Retargeting: An Introduction
Retargeting, also known as remarketing, is hot gossip in the online advertising world right now. But what is retargeting? How does it work and when should you use it?
What is retargeting?
Retargeting simply means targeting potential customers via the internet by presenting them with adverts based on prior behaviour and engagement. There are several forms of retargeting; search retargeting, CRM retargeting and email retargeting but the most popular form used is site-based retargeting.
Effective site-based retargeting presents your adverts to anyone who has visited your website after they’ve left. As your potential customer continues to surf other sites, your adverts follow them keeping your brand in front of them which with luck will bring them back to you.
How retargeting works
Your retargeter places a few lines of code into your website. This code places an anonymous browser cookie which stores any site visits which are made although no visitor’s personal information is retained. When the visitor leaves your site and visits another, the cookie informs your retargeter of this activity. Via an automated process which takes a fraction of a second to act, your retargeter will check to see if there is any available ad space on the newly visited site and if there is they will bid on that space in real time. If they are the highest bidder, ad space will be secured for your ad and it will appear alongside the page content in front of your bounced visitor.
Who benefits from retargeting?
It’s predominantly e-commerce companies who benefit from retargeting. For example, you land on ‘ComputersRus’ and look at a range of new laptops they have on offer, then you leave the site without placing an order. Next thing you know you’re seeing ComputersRus ads wherever you go on the web. Eventually, you decide that it's easier to take up their offer than spend hours searching for an alternative and thus they make a sale courtesy of their retargeting strategy.
Retargeting can be used in the ‘real’ world too. Higher education providers can use the technique to increase enrollment rates; entertainment brands could use retargeting to increase ticket conversion rates. The list is pretty all-encompassing.
Getting it right
In theory setting up and launching a retargeting campaign sounds pretty straightforward but it’s easy to make mistakes which could actually set you back. So before you get stuck into organising a campaign, be sure to do plenty of research and for your first foray into the brave new world of retargeting consider using a professional and experienced provider to make sure your first experience is a good one.