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Paul Medina

August 28, 2020


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Retargeting vs Remarketing: How to Prioritise Your Ad Strategies

A tiny percentage of consumers will purchase during their first visit to a website. In most cases, they tend to browse, add to cart, and then leave due to distraction, or to take more time to ponder their purchase.

This purchase hesitation is normal consumer behaviour, and it gives marketing teams a chance to flex their remarketing and retargeting skills. While these two tactics sound the same, trust us, they are very different. 

The Differences Between Retargeting and Remarketing

Remarketing is a re-engagement tactic that relies heavily on the practice of email marketing and PPC ads. Emails go out using information from the point of sale system, triggered by actions that consumers take on a brand website.

For example, if a visitor leaves an item in their cart or favourites a product and adds it to their website wish list, it’s common for a business to send out a follow-up marketing email. Remarketing is effective because emails have an incredibly broad reach.

Once purchase prospects leave a site, it’s usually quite easy to get back in touch with them via remarketing. 

Retargeting is a little bit more involved and consists of implementing display or online ad campaigns to target users who have already interacted with the brands’ website in some way. Retargeting differs from remarketing when it comes to methods of re-engagement.

Remarketing relies on email contact while retargeting focuses on ad campaigns. However, they have the same purpose; attract customers who have already visited a website and left without making a purchase. Remarketing is localised, coming directly from the brand, while retargeting uses outside sources such as social media ads, to bring consumers back in.

remarketing and retargeting

Weighing the Costs of Retargeting and Remarketing

Retargeting and remarketing differ when it comes to cost. Remarketing tends to fall on the inexpensive side, depending on the size of your campaign, because consumer targeting is on point.

There isn’t much guessing that goes into remarketing, resulting in a lower cost per impression, as well as cost-effective branding. Conversion rates are better, along with an improved ROI. 

Retargeting is a bit more complicated, running CPC ads and utilising the use of cookies within the users’ browser. Retargeting campaigns track the user, showing them brand ads as they navigate the internet, increasing the chance that they’ll return to purchase.

Also, retargeting has the potential to reach users that haven’t visited a specific site but have used search terms similar to those used in the retargeting campaign. No matter what the scale of a business, it will be able to implement either one of these ad strategies successfully.

Which Strategy to Prioritise

As always, businesses must do what works for them. There is no right way, but even a quick overview of each tactic will leave marketing teams and business owners with a good idea of the direction they want to head. Remarketing is a fantastic place to start.

In short, when focusing on a remarketing campaign, we’re not chasing consumers that got away. With remarketing, we’re taking precise steps in bringing back customers that engaged in our sites and then left and clients who have already made a purchase.

Technically, retargeting has a greater reach, but it’s something that could be expanded upon as remarketing ad campaigns launch.

Smart Spending

Going about launching a remarketing campaign without a plan can drain budgets and frustrate business owners. Remarketing requires smart spending, and retargeting is a massive part of that. However, finding the right place to start is essential to the success of the campaign as a whole.

Remarketing doesn’t cost as much as retargeting and delivers precise results regarding consumer demographic. They’ve already initiated engagement, so it’s time to encourage them to finish what they’ve started.

Budgeting Time

Remarketing will give campaigns the brand power and strength they need to retarget successfully while taking less time than outlining and executing a retargeting campaign. Any business will find great success with each of these ad strategies when implemented professionally and correctly.

These strategies do not boast stark differences, and in the end, they play well off of each other. It’s all a matter of prioritising and budgeting both money and time. Start with remarketing, put an email campaign into effect, and go from there.

No Right or Wrong Choice

There isn’t a blueprint for putting a remarketing plan into effect. While there are tried and true methods that work, there isn’t one specific plan that works for every business.

When it comes to retargeting vs. remarketing, business owners must weight the cost and time spent before choosing which path to take first.

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