Retargeting is not a new concept to the digital industry — in fact, it has been around for some time — but its uses and forms have definitely evolved. Over the course of this evolution, “retargeting” has become somewhat of a loose term – we now see it used alongside “search” and “social” in addition to its original form, “site retargeting.”
In my opinion, there is a real need for clarification of, and education about, retargeting. For example, is search retargeting really re-targeting? Despite its name, search retargeting is more of a mid- to upper-funnel strategy that engages new users, as opposed to re-targeting current customers. Can you truly retarget someone new? It seems like a bit of a contradiction.
We have also seen a similar trend with social retargeting. Just because a user shows interest through social media or intent through search, does this automatically qualify as a form of retargeting? What if they have never been targeted to begin with? As we continue to apply data to our display campaigns, we should be careful with how we bucket various forms of targeting and make sure we understand what their strategies are and the audience they are designed to engage.
Site retargeting is probably the truest form of retargeting because you are re-marketing or re-engaging current customers. In this scenario, the consumer has been on your site and has perhaps even made a purchase of your product. You then use that data, along with your existing relationship and knowledge, to try to bring the consumer back into purchasing more. This is the very bottom-of-the-funnel, as they are already your customers or have already visited your site.
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