will vary case-by-case. Some common examples include: keyword searches for your specific or related products, browsing behavior as they navigate across the web, and information they’ve provided or requested.

Perhaps a B2B brand has people who are downloading their whitepapers or watching demos. These signals let you know what type of content a person is interested in and how far along they are in the purchase process. But there are other intent signals users put out as they move across the web – browsing related or complementary products, for example, that reveal a lot of information about their interests. Timing is also extremely relevant. For long sales cycles like B2B, it helps you know where your customer is in the purchase decision. For seasonal verticals in Retail and B2C, it gives you more insight about why your customer is engaging with your brand. For example, someone who’s visiting your jewelry store online before Valentine’s and Mother’s Day is probably looking for gifts – you can target them with themed ad creative and gift recommendations around the holidays to remind them about your brand when they start looking again.

David: I think to add on that too, from a CRM perspective, you can look at intent signals by what users have done in the past. You can go into your CRM and see if they’ve engaged with your ad – and which ad -, if they’ve engaged with your website, whether they’re an existing customer or not. When I think about intent, I look at whether a user is a prospect or existing customer, what products they use, what content they’re consuming, and what they’re looking at on your website. You can then slice this out, create specific campaigns targeting users that have demonstrated similar interests.

Q: “How do I integrate my Salesforce campaign with AdRoll?”

David: At Salesforce, we actually have an AdRoll tracking pixel on our website. So for me, I get AdRoll data reports, and then pivot out my Salesforce campaigns with tracking parameters. Then I can take a look at what’s converting, what isn’t converting, the KPI’s I’m looking at, which are valid leads, the pipeline, or different stages of the pipeline.

JP: Definitely. AdRoll’s integration with Salesforce is quite thorough and quite unique. We can identify whether someone is hitting Salesforce because they have this for work and they’re not actually a prospect, or they actually are a valid prospect. If so, we can determine if they’re looking at one particular product or another, whether they’ve researched it, engaged multiple times online, or made it to a form. David’s a great example of someone who’s retargeting users via AdRoll who are already in the Salesforce database, based on their demonstrated interests and intent.

Q: How can you best target new prospects by their title in a company?

David: So this could be depending on your product. For our sales cloud product, as an example, you’d think it’d just be salespeople we want to target, but actually, from seeing the type of people who engage with our website and are downloading our content, we actually see a lot of marketers engaging with us, IT personnel, and even CFOs. It makes sense, because all these people come together in the purchase decision. The CFO would actually pay for it, marketers work with sales teams to track campaigns, and IT manages integration security and things like that. It’s not always clear who the decision-makers for a purchase are by title alone; you have to see within your campaigns or your website who is visiting your pages and browsing your products.

JP: Exactly – this really gets back to the idea of the ‘iceberg’: what you can see about a person “above the water” – their title, age, location, etc. – doesn’t capture or enable you to know when someone is looking for or could be interested in your products, specifically. Like David said, titles don’t tell you whether or not a person is the decision-maker within their company, or anything about what products they’re searching for. This is where intent data signals come in. When these are layered on over demographic information like titles, your targeting becomes quite potent and powerful.

Q: How would you recommend initially setting up a retargeting campaign?

David: I always start first with setting up my audience segments. I look at the product I’m trying to sell for this campaign, and then I look at all the ways customers can demonstrate interest in this product: by visiting product pages, browsing related marketing collateral, landing on conversion or free trial pages, etc.

I’ll set up my segments and create different rules for different pages – how much I want to bid for customers who have demonstrated higher or lower intent, what personalized ads they should see, and which landing pages the ads should take them through to drive them further down the conversion funnel. For someone who landed on a product page but hasn’t engaged yet with any content, I may send them to an overview demo that discusses what the product is and how marketers are using it. For someone who’s maybe already watched a demo, I’ll send them to a free trial, so they can get their hands dirty and maybe have a salesperson talk them through the dashboard.

JP: You definitely need to start by articulating who you’re marketing to, and what your objectives are. A lot of what David talks about with regards to optimizing bids and bidding more for users who are more likely to convert is actually done within our platform. Our bidding algorithm takes into account the different signals users are putting out to determine how valuable an ad placement is likely to be for your campaign.

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Want to learn more about the technologies and strategies to engage with your customers? Check out our full webinar-on-demand with David and JP