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Jul 08
Recency Use & Strategies with Julie Pifer

Guide to recency use with Julie Pifer

Hannah Middleton, Content Manager: Before we dig in, I’d like to ask a question inspired by the current state of the world–what’s your go-to quarantine activity?

Julie Pifer, Product Manager: Ha, thanks for asking! Over the past few months, I’ve gotten really into gardening. My rose bushes are my babies. Every morning I go outside to see if a new bloom has opened up! I’m also growing rosemary, oregano, mint, parsley, and a few little peppers.


HM: Now that we’ve got the important stuff out of the way, let’s chat recency use. In a nutshell, what is it?

JP: Recency is how long a user profile, or a cookie, has been in a particular data segment. For example, if I visited Miracle-Gro’s website today at 3pm, then my browser’s cookie ID would enter Miracle-Gro’s retargeting pool at that same time. In terms of recency, that means that the age of my cookie starts from that 3pm site visit.


HM: Why does recency matter?

JP: Recency allows you to bid more aggressively or less aggressively depending on when a user entered into the audience you are currently targeting.

Using the Miracle-Gro example, user profiles that entered their retargeting pool within the last few hours are much more likely to be in the market for potting soil than people who last visited the Miracle-Gro site 30 days ago.


HM: How recent, or fresh, should data be before marketers use it in their digital advertising campaigns? Does it vary between industry?

JP: It really depends on the length of your sales cycle, which does vary by industry.

Someone who is searching for printer ink cartridges is probably going to make that purchase within a matter of minutes, while someone who is checking out luxury hotels will likely be doing so over the course of a week or two. A company that’s evaluating a new billing platform might take eighteen months to make that decision. It really depends.


HM: How can marketers leverage recency in Choozle?

JP: Recency is an optional setting that appears only on ad groups that have a custom audience applied. You select the increment of time and then specify a bid multiplier for that increment of time. And you can add multiple recency bid multipliers to create a stair-step effect.

When I was running Choozle campaigns for a luxury hotel brand, we would do a recency schedule like this:

    • After 1 day, bid 8x the base bid ($24)
    • After 2 days, bid 7x the base bid ($21)
    • After 3 days, bid 6x the base bid ($18)
    • After 7 days, bid 4x the base bid ($12)
    • After 14 days, bid 2x the base bid ($6)
    • After 30 days, bid 1x the base bid ($3)

This particular recency use strategy requires a really high max bid, but that max bid would only be used when a user had just visited the hotel’s website.
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HM: How do relevance and recency work together to develop a more precise targeting strategy?

JP: It’s all about bidding more competitively on eyeballs that are more likely to convert into purchases. Similar to bidding higher on a sitelist that’s proven to perform, bidding higher on recent visitors is an easy way to increase conversions and lower your CPA.
Using multiple recency bid modifiers is a way to supercharge your audience targeting tactics.


HM: Any final thoughts?

JP: Recency use is one of those tactics that flies under the radar a bit, but it can be highly effective when used properly.

Oh, and if anyone has any tips on how to get my rose blooms to grow bigger, please send them my way!

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About The Author

Hannah Middleton is the Content Manager at Choozle, where she writes about how to get the most out of self-serve programmatic advertising tools. She’s on Team Oxford Comma.