Retargeting vs. Remarketing – The Low-down

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Display advertising is everywhere we look these days. And there has been no better time to get involved. Despite the potential benefits for your business, it can be a confusing business. This is partly because it is relatively new, and partly because it can take on many forms. Below, we’ve served up three examples of display advertising, as an entrée to the wonderful dish that is product retargeting.

The Distinction

Sure, you may have heard the terms ‘remarketing’ and ‘retargeting’ - but what do they mean? What does it mean to say that you’re ‘retargeting’ somebody? And how would you even go about it?
Often interchangeable, both terms typically refer to the use of cookies for advertising. You display adverts to people who have, in one way or another, expressed interest in your offering.


We traditionally used this as a catch-all term for getting back in touch with potential customers. Now, Google AdWords uses the term to describe its retargeting service.


Ok, so, Google’s word for retargeting is ‘remarketing’. Simple enough. But what is retargeting anyway? Ultimately, all forms involve collection of users’ information, and its use for advertising.

Site Retargeting is the first example. Currently the most widely employed technique, this is potentially the one we’ve all witnessed the most as web users. This method attaches cookies to the browsers of your web visitors. These can then be used to target individuals, displaying adverts for your products as they search other websites. You can choose either to attach cookies to all visitors, or just those who show interest in a specific web page.

Next, we have Search Retargeting. Unlike Site Retargeting, these web users don’t even need to visit your website for you to target them with your marketing. Instead, they only need to make relevant searches on a search engine. You can then display your adverts to people who have searched for your product, service or company by name, or even just related keywords. Theoretically, these searches indicate that your offering is relevant to them - they just haven’t found your site yet. You pick the keywords you feel are most relevant, so your adverts aren’t wasted.

The final example we have for you is Product Retargeting. Here, you hone in on users who have viewed a specific product on your site, but not made a purchase. This will then retarget those individuals with adverts for the product. The hope is that they will then reconsider its purchase.

In summary, when we retarget someone, we get back in touch with them. In the world of display advertising, this means we advertise our products to them when they are surfing the web. We cookie their browser when they express an interest, and show them adverts for our products at a later stage.

Hopefully now you feel better acquainted with the world of retargeting, and ready to consider how it may or may not be of use to your business. If you want any more information, examples or advice, we’re always happy to chat.

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