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Home > Digital Marketing Blog > What is Retargeting and What are the Benefits

What is Retargeting and What are the Benefits

August 29, 2016

What is Retargeting and What are the Benefits

Aug 29, 2016
Vamsridhar Reddy

We could define it as those ads which follow you when you have tried looking for something on the web. It may not be the most simple or exact way to explain this, so let’s take a closer look with more detailed approach.

What is retargeting? A definition

Most of you may already have a generic idea of what retargeting means, but let’s give a complete explanation than the one we just saw. Retargeting or remarketing is a digital marketing method that consists in displaying ads to those users who have previously interacted with your business. This can mean a visit to our site, opening an email or just clicking on one of our links somewhere on the internet, for instance in a forum. The concept of retargeting is quite extensive, evolving and each time more complex. However, most of the definitions that you will find online refer exclusively to site retargeting. To avoid that mistake here is a much more technical and precise definition of retargeting, according to IAB “The use of a tag or other code such as javascript to enable a third-party to identify particular users outside of the domain of which the activity was accumulated.”

What’s the difference between retargeting and remarketing?

Since we are talking about definitions, we must say that there is no such difference between remarketing and retargeting. The only thing that needs to be revealed is that Google calls it remarketing, and the rest of the web technologies use the word retargeting.

How do retargeting works?

Retargeting is a cookie-based technology that uses a simple Javascript code to capture your audience anonymously. You place this small piece of Javascript code on your website which is also referred to as a pixel. The code is unnoticeable to your website visitors and won’t affect the performance of your website. Every time a new visitor enters your website, the code drops an anonymous browser cookie which takes stock of visitors browser ID. Later, when your cookied user browses the Internet, the cookie will let your retargeting company know when to serve ads to the visitor, ensuring that your ads have been served to those people who have previously visited your website.

Why does retargeting work?

Retargeting is very effective because it allows you to focuses most of your advertising spend on people who have already been acquainted with your brand. This makes your brand more trustworthy which is the reason why marketers see a higher ROI on retargeting than other forms of marketing channels. Compared to display advertising where CTR’s are usually between .05 – 0.1%. Retargeting is double with an average of .2%. Meanwhile, the conversion rate for marketers went from 2 – 5% of typical display inventory while going all the way up to 30-50% on retargeted traffic. These results are not unusual especially when you start to use dynamic creatives.

What is retargeting good for?

The most attractive thing about retargeting is that it allows attempting to reach 98% of visitors who leave without a conversion or buying. We intentionally use the word attempt because the difficulty of a good retargeting stays in its capacity to extract the greatest possible percentage of all of those visitors. It could be 0.1% or maybe a 4%, which would mean more than double the sales. Therefore if there’s something more important than doing retargeting is doing it 100% right or try to increase it. However, let's see what else can retargeting do for digital marketers?

  • very distinct branding without spending lots of money
  • Return on investment in advertising is up to 300%
  • Reinforcement in the entire marketing funnel from brand awareness, sales, leads, loyalty and more

Let’s go deeper on this last point. Even though retargeting is always seen as a performance-based technique, which is obtaining a direct conversion, we cannot forget its contribution at all times.

Brand awareness

Let’s think that most visitors who look for something open lots of sites and only look at the information without bothering about the brand behind it. Retargeting gives us the chance to impact the visitor during his purchase cycle so that when he/she is ready to buy then they will keep our brand in their mind.


Besides generating sales, retargeting is a good assistant for the purpose of consideration for purchasing our product, not just of the brand. This is especially true with long buying cycles with many discussions.


This is the biggest point of retargeting. Many times we get a lead, or we close a sale thanks to an offer solely designed for this particular channel. A typical case is the rescue of abandoned shopping carts in e Commerce which usually happens and from that point retargeting starts.


We can sell complementary products, encourage the return of customers or even reinforce the effect of our newsletters with email retargeting.


Retargeting and social media can be used to display related and viral content to our audience in a medium where it is much more likely for them to share and spread our brand message. It is quite rare to do so, but it is entirely believable and each time it is common among big brands. Retargeting has a much broader reach than what we can imagine. However, there are still many companies, especially belonging to the Big Data, that are working to offer innovative solutions that don’t rely so heavily on cookies. The intention is to improve Multi-Device advertisement in the short-term in computers, phones, and tablets. It is time to get started with your retargeting campaign or share your experience here in our comment section.

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