Remarketing? Retargeting? Why Not Both?

red_yellow-tomatoesA few months ago on our blog we discussed the differences between retargeting and remarketing. Up until now, these terms have been used interchangeably in the PPC industry. To-ma-to, to-mah-to, right? But what if we adapted a slightly new way of using them? Rather than being similar, why not give them a more literal definition?

Retargeting: the ability and execution of creating audience lists and serving ads to users via those lists.
Remarketing: the reframing or changing marketing message from one impression to another.

With these new classifications, retargeting and remarketing actually work together to accomplish the process. In the past we’ve written a bit about the different ways you can use retargeting lists to include, exclude, or expand your audiences, but that’s just one side of the coin. The flip side is how to effectively message to those audience members. Below are 3 common retargeting/remarketing strategies and the separate roles retargeting and remarketing play in them.

Segmenting Audience by Site Page

Retargeting: Let’s say you sell business planning software and you can support many different business verticals. If your site has a separate page for each vertical, you can (and most likely should) segment your audience into verticals based on those pages visited. You wouldn’t want to target users who own a car dealership the same as you would a pet shop. Some pieces may overlap, but in the end, it’s best for those business verticals to stay in their own lanes.

Remarketing: This one’s pretty easy. Now that you’ve got your audience segmented into business verticals, serve them ads tailored to their own vertical. Serve the pet shop owner pictures of animals, while the car dealer gets images of car. (Very rudimentary, but you get my point.) This will allow your ads to stand out around the web as well as solidify to the user that you support their vertical. It will also allow you to craft ad and landing page messaging that highlight different features of your software and how they directly apply to that vertical. Wins all around.

Give the Info Users Want

Retargeting: Similar to the strategy above, these audiences should be segmented by the type of information they were looking at on your site. For this section, start with the end in mind. What segments of your website lend themselves to customized ads? A few I’ve found that work well are customer reviews, pricing, and support. If your users view these pages specifically while on your site, you can assume they’re sensitive to these areas and they’ll play a role in the decision to purchase or seek a solution elsewhere. Tag these users differently to allow for individual targeting.

Remarketing: To continue the example above, let’s say someone visited your support section. This likely indicates that they have concerns that either your software or their technical skills will require them to reach out in the future. For these users, craft your ads and landing pages with that in mind. Let them know the level of support you provide and include any relevant reviews or customer comments that talk about how amazing you are at customer support. This need not be the only benefit you talk about, but it’s clearly important to your user, so it’s best you cover your bases.

Guiding Users Through the Conversion Funnel

The ultimate goal with a retargeting/remarketing strategy is to help users from awareness to action. While it would be wonderful if you could tag users on their first visit, craft amazing messaging, and have them convert on the second visit, that’s not always going to be the case. In reality, it may take many more visits before that user has made the decision to finally purchase. Here is where you may need to implement the strategies above in a cyclical fashion; drilling down further into user intent each time.

Retargeting: Segment audiences based on the business vertical pages they visited.

Remarketing: Craft messaging to fit that business vertical to bring users back to your site on a general, but well rounded landing page.

Retargeting: Investigate where the users went on your site after landing on the general landing page. Create new lists that combine business vertical as well as interest in customer reviews, pricing, or support.

Remarketing: Craft messaging and landing pages to continue business vertical themes and place emphasis on their area of interest (support, reviews, pricing).

Rinse and repeat continuing to give your users every chance to convert with each touch point, but making sure to give (and in some cases repeat) the information they’re telling you is most important to them.

What do you think? Do remarketing and retargeting have different roles to play or do you prefer them to be one and the same?

Comments (1)

  1. Everything you say is 100% correct. I think I will stick to calling both remarketing and then reframing. This will make it much easier to consume for clients and staff as it ties into sales speak.

    Ultimately though I suppose there will be lots more definitions as the pixel race heats up and new strategies are born.

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