Remarketing 101

Tiffany Weimar - January 26, 2011

It wasn’t a coincidence that a JetBlue advertisement appeared on your screen while visiting Spirit Airlines’ website.  In fact, a few hours before, you were most likely searching airline prices on JetBlue’s site.  Those not understanding the process of remarketing may think that JetBlue is purely a marketing genius.  Others know better, that they’re a remarketing genius.  Either way, remarketing is an amazing tool that when used correctly, will increase brand awareness and increase ROI over time.      

Remarketing:  What is it and are you using it effectively for your business?

Remarketing or retargeting is simply the act of displaying a banner image and/or advertisement in front of an audience that has previously visited your website.  The process is simple.  After visiting a website, a “cookie” (a small file that a Web server automatically sends to your computer when you access certain websites) is stored on your hard drive.  The tracking capability allows advertisers to “remarket” and “get another shot” to be in front of their target audience. 

Remarketing has many benefits.  Not only does it strengthen your ability to brand, but it also gives your company the ability to display an offer in front of an audience that has, at some point, showed interest in your business through visiting your site.  Marketers can choose which websites to display your ads on and can even get so granular as to create a banner advertisement that mirrors or correlates to the internal page that was visited.  For instance, if you are a marketer for Canon, perhaps you will remarket with a banner ad displaying digital camera accessories to a website visitor that just looked at the correlating digital camera on the website but did not make the purchase.  Marketers also have the ability to choose the frequency and duration of an advertisement to be displayed.  This is where some debate does originate.  Remember to not annoy your audience.  Individuals browsing the Web always have the option to disable cookies.  If you aggravate your visitors through remarketing too frequently, they may become turned off and never do business with your company again.  Finding a balance here is the key…

On the consumer side, it is important to understand and become educated on remarketing.  Remarketing does not pull any personal information, merely identifies which websites have been visited.  The lack of education has triggered the Federal Trade Commission’s proposal to require Web browsers to have a “do-not-track” option.  If passed, it would limit advertisers’ ability to remarket.  In a recent article from Investor’s Business Daily, our President, Andrew Wetzler, commented on the topic advising, “The FTC could be hoping Web companies take the initiative and offer do-not-track on their own, to avoid the threat of governmental enforcement, says Andrew Wetzler, president of online marketing firm MoreVisibility.  At the end of the day, the FTC is not looking to have to enforce this because it could be very messy,” Wetzler said. “Rather, it wants to get companies to voluntarily add (a do-not-track) to their websites.”

Although remarketing may not have an immediate impact on ROI, it will incrementally over time.  It may take multiple remarketing ads to have resonance.  If you aren’t convinced yet that you should consider remarketing, let’s just stick to some hard facts.  According to in 2009, remarketing was cited as the most under-utilized online marketing technology, despite some advertisers experiencing a 400 percent increase in ad response after implementing remarketing.

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