When to Use Remarketing vs. Retargeting

It can be difficult to know the difference between the two aforementioned tactics, and even more difficult to know when to use them.

Published On: December 24, 20214 min readCategories: Blog, SEM

We as digital marketers strive to find more efficient ways to drive results for our clients, and our companies. Whether we’re working on the side of agencies, or client-side marketing teams, our goals remain the same. One of the most important weapons in our arsenal to drive those efficiencies is through Remarketing and Retargeting. In an industry rife with growing acronyms, specialty jargon, and ambiguous meaning, it can be difficult to know the difference between the two aforementioned tactics, and even more difficult to know when to use them. Let’s recap, and dissect the differences between them, and decipher exactly when to use them!

What’s the Difference Between Remarketing and Retargeting?

Both of these targeting tactics have significant amounts of Venn-diagram crossovers. Both use audiences, based on website traffic, both remarketing and retargeting tactics can be applied through Google Ads formats, and all drive high-efficiency conversions rates. These audiences can be created through Google Analytics, or through Customer List uploads. This is where the distinction between the two tactics begins!

Remarketing & When It’s Useful

This targeting tactic uses audiences of users that have only partially completed conversion actions. This is for example if a prospective customer leaves an item in their online cart without checking out. By re-engaging users like these that have previously shown interest in your business’ services, but have not followed through to purchase, you can minimize the amount of your precious marketing budget that is being left on the table. 

Remarketing efforts work best in businesses that have a quick time-to-conversion (TTC, sorry for adding to the acronym problem) such as e-commerce or lead generation, however, can also be used highly effectively for nurturing conversions for businesses with a long TTC, like Software-as-a-Service (SAAS), or brand awareness for Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG). By re-engaging these audiences through Google and Microsoft Ads, you can effectively give warmed-up users a gentle push to complete their transactions, rather than leaving them the opportunity to go have a look at your competitors’ marketing efforts. In that regard, Remarketing works as a brand defense initiative.

Retargeting & When It’s Useful

Slightly different in its focus, Retargeting uses audience segments of users that have fully-completed conversion actions. By re-engaging users that have previously brought revenue to your business, you can efficiently re-engage them with the products and services that your business provides. This targeting tactic works particularly well for users that have had a highly positive experience with your company’s products and services. This marketing tactic can be highly effective, even months after a user completed their original purchase. For example, if a user purchases a box of 100 instant coffee sachets, that same customer can be effectively targeted for an additional 100-ct box of instant coffee sachets 90-120 days later. Having a highly organized audience segmentation library is an absolute must-have, for effectively retargeting users.

Considerations, Tips, and Tricks About Remarketing and Retargeting

Remember that Remarketing and Retargeting tactics can be used at the same time! Just be sure to follow along with the following points to maximize efficiency, and streamline deployments:

  • Use a universal naming convention for your audience segments. The organization will help save you from headaches and launch delays.
  • Landing page experience can be the determining factor between yes and no. Curating an appropriate experience for each tactic is essential for re-engaging users – building stronger brand affiliation for users that are on the fence about completing their transactions can help them make up their minds in favor of your business. 
  • Building strong product pages for any retargeted users that may be new to your product pages will help them make purchases on their first visit. 
  • Building appropriate ad copy and visual assets to match the stage of conversion, remarketing, and retargeting initiatives can help get the attention of your key demographics
  • Using Negative Audiences to minimize crossover between remarketing and retargeting efforts will ensure you have the cleanest user experience and least resistance to conversion.
  • Keep in mind your business’ seasonality when developing remarketing and retargeting efforts – sometimes it’s best to re-engage users with an incentive, or promotional offer to help incentivize the completion of a transaction.

By implementing the tips and tricks discussed above, you too can utilize these user re-engagement tactics to great effect. By targeting and marketing to users that have previously shown interest in your business, you can maximize your bottom line, and strive to further push the envelope of CPA efficiency.

Developing and implementing both remarketing and retargeting tactics can feel overwhelming without a team of dedicated Digital Marketing specialists on your side. NAV43 is a marketing agency that specializes in helping your business reach its full potential. We are eager to sit down with you and see how together we could take your business to the next level.

Reach out today to discuss the possibilities.