Retargeting in Digital Advertising: What It Is and Which Businesses Need It

An article about how businesses use retargeting to bring us back to their websites and drive us towards making a purchase.
Retargeting in Digital Advertising: What It Is and Which Businesses Need It
An article about how businesses use retargeting to bring us back to their websites and drive us towards making a purchase.
How often do you make impulsive purchase decisions after seeing ads on Instagram? And how quickly do you provide your contact information to real estate developers in exchange for property price lists? Not very often and not very quickly – that's what most marketing studies suggest.

Digital advertising is a story of multiple consumer touchpoints with a brand before making a purchase. An exception to this rule is inexpensive "wow" products (e.g., Shein, fast fashion).

In my three years of working with e-commerce, I've encountered various challenges faced by clients: websites that fail to convert, issues with customer service, and difficulty selling products priced above $50 on the first interaction, even if the marketer did everything right.

In such cases, a skilled traffic specialist implements retargeting campaigns, which are available in all advertising platforms. In this article, I will explain how businesses bring us back to their websites and encourage us to make a purchase.
Each of us encounters retargeting on a daily basis. We visit various websites, view products, learn more about services, and then see ads in our feed for things we didn't purchase.

If we did make a purchase but continue to see ads with different offers, that's remarketing.

All digital platforms have advertising system trackers installed, which identify you, collect data about your behavior, and relay it to advertisers. Businesses "catch up" with us on social networks through Facebook or VK Pixels, and on other websites and services through Yandex.Metrica/Audiences and Google Analytics.

Retargeting is also possible based on lists of phone numbers and email addresses that customers have provided.

The iOS 14.5 update has affected the accuracy of retargeting for iPhone users, primarily within mobile applications. However, there haven't been significant global changes for those working with e-commerce websites.
Through retargeting features, brands engage with their audience at different stages. Projects can display ads to users who visited the website, viewed specific products but didn't make a purchase. Alternatively, they may have made a purchase, and now they are shown different products that might also be of interest.

Let's break down retargeting within the two most popular marketing models in the digital realm: RACE and AARRR.

When dealing with website traffic, we employ the RACE model (Reach-Act-Convert-Engage). Retargeting comes into play at the following stages:
- Convert: Bringing the user back to the website to encourage them to make a purchase or leave their contact details.
- Engage: Once the customer is onboard, we offer them other products or special deals and motivate them to follow us on social media.

In mobile applications, the AARRR model (Acquisition-Activation-Retention-Revenue-Referral) involves re-engagement at four stages:
- Activation: Sending push notifications to those who downloaded the app but haven't opened or registered in it.
- Retention: Sending email campaigns to registered app users who haven't made a purchase.
- Revenue: For instance, offering discounts on subscriptions or pay-to-win item purchases.
- Referral: Incentivizing users to invite friends to the app in exchange for bonuses upon subscription purchase.

Well-constructed funnels specify the stages where retargeting should be implemented.
Primarily, this applies to online retailers. They are already actively using dynamic retargeting - displaying ads to users for products they previously viewed.

Retargeting is also effective in the education sector, but it works best when budgets allow for attracting 300-500 targeted visitors to the website per day. Otherwise, it largely depends on the product, its presentation, and its price point.

For one of my clients, I employ a methodology from the USA that suits the mid-priced segment of online retailers. I launch two campaigns: one with a video promoting the product, and then another one targeting those who watched the video until the end. Of course, I include a limited-time discount offer.
For those with a limited budget, achieving significant results in retargeting can be challenging, especially when there's barely enough money for the initial interaction. With a small audience, you'll only end up annoying them with constant advertisements for your business. Following the same logic, B2B companies are not the ideal candidates; they are better off utilizing content marketing.
Retargeting is an excellent way to retain potential customers and engage with people who have already shown interest in your company.

This tool is not only useful for increasing direct sales but also for enhancing brand recognition. When users repeatedly encounter your communication, they are more likely to remember your brand.

I will explain how to launch retargeting in advertising systems in a separate material at a later time.