Remarketing vs. Retargeting: What’s The Difference?

If you’re confused about the difference between remarketing and retargeting, you’re not alone. These days, the terms are often used interchangeably, but are they really the same? Technically they aren’t! While remarketing and retargeting have similar goals, there are also important differences to understand.
Retargeting and remarketing are both lead-nurturing methods that help support an overall customer lifecycle marketing strategy. They both put your brand back in front of interested audiences and drive leads and customers into your sales funnel.

When developing marketing strategies to bring existing and prospective customers back to your business, you may find yourself comparing as both are effective ways to re-engage prospects who have already shown interest in your brand.

Retargeting and remarketing are similar because they have the same goals:

  • Target audiences who are already aware of your brand and build continuing brand awareness and recognition
  • Engage qualified audiences who are most likely to purchase

The differences between retargeting vs. remarketing lie in the methods used to achieve these goals:

  • Retargeting, for the most part, utilizes paid advertising to re-engage audiences who have visited your website or social media profiles
  • Remarketing primarily uses email to re-engage previous customers who have already done business with your brand

While there is some overlap in the two strategies, there are also specific differences in the tactics used to drive customers to your brand. 

What is Retargeting?

In a nutshell, retargeting is about moving not-yet customers down the purchase path. It is a re-engagement strategy that includes utilizing online ads or displaying ad campaigns that target users who previously interacted with your website and enables advertisers to retarget an already-interested audience.

Retargeting campaigns can be done with the help of paid advertising, including Google Ads, Facebook retargeting, LinkedIn Ads, and other advertising platforms. Serious marketers today use retargeting as a vital tool to connect with their customers and increase their sales and customer loyalty.

Historically, third-party cookies played a significant role in winning back audiences who have already visited a website and shown interest. They’ve also been key to converting first-time buyers into repeat customers.
However, by the end of 2022, third-party cookies will be a thing of the past for Google Chrome as part of its Privacy Sandbox strategy, a new set of open standards aiming to strike a balance between user privacy and ad companies’ desire to track preferences. The move signifies a strong industry trend, and with Chrome enjoying almost a 70% share of the browser market and handling more than half of global web traffic, it basically means the death of third-party cookies.
While this change to the status quo may feel unsettling, it is essential to understand that not all cookies are going away. First-party cookies are still operational, and for now, they’re not going anywhere. Google isn’t changing any policies for how publishers collect or use data gathered from first-party data. As a business, you can and should still take full advantage of leveraging your user data.
First-party cookies still have limitations, of course. Although we have access and insight into our audience’s behavior within our own properties, we’re left to our own wits when it comes to their actions across other domains.

What is Remarketing?

While retargeting is primarily about serving paid advertising to potential customers based on cookies, remarketing is typically based on email. Remarketing works by collecting users’ information and creating lists, which are used later to send sales emails.
Because you are targeting existing customers or past visitors, it’s called “re”-marketing. Consider it a second chance to convert, up-sell, or retain customers with online ads or campaigns.

Benefits of Remarketing

The biggest payoff for email remarketing campaigns is higher conversion rates. According to Moz, the conversion rates from remarketing emails can be as high as 41%. This is monumental compared to the average eCommerce conversion rate of just 1-2%. Other benefits include:

  • Recycle and repurpose your content marketing material, thereby reducing product and marketing costs
  • Remarketing emails generate nearly four times greater revenue than non-targeted campaigns (Forrester Research)
So which one is right for you? Well it depends on your marketing goals!
Consider retargeting if:
  • Your focus is on attracting new customers
  • You’re driving a lot of traffic to your site but aren’t triggering conversions
  • You don’t have an email list of interested prospects
Consider remarketing if:
  • Your focus is on re-engaging current or former customers
  • You don’t have the budget for ads
  • You already have an engaged email list

At the end of the day, when it comes to two, you don’t have to choose. You can use both strategies simultaneously to maximize your results and drive even more interested prospects into your sales funnel.

Getting Started with Retargeting and Remarketing

Still confused about what your marketing campaign needs? At Jungle Communications, we specialize in both retargeting ads as well as email remarketing. Our highly skilled digital marketing team can work with you to create and implement the right strategy to increase awareness for your brand, generate qualified leads, and drive sales. Contact us today to start a conversation!

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