Retargeting – An Underutilized and Highly Effective Technique

Retargeting – An Underutilized and Highly Effective Technique

Want to get even more out of your advertising budget? Then it is time to consider retargeting. If you are not sure what retargeting is, read on. We will give you a quick explanation. Then learn all about the stats involved with the infographic published below

What Is Retargeting?

If you have ever shopped on a big e-commerce site, you have probably seen retargeting in action. Marketers add code snippets to a website, which allows it to track your movements when you are on the site, and when you leave it. 

It is important to mention that the code is not malicious. The goal is to present you with adverts related to products you searched for from the same company. The difference is that the adverts will now pop up on different sites. For example, you want to find a book on You finish browsing, and you decide to check your Facebook page. Suddenly you start noticing ads for that book and related products.

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That means you have been retargeted.

Why Do Marketers Do This?

It is a way of recovering a sale. Most consumers need a few touchpoints with a product before committing to buying it. So, perhaps this time, you wanted to see how much the book cost. You might not have felt ready to buy the book just yet.

But what happens when you start seeing ads for it on other sites? You get a gentle reminder. One or two more of these and you are primed to buy.

Where Do They Place the Code?

The code, or the pixel, as it is properly called, can be placed on any page. Where it appears on the site depends on the strategy marketers employ. They could, for example:

  • Decide to retarget anyone who visits the website: It is not the most targeted strategy, but it is useful for increasing brand awareness.
  • Choose to retarget people who have abandoned their carts: This can be a highly effective strategy to recover sales.
  • Opt to retarget people after they have purchased: For this to work, marketers upload a catalog of products. The adverts are then based on related products in the catalog.

Amp Up Your Results With Content Marketing

Marketers do not have to put the pixel on an e-commerce site. Another highly effective strategy is to place it on a particular post. Back to that book example again. Imagine if Amazon created an outstanding blog post reviewing the book. 

They could then place a pixel on the page. You would read the review, and the next time you logged onto Facebook, you would see the ad for the same book.

This principle can be applied across a range of different products and services. An accountant could, for example, write a post on completing a tax return. Marketers could then retarget that post so that an advert for preparing financial statements came up.

You get the idea. The visit to the site or blog is the first point of contact. From there on, every advert reinforces the sale.

This technique can be used to drive traffic to a site, a blog post, or a video. You can get creative with it.

How Targeted Can Retargeting Be?

As targeted as the marketer wants it to be. Market segmentation can be applied just as easily here as in email marketing. When retargeting ads on Facebook, for example, you can choose the age range, geographic location, interests, and so on for your ad.

That is recommended because it helps you to zero in on the clients that best suit your target market. You can create tailored ads for each market segment.

Is This a Set and Forget Option?

The advantage of placing the pixel is that everything is done automatically. So, technically, a marketer can set it up and just let it run. But, as any good marketer will tell you, all campaigns must be carefully tested and monitored.

Split Testing Improves Results

As with any campaign you are running, split testing is essential. Split testing is where you run two ads simultaneously to see which one performs better. The trick is to choose just one thing to change each time.

So, you could swap out the photo, change the color of your call to action button, and similar. You get the idea. You keep tweaking your campaigns in this manner until both ads get similar results.

Monitor the Results over Time

Once you have come up with a winning format, you will still need to monitor the results. That is just good marketing practice.

Retargeting vs. Remarketing

These terms are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference. Retargeting uses advertisements on other sites. Remarketing refers more to cases where you use more traditional methods to get the message across.

Instead of adverts popping up on other sites, you will send out emails, or opt for a direct mail campaign, for example.

Final Notes

That concludes your basic crash course in how retargeting works. Want to learn even more about the topic? Then scroll down and check out the infographic below.



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Jacob Wolinsky is the founder of, a popular value investing and hedge fund focused investment website. Jacob worked as an equity analyst first at a micro-cap focused private equity firm, followed by a stint at a smid cap focused research shop. Jacob lives with his wife and four kids in Passaic NJ. - Email: jacob(at) - Twitter username: JacobWolinsky - Full Disclosure: I do not purchase any equities anymore to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest and because at times I may receive grey areas of insider information. I have a few existing holdings from years ago, but I have sold off most of the equities and now only purchase mutual funds and some ETFs. I also own a few grams of Gold and Silver

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