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What is Retargeting and How Does it Work?

Retargeting is a form of online advertising that allows advertisers to target people who have already interacted with their brand or visited their website. Retargeting works by tracking user behavior and displaying relevant ads to users as they browse the internet, encouraging them to return to the advertiser’s website and take further action. Since retargeting is a form of online advertising that targets users based on their previous behavior across the internet, it’s also known as behavioral retargeting.

How does retargeting work?

Retargeting works by using tracking technology, typically achieved through the use of cookies, which are small text files stored on a user’s computer that allow advertisers to track user behavior. When a user visits an advertiser’s website, a cookie is stored on their computer, allowing the advertiser to track the user’s subsequent browsing behavior and display relevant ads.

Here’s a basic overview of how retargeting works:

  1. A user visits a brand’s website or interacts with the brand’s online content, such as viewing a video or clicking on an ad.
  2. The brand drops a retargeting cookie onto the user’s device, which allows the brand to track the user’s behavior across the internet.
  3. The user leaves the brand’s website and continues browsing other websites or social media platforms.
  4. The brand uses the data collected from the retargeting cookie to serve the user with relevant ads on other websites or social media platforms. For example, if a user viewed a product on the brand’s website, the brand might serve them with ads for that product or related products on other websites they visit.
  5. The user clicks on the retargeted ad and returns to the brand’s website to make a purchase or take another desired action.

Types of retargeting, each with its own specific use case:

  1. Site Retargeting: Site retargeting targets users who have visited an advertiser’s website, displaying relevant ads to these users as they browse the internet.
  2. Search Retargeting: Search retargeting targets users who have searched for specific keywords related to an advertiser’s product or service, displaying relevant ads to these users as they browse the internet.
  3. Email Retargeting: Email retargeting targets users who have opened or clicked on an advertiser’s email, displaying relevant ads to these users as they browse the internet.
  4. Social Media Retargeting: Social media retargeting targets users who have engaged with an advertiser’s social media content, displaying relevant ads to these users as they browse social media platforms.

Retargeting vs Remarketing: What’s the difference?

Retargeting and remarketing are two terms that are often used interchangeably in digital marketing. However, they do have slightly different meanings.

In essence, retargeting is a specific form of remarketing that focuses on delivering targeted ads, while remarketing is a more general term that can refer to a variety of tactics for engaging with people who have already shown an interest in your brand.

What remarketing audiences cannot be defined by default?

By default, remarketing audiences can be defined based on a variety of user interactions, such as website visits, app activity, and email engagement. However, there are certain audiences that cannot be defined by default, including:

  1. Lookalike audiences: Lookalike audiences are created based on the characteristics of your existing customers or website visitors. However, these audiences cannot be defined by default, as they require additional data analysis and modeling to create.
  2. Custom audiences: Custom audiences are created based on specific criteria that you define, such as people who have made a purchase within the past 30 days or people who have abandoned their shopping cart. These audiences cannot be defined by default, as they require you to set up the necessary tracking and targeting parameters.
  3. Engagement audiences: Engagement audiences are created based on specific interactions that users have had with your brand, such as watching a video or filling out a form. These audiences cannot be defined by default, as they require you to set up the necessary tracking and targeting parameters.

In general, any remarketing audience that requires additional data analysis, tracking, or targeting criteria cannot be defined by default. However, with the right tools and expertise, it is possible to create highly targeted and effective remarketing audiences based on a wide range of user interactions and behaviors.

What asset is used to build a remarketing list?

In order to build a remarketing list, you need to have some way of identifying the people who have interacted with your brand or visited your website. There are several assets that can be used to build a remarketing list, including:

  1. Website traffic: One of the most common ways to build a remarketing list is to track website visitors using a tracking code or cookie. This allows you to target ads to people who have already visited your site, with the goal of bringing them back for a repeat visit or conversion.
  2. Customer lists: If you have a list of existing customers, you can use this to build a remarketing list. This could include email addresses or phone numbers, which can be uploaded to an advertising platform and matched to user profiles.
  3. App activity: If you have a mobile app, you can track user activity within the app to build a remarketing list. This allows you to target ads to people who have already installed your app or taken certain actions within it.
  4. Social media engagement: If you have a social media presence, you can build a remarketing list based on people who have engaged with your posts or visited your profile.

Overall, the key to building a successful remarketing list is to identify the assets that are most relevant to your business and your audience, and to use them in a way that provides value to both you and your customers.

What should advertisers and CMOs know about retargeting in digital marketing?

Retargeting is particularly important for advertisers and chief marketing officers (CMOs) because it allows them to reach potential customers who have already shown an interest in their brand. By targeting users who have already interacted with their website, advertisers can increase the likelihood of conversions and sales, as these users are already familiar with the brand and may be more likely to take further action.

  1. It’s an effective marketing strategy: Retargeting is particularly effective when used in conjunction with other digital marketing strategies, such as search engine marketing, social media advertising, and content marketing. By combining these strategies, advertisers can create a comprehensive digital marketing campaign that reaches potential customers at every stage of the buyer’s journey.
  2. It’s Cost-effective: In addition to its effectiveness as a marketing strategy, retargeting is also a cost-effective way for advertisers to reach potential customers. Because retargeting targets users who have already interacted with an advertiser’s brand, the cost per impression and cost per click are typically lower than other forms of online advertising.
  3. Be mindful of retargeting privacy policy: However, it’s important for advertisers and CMOs to be mindful of the potential privacy concerns associated with retargeting. Some users may be uncomfortable with the idea of their browsing behavior being tracked and used for advertising purposes. As such, it’s important for advertisers to be transparent about their use of retargeting and provide users with the option to opt out of retargeting.

Conclusion: Why is Retargeting effective?

Retargeting is a powerful marketing strategy that allows advertisers to reach potential customers who have already interacted with their brand. By displaying relevant ads to these users as they browse the internet, advertisers can increase the likelihood of conversions and sales, as well as increase brand awareness and engagement. When used in conjunction with other digital marketing strategies, retargeting can be a cost-effective way for advertisers to reach potential customers at every stage of the buyer’s journey. However, it’s important for advertisers and CMOs to be mindful of potential privacy concerns and provide users with the option to opt out of retargeting.