Posted: 07 Aug 2023 Contributor: Ghia Marnewick
Retargeting and Remarketing: Exploring the Differences, Benefits and Strategy
The paid media market encompasses various forms of advertising that organizations pay for to promote their products or services. The size and value of this market are substantial and continue to grow.
According to a report by Statista, global digital advertising spending is projected to reach $495 billion in 2024, indicating the significance of paid media in the digital landscape.
Within the digital advertising realm, search advertising holds a considerable share, with eMarketer forecasting global search ad spending to reach $157 billion in 2023. These statistics highlight the considerable size and value of the paid media market, reflecting the ongoing investments by businesses to reach and engage with their target audiences through paid advertising channels.
The Confusion Between Retargeting and Remarketing
The confusion between retargeting and remarketing exists primarily because the terms are often used interchangeably, leading to a lack of clarity regarding their distinct meanings and applications.
Here are a few ways in which they are confused:
- Terminology Interchangeability: Retargeting and remarketing are often used interchangeably, causing confusion. Some marketers use the term "retargeting" to refer to both strategies, while others use "remarketing" for both. This inconsistency in terminology leads to misunderstanding and blurs the lines between the two concepts.
- Audience Definition: Retargeting typically involves targeting users who have previously interacted with a brand or visited a specific website or landing page. Remarketing, on the other hand, refers to reconnecting with existing customers or prospects through email or other channels. The confusion arises when the distinction between targeting past website visitors (retargeting) and targeting existing customers (remarketing) is not clearly understood.
- Channel Variation: Retargeting often occurs through display ads or social media platforms, where ads are served to users who have previously visited a website. Remarketing, on the other hand, frequently takes place through email marketing, where tailored messages are sent to existing customers. The confusion arises when the specific channels and methods used for each strategy are not clearly distinguished.
- Objective Misinterpretation: Retargeting aims to re-engage users who may have shown interest but did not convert, with the goal of bringing them back to complete a desired action. Remarketing, on the other hand, focuses on nurturing existing customers, encouraging repeat purchases, and building brand loyalty. The objectives of these strategies differ, and confusion arises when they are mistakenly assumed to be the same.
What Is Retargeting?
Retargeting is a digital advertising strategy that involves targeting users who have previously interacted with a brand or visited a specific website or landing page. It aims to re-engage these users and bring them back into the conversion funnel to complete a desired action, such as making a purchase, filling out a form, or signing up for a newsletter.
Retargeting works by placing a small piece of code, often called a pixel, on a website. This pixel tracks users' activities and anonymously collects data about their browsing behavior. Based on this data, targeted ads can be displayed to these users as they navigate other websites or social media platforms.
The key principle behind retargeting is to stay top-of-mind with potential customers who have already shown an interest in a brand or its products/services. By displaying relevant and personalized ads to these users, retargeting aims to remind and persuade them to return, complete a desired action, and ultimately increase conversion rates.
Retargeting campaigns can be executed through various digital advertising channels, including display ads, social media platforms, and search engine ads. By re-engaging users who have previously shown interest, retargeting can be a powerful strategy to boost brand awareness, drive conversions, and improve overall marketing ROI.
Examples of Retargeting:
- E-commerce: Displaying ads featuring previously viewed products to encourage users to make a purchase.
- Abandoned Carts: Reminding users about items left in their shopping carts and enticing them to complete the purchase.
- Content Engagement: Targeting users who have shown interest in specific content with related ads or offers.
- Cross-Selling and Upselling: Showing ads for complementary or upgraded products to existing customers.
Benefits of Retargeting:
- Increased Conversions: Retargeting keeps a brand or product in front of potential customers, increasing the likelihood of conversion.
- Enhanced Brand Awareness: Consistent exposure to targeted ads helps improve brand recall and recognition.
- Personalization: Retargeting allows for personalized ad messaging and offers based on user behavior and interests.
- Cost-Effectiveness: Compared to other advertising strategies, retargeting can offer a higher return on investment by focusing on engaged users.
Types of Retargeting:
- Site Retargeting: Displaying ads to users who have visited a specific website or landing page.
- Search Retargeting: Targeting users based on the search terms they entered on search engines.
- Email Retargeting: Sending personalized emails to users based on their previous interactions with the brand.
- Social Media Retargeting: Showing ads on social media platforms to users who have engaged with the brand's website or content.
- Segment-Based Retargeting: Create custom segments based on user behavior and tailor ads accordingly.
- Dynamic Product Retargeting: Display ads showcasing specific products or services users have shown interest in.
- Time-Based Retargeting: Adjust the retargeting campaign based on the time elapsed since the user's last interaction.
- Frequency Capping: Limit the number of times an ad is shown to prevent overexposure and ad fatigue.
What Is Remarketing?
Remarketing is a marketing strategy that involves reconnecting with existing customers or prospects who have previously interacted with a brand but have not completed a desired action. It aims to re-engage these individuals through targeted messaging and personalized advertising to encourage them to make a purchase, revisit a website, or take another desired action.
Remarketing typically involves utilizing customer contact information, such as email addresses or phone numbers, to reach out to individuals directly. It can take various forms, including email marketing campaigns, personalized offers, and tailored content delivered through multiple channels.
The primary objective of remarketing is to nurture existing relationships, foster repeat business, and increase customer loyalty. By staying connected with past customers or prospects who have expressed interest in a brand, remarketing seeks to build ongoing engagement and drive conversions.
Remarketing campaigns often leverage customer segmentation and personalized messaging to deliver relevant and targeted communications. By understanding customers' preferences, behaviors, and past interactions, marketers can tailor their remarketing efforts to maximize the impact and relevance of their messaging.
Examples of Remarketing:
- Cart Abandonment: Sending personalized emails to users who added items to their shopping carts but did not complete the purchase, offering incentives to encourage them to return and complete the transaction.
- Cross-Selling: Recommending related products or services to existing customers based on their past purchases or browsing history.
- Loyalty Programs: Offering exclusive discounts or rewards to existing customers to incentivize repeat purchases and build loyalty.
- Upselling: Presenting upgraded or premium options to customers based on their previous purchase history.
Benefits of Remarketing:
- Increased Conversions: Remarketing keeps a brand top-of-mind, reminding customers to complete desired actions and increasing the chances of conversion.
- Improved Customer Engagement: By delivering personalized and relevant messages, remarketing strengthens customer engagement and loyalty.
- Enhanced ROI: Remarketing focuses on existing customers or engaged prospects, making it a cost-effective strategy with higher conversion rates.
- Customer Segmentation: Remarketing allows for targeted messaging based on customer segments, ensuring tailored and relevant communications.
Types of Remarketing:
- Email Remarketing: Sending personalized emails to customers based on their interactions, such as abandoned carts, past purchases, or specific behaviors.
- Dynamic Remarketing: Displaying personalized ads featuring products or services that customers have previously viewed or shown interest in.
- Social Media Remarketing: Serving ads to users on social media platforms who have engaged with a brand's website or content.
- Video Remarketing: Targeting users who have interacted with a brand's videos or YouTube channel with related video ads.
- Personalization: Tailor messaging and offers based on customer behavior, interests, or preferences to increase relevancy and engagement.
- Frequency Control: Set limits on the number of times an ad is shown to avoid overexposure and ad fatigue.
- Cross-Channel Integration: Coordinate remarketing efforts across multiple channels, such as email, display ads, and social media, for a cohesive and consistent customer experience.
- Campaign Optimization: Continuously monitor and analyze remarketing campaigns to refine targeting, messaging, and conversion strategies.
Retargeting Vs Remarketing: Which Do You Need and When to Use?
Retargeting and remarketing are closely related strategies, but they have distinct focuses and applications. Understanding their differences can help determine which approach is appropriate for your specific paid marketing goals. Here's a comparison to guide you:
- Focus: Reconnecting with users who have previously interacted with a brand's website or specific landing pages.
- Application: Targeting users who have shown interest but did not convert, with the aim of bringing them back into the conversion funnel to complete a desired action.
- Method: Displaying targeted ads to users as they browse other websites or social media platforms.
- Example: Showing ads for previously viewed products to encourage users to make a purchase.
- Focus: Reconnecting with existing customers or prospects through personalized messaging and advertising.
- Application: Nurturing relationships with customers, driving repeat purchases, and building brand loyalty.
- Method: Leveraging customer contact information, such as email addresses or phone numbers, to reach out directly through email campaigns or other channels.
- Example: Sending personalized emails with special offers to previous customers to encourage repeat purchases.
When to Use Retargeting:
- When you want to re-engage users who have shown interest in your brand or products/services but did not convert.
- When you aim to bring users back to complete a desired action, such as making a purchase or filling out a form.
- When you want to leverage targeted ads to stay top-of-mind with potential customers who have engaged with your website.
When to Use Remarketing:
- When you want to nurture existing customer relationships and encourage repeat purchases.
- When you have a customer database or contact information that allows for personalized communication.
- When you aim to deliver tailored messages and offers directly to specific customers or segments.
Ultimately, the choice between retargeting and remarketing depends on your specific marketing objectives and the stage of the customer journey you want to focus on. Retargeting is effective for re-engaging users who have shown interest but haven't converted, while remarketing is ideal for nurturing existing customer relationships and encouraging repeat business. In some cases, combining both strategies can yield comprehensive and effective results by targeting users at different stages of the customer lifecycle.
Tips For Retargeting and Remarketing
Here are some tips for implementing successful retargeting and remarketing campaigns:
- Define Clear Goals: Clearly define your objectives for retargeting or remarketing campaigns. Whether it's increasing conversions, driving repeat purchases, or boosting brand awareness, having clear goals will guide your strategies and measurements of success.
- Segment Your Audience: Segment your audience based on their behaviors, interests, or purchase history. This allows you to deliver more personalized and targeted messages or ads, increasing the chances of engagement and conversion.
- Use Engaging Creatives: Create visually appealing and attention-grabbing ads or email templates that align with your brand and resonate with your audience. Compelling visuals and copy can make a significant difference in capturing users' attention and driving them to act.
- Frequency Capping: Set limits on the number of times a user sees your ads to avoid overexposure and ad fatigue. This ensures that your messaging remains fresh and relevant, preventing users from becoming annoyed or disinterested.
- Test Different Ad Formats: Experiment with various ad formats, including static images, dynamic ads, video ads, or carousel ads, to see which ones resonate best with your audience. Test different creatives, messaging, and calls-to-action to optimize performance.
- Customize Landing Pages: Ensure that the landing pages users are directed to after clicking on your ads are relevant and aligned with the messaging and offers in your ads. Customized landing pages can significantly improve conversion rates by providing a seamless user experience.
- Utilize Dynamic Remarketing: For e-commerce businesses, consider implementing dynamic remarketing to show users personalized ads featuring products they have viewed or added to their carts. Dynamic ads increase relevancy and can significantly impact conversion rates.
- Monitor and Optimize: Regularly monitor the performance of your retargeting and remarketing campaigns. Analyze key metrics such as click-through rates, conversion rates, and ROI. Use this data to make informed adjustments to your targeting, messaging, or ad placements for better results.
- Compliance with Privacy Regulations: Ensure that you’re retargeting and remarketing efforts comply with privacy regulations and obtain user consent when necessary. Respect users' preferences and provide transparent information about data collection and usage.
- Test and Iterate: Continuously test different strategies, messaging variations, and audience segments to identify what works best for your business. Retargeting and remarketing campaigns can benefit from ongoing optimization and refinement.
Retargeting and remarketing are powerful strategies that can significantly impact your marketing efforts. Retargeting focuses on re-engaging users who have shown interest but haven't converted, while remarketing aims to nurture existing customer relationships and encourage repeat business.
By segmenting your audience, using engaging creatives, and personalizing your messaging, you can maximize the effectiveness of both approaches. It is essential to set clear goals, monitor performance, and optimize your campaigns continuously. The key lies in delivering relevant and timely ads or messages to the right audience at the right stage of the customer journey.
By implementing these tips, you can increase conversions, enhance customer engagement, and drive long-term loyalty. Remember, retargeting and remarketing should complement your overall marketing strategy and be aligned with privacy regulations and user preferences.