Okay, so about a year ago I was in North Sydney, sitting on a bench in the sun on my lunch break. I was reading a book at the time, which I was quite engrossed in, when a dreadlocked backpacker in a polo shirt holding a clipboard demands to know how my day is going. I told him politely that I would prefer to be left alone, whereupon he said, “that’s great!”, and launched into a 5 minute spiel about, I dunno, the sick kid whales in Tibet.
Your display campaigns are that guy.
Your remarketing audiences are unqualified, spraying ads at every poor soul who happened to pass by your website and glance vaguely in its direction. The impression frequency cap setting sits alone and ignored, gathering digital cobwebs in the stuffy attic of your account.
Rethink the way you use keywords, topic targeting, managed placements and interest categories. Use them in combination in the one campaign to create extremely targeted activity. Duplicate your activity and target each of the 21 combinations of age and gender targeting options.
Do something clever with remarketing audience segmentation. Here’s my recipe for a simple lead-reclamation campaign: find out how long users take to engage with you on average, let’s say 11 days. Create an audience for all site visitors for 11 days. Create an audience for qualified users, let’s say users who’ve visited your product page. Combine these two with an exclusion for all users who’ve converted and something magical happens. People see ads for the product they were looking at for precisely as long as it should take them to convert. If they convert early, they see no more ads. If 11 days go by, they don’t see any more ads. If they haven’t converted by now, your ads won’t help.
Try it. Change it. See if you can find something better.
A little bit of self-awareness goes a long way.