Every profession has its own jargon, and digital marketing is no exception. If you’ve ever watched a family member’s eyes glaze over whenever you mention MQLs or multichannel strategy or the IoT… well, we’ve all been there. But most of our industry’s jargon is at least reasonably clear, once you know its meaning.

However, there are exceptions. Such as remarketing and retargeting.

Remarketing/Retargeting: What They Are

Traditionally – meaning for the last 7 years or so – “remarketing” has been used to describe the practice of re-engaging with a potential customer through a digital channel other than the one the customer originally used. The most common example of this is an email from an online retailer reminding you of your abandoned shopping cart and possibly offering you an extra incentive to check out.

By comparison, “retargeting” has traditionally referred to the practice of presenting paid-search ads (especially display ads) to a user after they’ve visited that company’s site. For instance, if you’ve spent any time at all on a big box retailer’s site, you’ll probably see their display ads pop up in your web travels for the next week or so. It’s the principle of remarketing specifically applied to the paid-search channel.

The beauty of remarketing/retargeting is that it helps catch “the ones that got away,” the customers who didn’t take the desired action on your site the first time they visited but were still willing to consider taking that action. By reminding them (ideally in a non-intrusive manner) of the benefits of that action, remarketing/retargeting builds on the strength of your initial marketing efforts and provides additional touchpoints to move users down the sales funnel.

Remarketing/Retargeting: What We Do

Because of our deep expertise within search- and analytics-based digital marketing, we absolutely include retargeting in our paid-search services. Every service package we offer is customized to the goals and requirements of each different company, so if our research indicates that retargeting is a smart strategy for your company, we will do that and do it well. However, since email marketing is outside our areas of mastery, we don’t offer remarketing services.

Except when we do.

At this point, you’re probably feeling like you’re stuck in the digital marketing version of the classic “Who’s On First?” routine. But we promise, this makes sense and doesn’t rely on a statistically unlikely confluence of last names.

The reason we sort-of offer remarketing services is because of the retargeting programs known as Google Remarketing and Bing Remarketing. That’s right, retargeting programs with “remarketing” in the name, which is not confusing in the least. One way to think of it is that we do Remarketing with a capital R (as part of the product name) but not with a little r.

Remarketing/Retargeting: How We Do It

And as noted, when we do capital-R Remarketing, we do it well. For instance, our strategic use of Google Remarketing for one of our B2B clients resulted in that channel delivering 11% of all paid-search conversions – and at a lower average cost per conversion than the rest of the paid-search account.

Cost per conversion, remarketing vs. all paid spend

The difference is even more pronounced in the B2C market, where costs per conversion from remarketing were 7 to 22 times smaller than for all paid search. A more visually friendly way of showing this is by charting the Return on Ad Spend (revenue-to-spend ratio) for remarketing vs. all paid search.

Revenue to ad spend ratio, remarketing vs. all paid search

And while we don’t do email-based remarketing (“little r”), one feature of Google Remarketing is the ability to target specific users from an email list; we’re planning to do this for a different client in anticipation of a live event later this year.

So obviously, we’ve got proven experience with Remarketing, but we can’t really help you with remarketing. We hope we’ve made that perfectly clear.