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Web Marketing Case Study: Retargeting

Gyrobike sells directly to consumers through its own online store and also other retailers, both offline and online. Marketing director Ashleigh Harris says that as soon as the company launched its first product and website with an online store in December 2009, it also started running display ads.

“As a start-up, we had very limited resources and a new product that no one had ever heard of, so we decided to augment our search campaigns with retargeted ads to build awareness and brand recognition.”

Gyrobike’s bicycle products deliver high stability at low speed to help keep riders upright. The most immediate application is an alternative way for children to learn to ride bikes: “Look, Mom — no training wheels.” Founded in 2007 to commercialize patented technology developed at Dartmouth College, the company is headquartered in San Francisco.

By using, Harris runs two display retargeting campaigns — one for general branding and the other for people who visit the shopping pages on the website. AdRoll helped with the initial setup of the ads, which took about a week. Since then, Harris has mostly managed the retargeting campaigns herself.

Harris, who spends less than $500 per month on the retargeting campaigns, changes the ads every couple of months. “I create some of [the ads] myself and I have a graphic designer do some. Initially, I probably wasted too much time creating ads myself using subpar tools, but our resources were tight and every penny counted. There are better do-it-yourself banner ad builders out there now.”

Gyrobike also runs a PPC campaign on Google AdWords and is testing promotional videos on YouTube. “We tested some Facebook advertising, but it wasn’t as cost-effective for us compared to our other campaigns,” Harris explains. She relies heavily on traditional and social PR efforts, including media outreach and securing product reviews. Gyrobike also encourages its customers to spread the word and has begun to leverage Facebook with apps from North Social.

Gyrobike monitors all its results by using Google Analytics at least monthly; tracking referral traffic, CTRs, site visits, bounce rates, and revenue generated; and focusing on CPC optimization. “You don’t have to spend a lot of money to do [ads] well.”

It takes some experimentation,” Harris acknowledges. “One ad campaign will not fit all of your needs. Segment, target, and test.” She adds encouragement: “The bottom line is that you don’t have to be an expert — most online advertising tools have excellent tutorials and resources to help guide you.“

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