In the world of digital marketing, the terms “remarketing” and “retargeting” are often used interchangeably, leading to some confusion. While they share a common goal of re-engaging potential customers who have shown interest in your products or services, there are subtle differences that can significantly impact your marketing strategy. This blog will help you understand the distinctions and how small businesses can leverage both techniques effectively.
Remarketing and Retargeting: How Are They Different?
When you venture into the realm of distinguishing between remarketing and retargeting, you might discover that the landscape is rife with conflicting information. It’s a common scenario that could leave you more perplexed than when you embarked on your quest for clarity.
The confusion stems from the fact that different sources often use these terms in various ways. Some contend that remarketing and retargeting are entirely synonymous, while others argue that they represent distinct strategies pursuing similar objectives. There’s even a group that posits these as separate marketing techniques, each with its own unique goals.
In essence, you’ll find that the term ‘remarketing‘ is sometimes employed as an overarching concept that encompasses both remarketing and retargeting. Part of this ambiguity can be attributed to Google itself, whose Google Ads remarketing tools encompass both remarketing and retargeting strategies. Over time, this has blurred the boundaries between the definitions of these terms.”
To simplify the matter, let’s provide clear and common definitions for each strategy:
Remarketing is a term that pertains to utilizing email to re-engage with your existing customers or an audience that has previously shown interest in or conducted business with your brand.
Retargeting, on the other hand, refers to the delivery of paid online and display ads based on a user’s activity on your website or social media profiles.
Regarding their marketing goals, retargeting is primarily focused on guiding past visitors to your website or social media platforms back to your site to convert them into customers. Conversely, remarketing is more about re-engaging your existing customers and maximizing their lifetime value.
An easy way to distinguish the uses of these tactics is to consider that retargeting is concentrated on moving your audience, who haven’t become customers yet, along the path to making a purchase. In contrast, remarketing centers on reconnecting with individuals who have previously made a purchase from you or have joined your email list.
In terms of similarities, both remarketing and retargeting are lead nurturing tactics aimed at supporting a comprehensive customer lifecycle marketing plan. By strategically employing these tactics, you can target audiences already familiar with your brand, engage with those most likely to convert, and establish long-term brand recognition and awareness.
Remarketing and retargeting leverage the incredible opportunities presented by the ability to collect and analyze user activity data online. These strategies transcend simple advertising, where your brand is exposed in the hope that it sticks with some people. They also go beyond targeted advertising, where you’ve identified a specific target market and advertised where you expect them to spend time.
The strength of both remarketing and retargeting lies in the fact that you’re not just reaching out to your target demographic; you’re doing so in a highly customized way that caters to each individual’s position in the sales funnel, precisely when they are most receptive to your message.