The Power of Remarketing

June 15, 2022   /   by  Roger West

At some point in your life, you’ve more than likely done some online shopping. After searching for Halloween costumes for your dog (or cat, we don’t judge), have you noticed that those same advertisements follow you around to other websites? As creepy as it sounds at first, you’re experiencing remarketing, in real time. Remarketing has become a very useful tool for digital marketers because the technology allows us to personalize advertising efforts more than ever before.

How Does Remarketing Work?

Remarketing is a tool that allows businesses to reconnect with customers who have shown an interest in their products or services and recommend what the customer may like best. It works by adding a piece of code to a website, which then places a cookie onto the browsers of people who visit the site. When those same users browse around other websites, ads can be targeted to them based on their previous browsing history. 

Now let’s look at remarketing put into action. For example, let's say your company sells running shoes. After someone visits your website and browses a collection, a cookie is placed on the item(s) they were interested in. After that, you are able to show them targeted ads for those shoes on other websites.

The Difference Between Remarketing and Retargeting

While you may hear the two terms used interchangeably, they hold some distinguishable differences, and can be used at the same time as part of a larger strategy. Both concepts have proven to be effective in themselves, but it’s a combination of the two that will yield the best results.


Based around collecting data, remarketing works by taking known information of consumers that may have already acted on a purchase in the past and using that data to later send sales emails. The individual may have also signed up for sales emails and is open to receiving more information on a service or product. The email can be used to upsell additional products, inform someone of a new product launch, or as a reminder to renew a service they’ve previously used.


While retargeting shares the same goal as remarketing, this concept is more technical, and revolves around gathering browsing data via cookies from website visitors who have not yet followed through with a purchase. This works with a third party like Google and Facebook, whose ad target settings are easily customizable. Cookies act as a tool that collects a user’s internet browsing history and can be broken up into two kinds of interactions.

  1. On-site: This interaction retargets individuals after they have already visited the brand’s website, including looking at specific products or services. This kind of retargeting is the most effective, since the individual has already expressed interest in your brand, and actively searched it out.
  2. Off-site: This interaction retargets individuals that have expressed interest in your brand, but not directly through the website. This could mean another party is involved, like a social media An example could be the person visiting the brand’s Facebook page, and from there, ads are then retargeted.

Although Google made waves in 2020 by announcing that it would stop supporting third-party cookies by 2022, the phase out has gone through numerous iterations and left many marketers questioning if it will have that much of an impact in the grand scheme of things. After all, both Firefox and Safari have blocked many types of cookies since 2014, so many strategies have long since accounted for the proposed changes.

How to Advertise Using Remarketing

Big platforms can create some big results when implementing remarketing. So how do you go about advertising with it? Start with the well-known ones:

Google Display Network

The Google Display Network lets you place your ads on thousands of websites that are relevant to your products and services. By showing ads across desktop and mobile devices, you're able to reach a wider range of potential customers. (Yay for more sales!)


Since YouTube is already a powerful platform for advertisements, it’s a great breeding ground for remarketing. You can implement ads across the YouTube network, which will play before certain videos. This gives your brand a chance to get in front of more potential customers by showing them a more dynamic video ad for your product or service.

Facebook Advertising

With Facebook, you can get a little more personal than the other two. Since Facebook knows so much about its users, you can easily target advertisements to visitors who have already visited your website or used specific product categories.  

The Simple, but Significant Benefits of Remarketing

  • Increases brand recall: After seeing advertisements multiple times, people who visited your site but didn't make a purchase, will have a better chance of recalling back to your brand once they are ready to buy.
  • Success rate: Since remarketing and retargeting delivers a more personalized marketing message, it has a higher potential for lead generation compared to ads that are not targeted. This can help increase conversions- or the rate at which a potential customer interacts with advertisements- to help boost sales.
  • Cost-effective: Remarketing is a great strategy because of its low cost per-impression (CPM) rates, which lets you to get the maximum value from every dollar spent. It also allows you to track conversions from each campaign so you can scale up the successful ones, while kicking out the ones that don’t work.

Things NOT to Do When Remarketing

Remarketing truly is a balancing act, so here’s where it gets tricky. Engagement with a potential buyer is important to maintain their interest, but remarketing too much can have the exact opposite effect. Too much exposure may annoy a potential customer and leave them with a negative impression of the brand. So, when your brand decides to take on remarketing, here’s a list of what not to do:

Bombard mobile apps

When users open an ad on their phone, they are usually on a mission. They may be trying to play music, add filters to a photo, or create a to-do list for the day. Either way, programming your ad to pop up on mobile apps can cause some grievances for the user if they are not in the mindset to shop. Since phone screens are smaller than traditional computers, the ad may cover up a large portion of the mobile app, causing frustration and accidental clicks that do not lead to sales.

Show items they’ve already purchased

The goal of remarketing is to keep interest in order to make a sale. If the sale has already been made, the buyer will probably not click on another ad with the same items they already have, which creates a waste of time and money. Tracking both unpurchased and purchased items helps to make sure the customer is seeing something new that they may want to buy.

Be pushy on cart items

Constantly pushing items someone has put in their cart also has the power to turn them away. Though it’s clear what items the person is intrigued with, seeing those items too much may cause a loss of interest. It’s one thing to try and remind them, but it’s another thing if those targeted advertisements start to appear what you might call “stalkerish.” 

Fail to exclude sensitive content

This remarketing “don’t” is perhaps one of the most important, as it helps make sure a retargeted ad for your brand is not appearing insensitive alongside certain content. The internet is a tricky place full of sensitive topics, conversations, and context that may be difficult to gauge by keywords alone. For example, if your company sells gardening tools, one of your keywords is probably garden. But, say there was an article explaining a tragic accident that happened at a garden center, you would not want your ad to appear alongside that same article. This could appear insensitive to the person reading it and leave a negative impact on how they view the brand's reputation.

Let's Get Started!

The internet is truly a magical place. You can purchase anything and everything at the click of a button, which means there is the opportunity to influence. By using remarketing, you can continue to connect with website visitors, until that turns into potential customers, and potential customers turn into revenue.

At Roger West, we know best. For more information on how to increase your company’s brand awareness and conversions, connect with us.

Roger West Creative + Code

Roger West Creative & Code is a full-service digital marketing agency that helps companies build brands, generate leads, and keep customers inspired and engaged. The agency provides a dynamic environment for marketing pros to innovate and team up with clients to drive traffic to vibrant places and send messages that pack a punch.