Retargeting (also known as remarketing by Google, or resmessaging), involves targeting your online ads towards people who have already had some interaction with your brand or at least, with your industry.
Site retargeting – This is where a person has visited your site, but did not convert. They will have had a cookie assigned to their browser, so that later on, when they are on other sites which support retargeting, you will have the option of bidding for them to see your ad.
Search retargeting – These searchers may never have been to your site, but instead have been searching for terms you consider relevant, and when they are on other sites which enable search retargeting, you have the option of displaying your ads to them.
Creative retargeting – These people have seen your ad, but not converted, so you try to engage them by showing them your ad more.
Google Adwords Remarketing is one of the easiest ways to undertake retargeting. It allows you to put remarketing tags on your website, and then display your ad to any visitors who didn’t convert, when they are browsing other sites in the Google Display Network. For a larger reach, you will want to work with Demand-Side platforms which let you reach many more publishers.
There are mixed feelings about cookies and, obviously, the web users and web marketers are on different sides of the fence. On the Web User side, there are worries concerning privacy when cookies are placed on your site, ‘tracking’ you as you move around the net. On the marketing side, let’s take a quote from Google;
“Without a cookie, the ads you see on the web are likely to be less relevant and diverse. It also may result in less profitable ads for your favourite websites,”
At the moment, many people allow cookies on their browser, and don’t necessarily change their cookie settings, because some cookies make our online experience better, and the behavioural marketing is not so ostentatious as to make it worth their while to turn it off. It is estimated that only 5-10% of people will tinker with their browser settings in this way.
However, Google among others are complying with regulator requests to provide an opt out for behavioural targeting cookies, allowing users to disable behavioural targeting in their browsers. With this ability, why aren’t the platform providers more worried about loss of this functionality to their advertisers? I guess they believe that not a huge proportion will be opting out, and anecdotal evidence supports that.