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What’s the fuss over re-targeting?
Nov 10

This topic has been growing on me as I started to realize the benefits of it.  Many marketers have different ways to drive customers to a web site and ultimately make an online sales or submit an inquiry for a service.  Typically, they will us things such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), display marketing (online banners), Paid Search (Google AdWords or Bing) and perhaps some experiential marketing across social media channels.

Sadly, these channels tend to be operated in silos, with each of them having stand-alone metrics such as impressions, click-through-rates (CTR) and conversions. What if we could understand and leverage customer behavior from one channel to refine strategy and tactics on another channel. This is exactly what re-targeting is trying to address.

According to Wikipedia, ”Behavioral retargeting (also known as behavioral search retargeting, or simply, retargeting) is a form of online targeted advertising by which online advertising is delivered to consumers based on previous Internet actions that did not in the past result in a conversion”.


”Retargeting helps companies advertise to the 98% of people who visit a website but leave without converting. This is done by displaying ads to the prospect as they surf the internet via various ad networks that the agency buys media from on behalf of their Business Customers. Most likely a company has spent marketing dollars to get a customer to their site in the first place, so the term Retargeting is derived from the concept of marketing to them again, however in a different manner.”

Pretty powerful stuff. I was looking for case studies to demonstrate the effectiveness of re-targeting. In a e-commerce environment, a retailer has been able to achieve an increase of 22% in conversion rates (for return users). In a lead generation environment, a bank has been able to increase Click-Through-rate (CTR) by 22% on its display advertising.


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10 Responses to “What’s the fuss over re-targeting?”

  1. Stephan says:

    I was looking for a car recently and happen to en up on the Mazda website. Since then I have been slammed with Mazda ads from a variety of sites. The ads are dead on and have encuraged me to go back to the Mazda site at least 3 times as each retargeted banner better addreses my needs

  2. [...] a follow-up to my previous post on re-targeting, I was curious to explore what Google has to offer in its AdWords [...]

  3. Jason says:

    Stephan, this is a classic case of “ad bombardment”. It’s something that can be avoided when advertisers set frequency caps (which in this case they didn’t. Hopefully you received a promotion or discount at least!) Frequency caps limit the number of times their ads are displayed. It helps prevent advertisers from over-advertising, and annoying potential customers.

    As with any behavioral marketing campaign, it’s all about the approach. Here’s a great post on “what to do” and “what not to do” with a retargeting campaign.

  4. Katie Frothingham says:


    most people are, in fact, pixeled for retargeting while surfing the web. It is an extremely complicated process, however, most retargeting companies operate in real time.

    Watch this video to get a better idea of how retailers and marketers can use targeting.

  5. [...] }); }In a  previous post where we defined re-targeting, I addressed how re-targeting works and some of the benefits for [...]

  6. [...] Reading the article  “Retargeting Ads Follow Surfers to Other Sites” published in The New York Times, gave me a new insight to this topic. In my opinion, as both a student studying to be a marketer and a consumer, retargeting gives me a very unsettling feeling. I believe that if customers feel that their online browsing records are being tracked by companies, they will lose trust in that company. It seems to be an invasion of privacy as most people browsing the internet do it in the privacy of their own home or on a break from work at the office. Some marketers believe it may help customers convert to the desired action of purchasing a product instead of leaving their company’s site however, I feel that it will ultimately hurt the company’s image when the customers feel they are being, in a sense, followed. Although this sometimes may seem useful, consumers who are bombarded with ads for a specific product or service may become so annoyed that they no longer have the desire to purchase the product like they did before. Others however, have different opinions on the subject. Semvalet, a Search Engine Marketing Agency, believes that it is a positive tool. You can check out their blog about retargeting ads. [...]

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