Retargeting: when enough is enough

Retargeting involves following your potential customers around online to remind them of who you are.

Is it a form of creepy stalking or is it clever marketing?

If you spend a bit of time online it’s likely you’ve had the feeling you’re being watched or followed at least once or twice. You’ve been browsing for cheap flights to South East Asia for a cheeky winter get away… A couple of hours later you jump on your Instagram and there’s an ad from the leading airline to said destination.

Retargeting from Marketoonist


Oh, and last week you looked at some new trainers online and now items on your wish list are appearing on your Facebook feed.

It’s those damn retargeters sweeping up your cookie crumbs and sprinkling them all over the internet. Gah!

What is retargeting?

Retargeting is quite an effective way for brands to stay in the forefront of the minds of potential customers.

Retargeting is a form of marketing in which you target users who have previously come to your website with banner ads on display networks across the web. (Moz)

The purpose is to attract them back to your website after they have visited and not made a purchase. It’s about gently nudging them along the customer journey.

Becoming the norm

Retargeting and remarketing aren’t new methods but they are becoming more prevalent, especially on social media as the platforms turn to marketers to raise their revenue so that they can continue providing the free service to users. (Can you imaging the drop off rate if Facebook made us pay!)

If you use retargeting campaigns chances are the general public is on to you too, and that’s fine. It’s 2017 and they’re getting wise to the ways of the internet and how marketers are using it to their advantage.

It’s no different from television becoming a hot spot for advertisers with the rise of post-war consumerism in the 50’s. It starts out subtly with a few advertisers experimenting, then everyone begins using it to advertise. Before long, the public becomes aware of it and it becomes the norm.

But, the important thing to know is how to create retargeting campaigns that are effective and don’t get ignored.

Retargeting done right

If you are going to use retargeting campaigns for your marketing, then you need to think about how to appeal to your ideal customer without turning them off.

The first thing is to avoid having a blanket approach and sending the same ad out to all the people who visit your site. Take the time to segment your audiences. Was the person looking at flights to Hanoi or Kuala Lumpur? Are they flying from Perth or Melbourne?

Do you need to retarget at all? Have they already converted? It is a complete waste of money showing ads to someone who has purchased their tickets.

Personalise your ads, make them relevant to the people you are targeting. Don’t show ads for golf bags to the person who visited your site looking for running shoes.

Tailor your ads according to the visitor’s actions and remind them of the actions you’d like them to take next. The wish list generated ad appearing on Facebook reminds the visitor of things they’re already interested in and will have a greater chance of converting them than showing them other items in the store.

Be useful for the win

Rather than going for the hard sell which, let’s face it, is completely see through, give them information that may help them to make the purchase. For example, invite them to follow your Facebook page for product tips on choosing the right shoes, sign up to the newsletter for latest news, or read a blog post about arch support when running.

Lastly, don’t over do it. No one likes to be spammed. If someone repeatedly sees your ad appear on their feed every time they go on Facebook they will quickly grow an aversion to your brand. No matter how much they liked you before.