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March 2014

Understanding The Difference Between Retargeting & Remarketing

By | Pay Per Click, Retargeting | No Comments

So you just finished visiting that Sporting Goods store online over your lunch break, and like magic, that very same set of irons you looked at is appearing all over the internet. It’s like someone knows that you were looking at those golf clubs and wants to remind you that hey, breaking par on the local course is possible if you just have the right equipment. So, you click on an ad. And what do you get? If the retailer is smart, you get a unique landing page touting not only that sweet set of irons, but a complimentary driver at a 10% discount along with free delivery. Nearly impossible to resist.

That, my friends, is retargeting. Sweet isn’t it?

Sometimes it’s not that complex. Lazy marketers will target anyone that visits any page on their site, and follow them around with generic branding messages. Outsourced digital marketing professionals, though, will carefully craft these based on what you saw and what you did or didn’t do, its borderline genius. But what is it really?

In its essence, its pixel tracking. A retargeting pixel is placed on a certain page, a certain section or everywhere on a website. Anyone that visits the pages with the pixel get added to an audience (the group of people who visited that page, section or site). They get cookied, and as they wander around the web looking at whatever it is they look at, they are shown ads specific to the pages that were visited. The size of the audience is important – the larger the pool, the greater the chance that someone will re-engage. Pretty simple.

Which brings us to remarketing.

It’s the same thing really. Google has branded their form of retargeting as “remarketing”. We’ve actually heard people arguing over what the differences are. Think of retargeting as a generic concept, and remarketing as Google’s application of that concept. It’s simply a branding tactic by the Big G, which also includes some network-specific intricacies.

Regardless of what you call it, re-acquiring key prospects who have NOT converted into a lead or a sale is an important digital marketing tactic. Many business owners and marketing decision makers don’t realize that you can even retarget your traffic while they are on Facebook, with sponsored stories or item-specific ads. It’s a critical component for advertisers with longer than average sales cycles. If the purchase cycle requires education and moving a prospect systematically along multiple touch points, retargeting is crucial. It’s also fantastic for e-commerce publishers who want to help minimize fallout from their checkout process.

(UPDATE 1/3/2016): Google offers video remarketing, the ability to remarket straight to someone’s gmail address and many other advanced options.

If your business is running a paid ad campaign and doesn’t have this component in place, you’re missing out on increased ROI. Creative costs are a factor, but as the old saying goes…it doesn’t take a lot to do a lot. A little know-how and a small slate of page-specific display ads can add prospects to your funnel and customers to your database. It’s one of our keys to a successful PPC campaign that is a must for your sales arsenal. If you’re ready to harness this fantastic tool, give us a call or drop us a line today!