9 Hidden Values of Retargeting (from the Perspective of a Marketer and Customer):

Retargeting, also known as remarketing, is a form of advertising that is becoming extremely popular in today’s digital era. If you’ve experienced it (And anyone who owns a computer and ever visited a website has), you’ve probably seen an ad on facebook promoting tickets to an event you are on the fence about attending, or if you’re anything like me, that new pair of shoes you saw last week and are saving up money to buy.


If you don’t work in the industry, or are unaware how digital advertising works, you are probably left with the feeling of shock and awe as to how an ad can “follow” you across the web, and understand your purchasing habits, as if by some sort of jedi mind-trick.

However, if you do work in the industry, own an online business, or pay close attention to digital advertising trends, you perhaps are fascinated by new tech-tools across the internet that can help add real value to your business and change the way you interact with your customers.

In today’s world, good brand marketers understand the value of real-time insights and are finding new ways to effectively engage audiences, and are students of what we are now calling “Data-Driven Creative” and the world of “Programmatic Buying.” As a digital marketer, and more importantly a customer myself, I’ve been fascinated and encouraged  by the growth and success of retargeting tech-tools such as AdRoll and their integration with major platforms such as Facebook and Google, and love seeing ads that are relevant to me on a daily basis.

1) Programmatic Buying and Data-driven Creative.


Programmatic buying and data-driven can allow advertisers to work intelligently and place relevant ads in real-time to the right people. Using RTB (Real-time-bidding) and non-RTB advertising methods, such as Facebook Ads API and Google Display, it’s where all the trends in marketed are headed. Google defines this process as “Connecting the dots between data and creative,” in an article on ThinkWithGoogle. Retargeting works with cookie-based technology, simply using a small string of javascript code pasted on the base of your website to allow you to build an audience of customers that have visited one of your webpages. The genius here: Only users who have already engaged with your content will be able to see your company’s advertisements. This is super important and is in-line with data-driven creative theory. What is more relevant than someone seeing your ad who has already interacted with your brand online?

2) Ads Where Your Customers Are – Real-time Insights.

Retargeting is most effective because it keeps your brand front and center in the digital universe, and converts “window shoppers” into buyers, according to AdRoll Retargeting. In the analogy that I shared above, I would be the window shopper purchasing my new favorite pair of Common Project sneakers. In fact, retail sites like Mr. Porter and Lyst.com are incredibly successful at serving retargeting ads to potential customers on social platforms such as Facebook, which I will discuss next.

3) Integration with Facebook – The Smart Pixel of 2016.

The magic and beauty of retargeting tools such as AdRoll is how they can integrate and work so seamlessly amongst social platform giants such as Facebook and even Google Display. And, with the rise of the new smart pixel in 2016 (You can read more about it here) it only takes one small pixel to run successful multi-platform and cross-device advertising campaigns at the click of a button. After you install a simple smart pixel on one of your brand’s web pages, you can seamlessly serve ads to either Facebook or Google Display, and choose for customers to see ads in the native news feed.

4) Maximize Your Existing Web Data

In the world of ad buying, it can feel daunting and wasteful to spend money on obtaining new customers through social targeting. It is hard, especially for small business, who do not have deep pockets, to spend a good deal of money on testing and researching new audiences to find the perfect CPA (Cost-per-acquisition) and ROI (Return-on-investment). With Retargeting, you can use existing customer data (web traffic) in order to affordably reach future customers. According to
CMO.com’s stats on retargeting, major companies such as Kimberly-Clark has seen 50 to 60 percent higher conversion rates from customers who have been retargeted.

5) Lead nurturing

In addition to maximizing free web traffic data, many brands and agencies have a large database of emails from customers. Retargeting platforms such as AdRoll, and even now Facebook Ad’s Manager, can integrate with your current CRM (Think Hubspot) and allow you to nurture leads through not only email retargeting, but standard advertising creative. It’s as simple as uploading a csv. File with your email list and you can begin nurturing leads in and engaging and effect manor.

6) It’s a disruption to traditional marketing and advertising

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, it is always important to constantly create, innovate, and evolve. I had a chance to hear from Mary Sheehan, Head of Product Marketing, AdRoll, in a Q&A with the digital marketing agency that I work at, Mabbly, and was encouraged to hear how AdRoll is continuing to disrupt the industry and be the sharp tip of the spear when it comes to digital. “The technology behind digital media has disrupted all of this. You can set up campaigns in minutes and instantly get data on what’s working and what could use some love. You can reach customers you didn’t even know existed – not just from predefined personas – but on their intent level – their actual interest in buying a product or service like yours”

7) Consumer behavior.

Today’s consumer is now more connected than ever and more intelligent about the way they react to advertisements. Think about Millennials, who have a “No BS” radar when it comes to inauthentic advertising – It is important to be able to map out consumer behavior and serve only relevant advertisements that add value to customer’s.  Retargeting does just that – It allows you to keep in front of your customers as they continue to think about other options and research other brands. It is a soft consumer touch-point and nurturing path that ultimately leads to higher conversions.

8) Machine learning.

The future of AI and Cognitive Learning (Think IBM Watson) will certainly play an interesting role in retargeting. Today’s Machine Learning API’s can help us understand the emotion or sentiment analysis of a given web page, as simple as uploading a paragraph of copy. Retargeting platforms can and should be able to leverage machine learning in order to serve dynamic creative advertisements that match with current sentiment.

9) It’s a no brainer.

Regardless if you are a large corporation, big brand, or even a mom & pop online business, retargeting is in a sense a no-brainer for your business. It is the cheapest and most effective way to engage with customers in what we are now calling “Intelligent Advertising.”

“Retargeting is a no brainer. You’re already spending time, energy, and budget driving awareness of your brand and traffic to your website. Retargeting makes sure you are maximizing your marketing investment by re-engaging with people who don’t convert on their first visit. For any vertical, this makes sense.”