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What is Retargeting and Remarketing?

By 8th May 2019 No Comments

8th May 2019

What is Retargeting and Remarketing?

Hannah Horton Digital Campaign Manager at Edson Evers

Hannah Horton

Over the past couple of years, I’ve witnessed the terms “retargeting” and “remarketing” being used more and more frequently than ever before. I’ve also noticed that there appears to be quite the confusion about what they mean.

Some people think remarketing is purely via email, while others believe remarketing is purely advertising based. Contrary to this, some argue only retargeting is advertising based, and remarketing is marketing to people who’ve interacted with your business via any marketing channel, not just ads. Then there are those who think retargeting and remarketing can only be implemented via specialist programmatic agencies.

So, I’m here to try and quash the confusion and dive into what remarketing, and retargeting is, and I’ll talk a little about programmatic too…

What’s the difference between remarketing and retargeting?

Retargeting is a strategy of remarketing, but it is purely based on targeting online advertisements to people who have interacted with your website.

Re-targeting works by using a snippet of code, which is placed on your website to track when a user visits your website and then serve and advertisement on channels across the web. It tracks users by placing a cookie in their browser. For example, if you visit a website that sells smart technology and then see advertisements for smart technology on your Facebook or Instagram, this is done via retargeting.

Re-marketing, however, goes beyond advertisements, it is any marketing activity where you interact with a business and you then receive another form of marketing communication from them.

Here’s an example of remarketing; let’s say you go into a store and sign-up to a reward scheme, then you get sent a newsletter in the post with your reward points and other offers you may be interested in – remarketing.

If you enter a competition and then get contacted to say you haven’t won, but would you like to be informed when they next run a competition – remarketing.

When you sign-up for an online account on an ecommerce website and abandon your shopping cart and then get an email about it – remarketing.

Most of us follow at least one brand on social media, once we’ve followed them and then see posts from them – remarketing. We’re talking organic posts here though, not social media ads, if you’re seeing content from a brand on social media whom you don’t follow, but who’s website you’ve visited, then that would be retargeting.

I could go on and on with examples, but you’ve probably got the gist by now.

It is important to note, that when considering re-marketing or re-targeting, GDPR should be a consideration. I won’t go into GDPR in any more detail within this though, or it will become more like a book than a blog post.

Re-marketing isn’t new and neither is re-targeting. It has just become widely available, with the likes of social media platforms and email platforms launching remarketing and retargeting services over the past five-years, therefore forming part of more conversations. However, both are activities that have been implemented as part of people’s marketing strategies for at least two decades.

So how does programmatic advertising come into this exactly? Well like retargeting and remarketing, there seems to be a lot of confusion around what programmatic advertisements are. Programmatic advertising is defined as the automated buying and selling of ad space and is done via cookie tracking. Therefore, as retargeting is done via cookie tracking and uses platforms, such as the Facebook ads network and Google ads network, who allow ad space to be bought and sold, I felt it important to touch on this.

Google ads and Facebook ads are machines that launch and run ad campaigns for you based upon your setup specifications. They can automatically bid for you, they can run A/B tests for you if you’d like them to. If you select to serve ads to their partner websites, they will manage this placement process for you and they can run dynamic ads for you.

Nevertheless, programmatic goes far beyond the Google ads and Facebook networks, there are many hugely popular programmatic advertising platforms and tools that have millions more ad networks within them, including AdRoll. However, as they do have a huge amount of ad networks, AI predictions and billions of personalisation profiles, pricing options tend to start from around a minimum of $1000 per month, so around £765 GBP per month at the current exchange rate. So, if you’re a small company or you’re working with small budgets you may be best sticking to Google ads or Facebook ads.

Interested in working with an agency that can deliver effective Google and Social ads for you? Contact us today.

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