Retargeting vs Remarketing: What Works for Building Your Brand?


The digital marketing industry has been trying a lot of strategies over the years. Now, retargeting and remarketing emerge as effective means to build your brand, allowing you to reach more customers.

It can get a bit confusing because you may think remarketing is retargeting. In a sense, their meanings overlap, but they work for the same thing: conversion.

At Third Stage Marketing, one of the ways we help your business improve conversion is through PPC management. And paid ads fall under the retargeting approach.

The Retargeting Strategy

Retargeting is not a new concept, but it’s picking up steam as marketers see the benefits of reaching out to consumers who have already visited a website or seen an advertisement. This approach typically uses display ads to retarget site visitors.

Retargeting falls into two types: list-based and pixel-based.

Pixel-based retargeting functions to re-display your material to users who have left your website through a “cookie” left in their browsers. When he or she surfs the web again, your ad reappears to recapture his or her interest and convert the potential customer into a satisfied customer.

The upside to pixel-based approach is that it’s timely; also, it’s behavior-based and page-specific to your website. But it also requires a lot of time and effort to implement the JavaScript on multiple web pages.

List-based retargeting, on the other hand, uses your list of existing contacts to identify users on a social network or platform and display retargeting ads exclusively to them.

This strategy zeroes in on your advertising spend on people already familiar with your brand and have shown interest. It’s a powerful tool for branding and conversion optimization.

The Remarketing Strategy

When we talk about remarketing, it refers to email campaigns which can re-engage your customers in their inbox. These come in by emailing a customer after they forgot their shopping cart or added an item to their wish list.

It basically runs after your target market to remind them about their past or latest purchase history. For example, if your customer added a “favorite” among your items, or simply looked for one, remarketing works by sending an email right away.

A study by AgilOne titled “Marketing Personalization Preferences of Shoppers Worldwide” divided the most effective remarketing emails into three categories, which are:

  • Cart abandonment
  • Products on sale
  • VIP treatment

Customers don’t always follow the straight path to buying; distractions occur and you end up missing an opportunity. But with retargeting or remarketing, you have another chance to make that pitch or send a friendly reminder about your products and services.

So which one should you use? Ideally, you’ll want to use both approaches because ultimately they share the same goal: improve your conversion.

In summary, retargeting involves ads following a customer through different sites after they visit yours. Remarketing, on the other hand, reminds your users of the recent activities they had on your website – be it abandoned shopping carts or a list of items based on the one they just purchased. While these methods are great to use together, you should plan your efforts out carefully.

Don’t Lose Your Customers’ Trust

While retargeting and remarketing are generally harmless, some people may get overwhelmed by the number of ads they continuously see online. In a recent study by customer profile and identity management software provider Janrain, 41% of the respondents said that online advertisements are too aggressive. A fifth of the 1,079 Americans surveyed also said that they understood how effective these ads are at appealing to their interests and needs, but they were still creeped out by them.

What’s worse is that people think that ads are infringing their privacy. A report by research firm Kantar Millward Brown showed that 69% of consumers think that advertising is intrusive. You don’t want to lose your customers’ trust, so you should tread carefully when applying both remarketing and retargeting to your campaign.

Hand in Hand

The way retargeting and remarketing can work hand in hand is actually by being apart. Use retargeting for your potential customers – those who are just browsing. If they do get back to your site and make a conversion, like buy a product or make an inquiry, that’s when you lay off the retargeting and do more remarketing.

If that same customer hasn’t made any efforts to convert in months, retarget them again. Doing so ensures your audience doesn’t get bombarded by constant alerts from your business. In turn, you’ll likely have more loyal ones because you respected their boundaries. Mindful marketing will always pay off in the end.

Maximize Opportunities

If you’re partial to retargeting, we can help with our PPC management. You can count on our team to be on top of everything. We’ll identify issues that may be getting in the way of your business’s progress. From keyword research to analysis and feedback, we’ll handle every aspect of your PPC campaign.

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