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Remarketing 101: Understanding what it is...

Have you cottoned on to one of the best and easiest routes to boosting conversion rates and driving sales? The intelligent way to re-engage customers and prospective clients? The great way to maximise on your current advertising spend? Are you remarketing yet?
© Teguh Jati via 123RF.com.

What is remarketing?


Let’s begin with the basics: remarketing is a clever way to keep your business or brand visible to people who have visited your website, or used your app, and not taken a desired action.

For example: they looked at a product on your app but didn’t make a purchase, or they visited your website but didn’t give your business a call or fill out a contact form. These desired actions, or conversions, are the goals of our advertising efforts and spending.

I’ve seen a lot of businesses that come to me for help after having spent a lot of money driving traffic to their websites or platforms – hoping that when users land on their pages they will purchase what’s on offer – but not seeing this reflected in sales.

These days consumers have a lot more resources to first do research, compare yours to other offerings, and consider their purchase before making it. Getting them onto your page the first time is not guaranteed to end in a sale – in fact, this buying behaviour leads to a higher percentage of your first-time visitors not making a purchase.

This is where remarketing comes in. Remarketing allows your offering, call to action, or ad, to follow that visitor around the internet, making sure your brand is visible and at the top of the customer’s mind when they are ready to commit.

It lets you to deliver a reminder of your offering, so the customer does not have to begin their search for your site or product again, and accidentally end up on one of your competitors’ sites. Ultimately maximising your return on your current advertising spend.

How does remarketing actually work?


To get to the nuts and bolts of remarketing, we first need to talk about cookies.

Unfortunately, not the delicious, yummy, baked kind: similar to the way every website you visit gets added to your web-browser’s history, websites also create “cookie” records for your browser. This web cookie helps websites to recognise and identify your individual web browser. Google and Facebook use the information in cookies to also determine what your interests are, and what ads you may be interested in.

This may seem a little creepy to you, but cookie and interest-based marketing means that the ads and content shown to you online will be of more interest to you. Without it, you would be bombarded with ads about products or brands you have zero interest in.

Cookies help to customise your online experience to your personal needs.

There has been some recent news and debate around privacy, cookies and the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), but that’s a BIG topic for another day.

Is your network ready for GDPR and PoPI?

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What you need to know right now is that remarketing uses cookies to offer website and app owners the opportunity to show targeted messages or ads to people who have visited specific products or sections of their site or app.

We call those specific people a remarketing audience: a list of people that have visited the specific section of your site / app in a specific time, that did not complete a specific action. That’s a lot of specifics to be sure, but that’s how targeted and personalised remarketing can be.

To find out more about the specifics of how remarketing could help your business, be on the lookout for part two, Remarketing 102: Why you should care about it...

About JG Bezuidenhout

I believe in the power of entrepreneurs, particularly in their ability to facilitate and promote South Africa's economic growth. My passion is developing innovative/disruptive solutions, asking why and challenging the status quo.
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