Retargeting 101: The Basics of Consumer Capture

How do you reach the elusive online consumer, the person clicking around the web in search of product deals and specific services? In recent years, advertisers have developed innovative methods to capture consumer attention and subsequent sales. One of the most popular ways is through ad retargeting.

What is retargeted advertising?

Retargeting is a type of recurring advertising that follows (or ‘retargets’) online consumers as they click their way around the web in a given session. Marketers create this with a retargeting agency by placing a small bit of code (or pixel) on their website. When a new web visitor visits the site, this code shares a web cookie on the user’s browser. It then follows the user around in the browsing session, showing relevant advertising to that user about your products and services.

You’ve seen these ads, I’m sure. You’re clicking around for a new 4K TV or a new washer/dryer unit, and then over the next few hours/days, you see in-stream ads and in-content ads for other TVs or washer/dryers on other sites that are retargeting you. It’s a solid technology that targets web visitors who have visited your site earlier.

How it works

Goals differ in any advertising campaign, but many advertisers use online ads to introduce (or boost) reputation, draw web traffic, sign up a few email subscribers and drop a cookie or two into the browser. It’s in this second stage of retargeting that marketers remind web users to come back to the offer or page they had visited earlier. It’s become a very effective form of web advertising.

Benefits of retargeted ads

Retargeted ads have been very effective in helping to convert top of funnel customers who are visiting your site for the first time. Only 2% of consumers convert on their first visits to sites, but using retargeted ads and touching the consumer on subsequent web browsing can help recapture the other 98% to conversions.

For retailers, retargeting is a huge benefit. How many times have you either had items in an online shopping cart and ‘abandoned’ your order, for any reason? It happens a lot. I know I have done this, due to the dog barking, second-guessing the item, or just having to leave the session. Some studies show that anywhere from 60%-80% of online shoppers abandon an order at some point. Retargeted ads can be customized to remind shoppers of their interest in a product, and completing the order, and adding to the conversion ROI. The customer might even add more to the cart than the original product because of the highly relevant retargeting.

Track important metrics

Each campaign has its own strategy, and marketers have to remember to track the important metrics for that campaign to see the ROI of retargeting. For many marketers, it’s all about conversions, conversions, conversions. By lowering your cost-per-acquisition numbers, marketers will be able to focus more keenly on existing customers.

Retargeting is a great tool for marketers to get in additional consumer touches online, with relevant ads aimed at targeted users. Tracking visits to your site via web browsers can have great impact on your overall marketing ROI.