Remarketing, Retargeting or whatever you call it

‘Remarketing’ is the use of display online advertising (usually banner ads or any kind of visual ad placement – Facebook ads are included in display advertising) to re-market to, or re-target, people who have already visited your website.

Like all things in the digital media space, Remarketing has a few different names. They all mean the same thing, it just depends on how long you’ve been around as to which term you use.

‘Retargeting’ was a media advertising tactic I used back in my White Agency days (2005-06), so its been around a long time. It was less sophisticated then, but equally effective.

The reason reMarketing/ retargeting is recommended, is because you’re talking to a known or warm audience.

  • You know that they have visited your website within the last 30 days (recommended) or 90 days (what most systems will allow).
  • Depending on how you set up your audience segments, you can know which page/ section of the website they visited. So if someone visited your donation page or product shop but didn’t buy, you can try to reactivate them with a very personal message.
  • You are not wasting any money with a scattergun approach. You’re talking to people who have already shown interest.
  • You can control how many times they see your ad (the frequency) so as to increase their likelihood to click/ act or so as not to annoy them.
  • And its incredibly cheap.

All of this usually means:

  • you get a higher ad interaction/ click through rate (0.3% instead of the banner ad average of 0.04%)
  • you get a better click to conversion rate
  • you get a lower cost per acquisition
  • you get a more qualified lead.

How does this re-marketing happen?

Remarketing user journey flow

When remarketing, this is the online user journey

Well – you’ve probably heard of cookies, right?

When a person visits your website, a cookie or tracking code is added to their browser.

So if they use Chrome as their browser when they visited your website, the remarketing code will be added to this.

This remarketing code can identify what country and city they are in so you can choose to target all visitors or just Australian visitors. It depends on your objective.

Then when that person is browsing the internet and reading content on any website that is part of the remarketing network (Google display network is one, Adroll is another etc), your ad can be re-targeted to them.

You can choose how many times they see the ad, or they can see a sequence of different ads.

Okay, so what is a remarketing network?

With advertising, you are buying the space and someone is selling it.

To implement a remarketing strategy, you need to use an online advertising platform that has this capability.

A remarketing network or platform have the retargeting technology and ability to sell the advertising space.

Normal display advertising networks use an ad server to push out an advertisers banner ad.

A remarketing network has additional technology that not only pushes out the banner ads, but also matches who sees the banner ads with people who have visited your website.

Most online advertising networks are blind. That means that you don’t know what websites they have in their network. They’ll usually promote the big websites that are well known, but most networks have hundreds of thousands or millions of websites in their network. Their reach is very wide and there is often a lot of cross over between networks.

The Google content network is the easiest to use because it integrates with Google Analytics (which most of you probably already have on your website) to put the remarketing code on your website and put the cookie on your website visitors browser.

Adroll is the remarketing platform that I recommend to my clients because they have a Co-Op pool that you as an advertiser can opt in to. But I won’t go into that now.

And yes, Facebook is included in almost every network. Because of Facebooks huge audience and repeat visitation, often the majority of your remarketing impressions and budget will be spent in Facebook.

Display remarketing

Display remarketing, process flow

When should I include remarketing in my digital strategy?

Acquisition/ conversion

If you’re using digital channels for any type of acquisition – whether its a lead capture, a download, a sale or a donation, then I strongly recommend including remarketing. It is especially good at converting people who showed interest or intent to complete your acquisition, but didn’t for whatever reason.

Traffic generation

If you’re using online advertising to drive traffic to your website, then I would use remarketing to bring people back. It is a good, low-cost tactic. I’m assuming that repeat visitation is important to your website success.

Brand awareness building

Brand awareness is all about reach and frequency. Getting the largest number of people within your target market to see your ad enough times that they can recall it.

Remarketing will only work in the instance that a person has already clicked on some other advertising and visited your website.

It allows you to keep reminding them of your brand.

Display advertising

If you’re already using display advertising as part of your marketing mix. Remarketing is a natural addition for all of the above reason and because you already have a bunch of banner ad creative you can use.