What Is Remarketing? Remarketing In A Nutshell

Remarketing involves the creation of personalized and targeted ads for consumers who have already visited a company’s website. The process works in this way: as users visit a brand’s website, they are tagged with cookies that follow the users, and as they land on advertising platforms where retargeting is an option (like social media platforms) they get served ads based on their navigation.

DefinitionRemarketing, also known as Retargeting, is a digital marketing strategy that involves showing targeted ads to users who have previously interacted with a brand’s website, app, or other digital assets. The goal is to re-engage these users and encourage them to take a desired action, such as completing a purchase or signing up for a service. Remarketing is based on the idea of repeated exposure to the brand’s message.
Key ConceptsAudience Segmentation: Users are segmented based on their previous interactions and behavior. – Ad Display: Targeted ads are displayed on various websites or platforms the user visits. – Conversion Focus: The primary goal is to convert previous visitors into customers. – Customization: Ads can be customized to align with the user’s interests or actions. – Tracking: Utilizes cookies and tracking pixels to identify users.
How It Works1. User Interaction: A user visits a website, views products, or takes specific actions (e.g., adds items to a shopping cart). 2. Tracking: The user’s behavior is tracked through cookies or pixels, creating a user profile. 3. Ad Placement: Targeted ads are displayed to the user on other websites or platforms. 4. Engagement: The user may click on the ad and return to the website to complete an action.
BenefitsHigher Conversion Rates: Remarketing often results in higher conversion rates compared to generic ads. – Improved ROI: It can be a cost-effective way to re-engage users who have already shown interest. – Enhanced Personalization: Ads can be tailored to the user’s previous interactions. – Brand Recall: Increases brand recall as users encounter the brand multiple times. – Reduced Abandonment: Helps reduce cart abandonment in e-commerce.
ChallengesPrivacy Concerns: Users may have concerns about being tracked and remarketed to. – Ad Fatigue: Users may become annoyed if they see the same ad repeatedly. – Limited Reach: Remarketing targets a specific audience, limiting its reach. – Competitive: Many businesses use remarketing, making it competitive. – Balancing Frequency: Finding the right balance in ad frequency is crucial.
Types of RemarketingStandard Remarketing: Shows ads to previous website visitors on various websites and apps. – Dynamic Remarketing: Displays personalized product ads to users based on their browsing behavior. – Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA): Targets users with ads when they perform related searches on search engines. – Email Remarketing: Sends personalized emails to users who abandoned their shopping carts or took specific actions. – Video Remarketing: Displays ads to users who previously interacted with videos or YouTube channels.
EffectivenessRemarketing is generally effective at re-engaging users and increasing conversions. Its success depends on the quality of ad creatives, audience segmentation, and the relevance of the offers presented. However, it may not be suitable for all businesses, and its success can vary by industry and target audience. Remarketing is often used in combination with other digital marketing strategies.
Privacy ConsiderationsRemarketing relies on tracking user behavior, which has raised privacy concerns. Regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) require businesses to be transparent about data collection and provide users with options to opt out of tracking and personalized ads. Compliance with these regulations is essential for remarketing campaigns.
ConclusionRemarketing is a valuable digital marketing strategy for re-engaging users who have previously shown interest in a brand’s products or services. When executed effectively, it can lead to higher conversion rates and improved ROI. However, businesses must navigate privacy considerations and user preferences to ensure the success and ethical implementation of remarketing campaigns.

Understanding remarketing

Remarketing is based on the simple premise that it is more effective to advertise to consumers who already know a brand as there is more chance they will purchase something. Given 96% of consumers leave a website without making a purchase, it is crucial businesses continually re-engage with visitors and keep their brands top of mind.

The process of remarketing can be illustrated in three steps:

  1. First, a user visits a brand’s website or consumes its content.
  2. The user is then tagged with a cookie and added to a list.
  3. Lastly, the business serves targeted ads to those users based on their previous actions.

Note that users will be able to see remarketing ads while they are browsing the web, reading from their favorite news app, or consuming video content on YouTube. That is, the user does not need to revisit the site where they were first tagged to see the ads.

Different types of remarketing

There are various types of remarketing according to how users are added to the list. These include:


The most common form where display ads are shown to website visitors on other websites and apps. Google’s Display Network reaches 90% of internet browsers across multiple platforms.

Mobile apps

Where ads are shown exclusively in mobile apps and websites.

Search engines

These ads are shown in search engines to users who have already visited a brand’s website. This allows the business to serve ads to consumers who are interested in a product or service and are still looking for information.


This form of remarketing is similar to the standard version. However, the ads are more personalized according to the products and services viewed.

Remarketing examples

The specifics of each remarketing campaign will differ from customer to customer. With that in mind, here is a general look at some real-world examples:


Once a user has searched its store for shoes, Nike displays remarketing ads on other sites where the user can scroll through a list of “personalised” sneakers. To finish, the company includes a call to action to encourage shoppers to purchase on its website.


The accommodation provider is also known for displaying remarketing ads in a user’s Facebook news feed. These ads feature a photo of the accommodation listing with a prominent “Book Now” call to action button.


The music streaming platform uses traditional display marketing to target users as they surf the web. Some ads incorporate a promotion where the user can receive three months of Spotify Premium for free. The promotion targets existing Spotify listeners who may be hesitant to upgrade their subscriptions.

Additional Case Studies

  • Amazon:
    • Scenario: A user browses Amazon for a specific product but doesn’t make a purchase.
    • Remarketing Strategy: Amazon displays ads featuring the viewed product on other websites and apps through its advertising network.
    • Call to Action: Encourages the user to return to Amazon and complete the purchase.
    • Scenario: A user searches for hotels in a specific destination on
    • Remarketing Strategy: shows ads with hotel options in that destination on various platforms, reminding the user of their travel plans.
    • Call to Action: Encourages the user to revisit and book accommodations.
  • HubSpot:
    • Scenario: A user visits HubSpot’s website and explores its marketing software solutions.
    • Remarketing Strategy: HubSpot delivers targeted ads to the user on platforms like LinkedIn, highlighting the benefits of its software.
    • Call to Action: Prompts the user to request a demo or start a free trial.
  • Zappos:
    • Scenario: A user views specific shoe brands and styles on Zappos’ website.
    • Remarketing Strategy: Zappos displays ads featuring the same shoes across the web, often offering discounts or promotions.
    • Call to Action: Encourages the user to revisit Zappos and make a purchase.
  • Facebook:
    • Scenario: A user visits an e-commerce website and adds products to their cart but doesn’t complete the checkout.
    • Remarketing Strategy: Facebook allows the e-commerce site to retarget the user with dynamic ads displaying the abandoned cart items.
    • Call to Action: Reminds the user of the products in their cart and encourages them to complete the purchase.
  • Adidas:
    • Scenario: A user explores Adidas’ website, looking at running shoes and athletic apparel.
    • Remarketing Strategy: Adidas displays personalized ads featuring the products the user viewed, along with complementary items.
    • Call to Action: Encourages the user to revisit Adidas’ website to make a purchase.
  • Expedia:
    • Scenario: A user searches for flights and hotels on Expedia but doesn’t complete a booking.
    • Remarketing Strategy: Expedia shows ads on various platforms, reminding the user of their travel plans and offering discounts on selected destinations.
    • Call to Action: Prompts the user to return to Expedia and finalize their travel bookings.
  • H&M:
    • Scenario: A user browses H&M’s online store, adding clothing items to their cart but abandoning it before checkout.
    • Remarketing Strategy: H&M retargets the user with ads featuring the abandoned cart items, sometimes including limited-time offers.
    • Call to Action: Encourages the user to complete their purchase on H&M’s website.
  • Netflix:
    • Scenario: A user visits Netflix’s website and explores the available streaming plans.
    • Remarketing Strategy: Netflix delivers targeted ads to the user on social media platforms, emphasizing the content library and user experience.
    • Call to Action: Invites the user to subscribe to Netflix and start streaming.
  • (Cross-Device Remarketing):
    • Scenario: A user searches for accommodations on using a mobile device but doesn’t book.
    • Remarketing Strategy: employs cross-device remarketing, displaying ads on the user’s desktop and other devices, featuring the same destinations.
    • Call to Action: Encourages the user to revisit and complete their booking from a different device.
  • Etsy:
    • Scenario: A user explores unique handmade items on Etsy’s marketplace.
    • Remarketing Strategy: Etsy retargets the user with ads showcasing similar products from the same or similar sellers.
    • Call to Action: Prompts the user to return to Etsy and discover more handcrafted goods.
  • LinkedIn:
    • Scenario: A business professional visits a software company’s website, considering their services.
    • Remarketing Strategy: LinkedIn allows the software company to target the professional with sponsored content, highlighting case studies and success stories.
    • Call to Action: Encourages the professional to request a consultation or explore the company’s solutions.

Key takeaways:

  • Remarketing involves the creation of personalized and targeted ads for consumers who have already visited a company’s website. 
  • Remarketing campaigns can take a few different forms according to how users are added to a promotional list. Standard remarketing is the form used by the Google Display Network, but there are also dynamic, search engine, and mobile app forms.
  • Remarketing by definition is a personalized experience for each user. Nevertheless, some general examples of the strategy in action include those from Spotify, Airbnb, and Nike.

Key Highlights of Remarketing:

  • Definition: Remarketing is a digital marketing strategy that involves creating personalized and targeted ads for users who have previously visited a company’s website. It aims to re-engage these users and encourage them to take desired actions.
  • Rationale: Remarketing is based on the idea that advertising to users who are already familiar with a brand is more effective, as they are more likely to convert. Given that a significant percentage of website visitors (96%) leave without making a purchase, remarketing helps keep the brand top of mind.
  • Process:
    • Users visit a brand’s website or engage with its content.
    • Users are tagged with cookies, enabling tracking of their online behavior.
    • Targeted ads are displayed to these users on various platforms and websites based on their previous interactions.
  • Types of Remarketing:
    • Standard Remarketing: Display ads shown to website visitors on other websites and apps.
    • Mobile Apps Remarketing: Ads exclusively displayed in mobile apps and websites.
    • Search Engine Remarketing: Ads shown in search engine results to users who have visited a brand’s website.
    • Dynamic Remarketing: Personalized ads that showcase specific products or services viewed by users.
  • Examples:
    • Nike: Displays remarketing ads featuring personalized sneakers to users who have previously searched for shoes. Includes a call to action to encourage purchases on its website.
    • Airbnb: Shows remarketing ads in a user’s Facebook news feed, featuring accommodation listings and a prominent “Book Now” button.
    • Spotify: Uses traditional display marketing to target users as they browse the web, often offering promotions like three months of free Spotify Premium to existing users.

Visual Marketing Glossary

Account-Based Marketing

Account-based marketing (ABM) is a strategy where the marketing and sales departments come together to create personalized buying experiences for high-value accounts. Account-based marketing is a business-to-business (B2B) approach in which marketing and sales teams work together to target high-value accounts and turn them into customers.


Ad Ops – also known as Digital Ad Operations – refers to systems and processes that support digital advertisements’ delivery and management. The concept describes any process that helps a marketing team manage, run, or optimize ad campaigns, making them an integrating part of the business operations.

AARRR Funnel

Venture capitalist, Dave McClure, coined the acronym AARRR which is a simplified model that enables to understand what metrics and channels to look at, at each stage for the users’ path toward becoming customers and referrers of a brand.

Affinity Marketing

Affinity marketing involves a partnership between two or more businesses to sell more products. Note that this is a mutually beneficial arrangement where one brand can extend its reach and enhance its credibility in association with the other.

Ambush Marketing

As the name suggests, ambush marketing raises awareness for brands at events in a covert and unexpected fashion. Ambush marketing takes many forms, one common element, the brand advertising their products or services has not paid for the right to do so. Thus, the business doing the ambushing attempts to capitalize on the efforts made by the business sponsoring the event.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing describes the process whereby an affiliate earns a commission for selling the products of another person or company. Here, the affiliate is simply an individual who is motivated to promote a particular product through incentivization. The business whose product is being promoted will gain in terms of sales and marketing from affiliates.

Bullseye Framework

The bullseye framework is a simple method that enables you to prioritize the marketing channels that will make your company gain traction. The main logic of the bullseye framework is to find the marketing channels that work and prioritize them.

Brand Building

Brand building is the set of activities that help companies to build an identity that can be recognized by its audience. Thus, it works as a mechanism of identification through core values that signal trust and that help build long-term relationships between the brand and its key stakeholders.

Brand Dilution

According to inbound marketing platform HubSpot, brand dilution occurs “when a company’s brand equity diminishes due to an unsuccessful brand extension, which is a new product the company develops in an industry that they don’t have any market share in.” Brand dilution, therefore, occurs when a brand decreases in value after the company releases a product that does not align with its vision, mission, or skillset. 

Brand Essence Wheel

The brand essence wheel is a templated approach businesses can use to better understand their brand. The brand essence wheel has obvious implications for external brand strategy. However, it is equally important in simplifying brand strategy for employees without a strong marketing background. Although many variations of the brand essence wheel exist, a comprehensive wheel incorporates information from five categories: attributes, benefits, values, personality, brand essence.

Brand Equity

The brand equity is the premium that a customer is willing to pay for a product that has all the objective characteristics of existing alternatives, thus, making it different in terms of perception. The premium on seemingly equal products and quality is attributable to its brand equity.

Brand Positioning

Brand positioning is about creating a mental real estate in the mind of the target market. If successful, brand positioning allows a business to gain a competitive advantage. And it also works as a switching cost in favor of the brand. Consumers recognizing a brand might be less prone to switch to another brand.

Business Storytelling

Business storytelling is a critical part of developing a business model. Indeed, the way you frame the story of your organization will influence its brand in the long-term. That’s because your brand story is tied to your brand identity, and it enables people to identify with a company.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is one of the most powerful commercial activities which focuses on leveraging content production (text, audio, video, or other formats) to attract a targeted audience. Content marketing focuses on building a strong brand, but also to convert part of that targeted audience into potential customers.

Customer Lifetime Value

One of the first mentions of customer lifetime value was in the 1988 book Database Marketing: Strategy and Implementation written by Robert Shaw and Merlin Stone. Customer lifetime value (CLV) represents the value of a customer to a company over a period of time. It represents a critical business metric, especially for SaaS or recurring revenue-based businesses.

Customer Segmentation

Customer segmentation is a marketing method that divides the customers in sub-groups, that share similar characteristics. Thus, product, marketing and engineering teams can center the strategy from go-to-market to product development and communication around each sub-group. Customer segments can be broken down is several ways, such as demographics, geography, psychographics and more.

Developer Marketing

Developer marketing encompasses tactics designed to grow awareness and adopt software tools, solutions, and SaaS platforms. Developer marketing has become the standard among software companies with a platform component, where developers can build applications on top of the core software or open software. Therefore, engaging developer communities has become a key element of marketing for many digital businesses.

Digital Marketing Channels

A digital channel is a marketing channel, part of a distribution strategy, helping an organization to reach its potential customers via electronic means. There are several digital marketing channels, usually divided into organic and paid channels. Some organic channels are SEO, SMO, email marketing. And some paid channels comprise SEM, SMM, and display advertising.

Field Marketing

Field marketing is a general term that encompasses face-to-face marketing activities carried out in the field. These activities may include street promotions, conferences, sales, and various forms of experiential marketing. Field marketing, therefore, refers to any marketing activity that is performed in the field.

Funnel Marketing

interaction with a brand until they become a paid customer and beyond. Funnel marketing is modeled after the marketing funnel, a concept that tells the company how it should market to consumers based on their position in the funnel itself. The notion of a customer embarking on a journey when interacting with a brand was first proposed by Elias St. Elmo Lewis in 1898. Funnel marketing typically considers three stages of a non-linear marketing funnel. These are top of the funnel (TOFU), middle of the funnel (MOFU), and bottom of the funnel (BOFU). Particular marketing strategies at each stage are adapted to the level of familiarity the consumer has with a brand.

Go-To-Market Strategy

A go-to-market strategy represents how companies market their new products to reach target customers in a scalable and repeatable way. It starts with how new products/services get developed to how these organizations target potential customers (via sales and marketing models) to enable their value proposition to be delivered to create a competitive advantage.


The term “greenwashing” was first coined by environmentalist Jay Westerveld in 1986 at a time when most consumers received their news from television, radio, and print media. Some companies took advantage of limited public access to information by portraying themselves as environmental stewards – even when their actions proved otherwise. Greenwashing is a deceptive marketing practice where a company makes unsubstantiated claims about an environmentally-friendly product or service.

Grassroots Marketing

Grassroots marketing involves a brand creating highly targeted content for a particular niche or audience. When an organization engages in grassroots marketing, it focuses on a small group of people with the hope that its marketing message is shared with a progressively larger audience.

Growth Marketing

Growth marketing is a process of rapid experimentation, which in a way has to be “scientific” by keeping in mind that it is used by startups to grow, quickly. Thus, the “scientific” here is not meant in the academic sense. Growth marketing is expected to unlock growth, quickly and with an often limited budget.

Guerrilla Marketing

Guerrilla marketing is an advertising strategy that seeks to utilize low-cost and sometimes unconventional tactics that are high impact. First coined by Jay Conrad Levinson in his 1984 book of the same title, guerrilla marketing works best on existing customers who are familiar with a brand or product and its particular characteristics.

Hunger Marketing

Hunger marketing is a marketing strategy focused on manipulating consumer emotions. By bringing products to market with an attractive price point and restricted supply, consumers have a stronger desire to make a purchase.

Integrated Communication

Integrated marketing communication (IMC) is an approach used by businesses to coordinate and brand their communication strategies. Integrated marketing communication takes separate marketing functions and combines them into one, interconnected approach with a core brand message that is consistent across various channels. These encompass owned, earned, and paid media. Integrated marketing communication has been used to great effect by companies such as Snapchat, Snickers, and Domino’s.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is a marketing strategy designed to attract customers to a brand with content and experiences that they derive value from. Inbound marketing utilizes blogs, events, SEO, and social media to create brand awareness and attract targeted consumers. By attracting or “drawing in” a targeted audience, inbound marketing differs from outbound marketing which actively pushes a brand onto consumers who may have no interest in what is being offered.

Integrated Marketing

Integrated marketing describes the process of delivering consistent and relevant content to a target audience across all marketing channels. It is a cohesive, unified, and immersive marketing strategy that is cost-effective and relies on brand identity and storytelling to amplify the brand to a wider and wider audience.

Marketing Mix

The marketing mix is a term to describe the multi-faceted approach to a complete and effective marketing plan. Traditionally, this plan included the four Ps of marketing: price, product, promotion, and place. But the exact makeup of a marketing mix has undergone various changes in response to new technologies and ways of thinking. Additions to the four Ps include physical evidence, people, process, and even politics.

Marketing Myopia

Marketing myopia is the nearsighted focus on selling goods and services at the expense of consumer needs. Marketing myopia was coined by Harvard Business School professor Theodore Levitt in 1960. Originally, Levitt described the concept in the context of organizations in high-growth industries that become complacent in their belief that such industries never fail.

Marketing Personas

Marketing personas give businesses a general overview of key segments of their target audience and how these segments interact with their brand. Marketing personas are based on the data of an ideal, fictional customer whose characteristics, needs, and motivations are representative of a broader market segment.

Meme Marketing

Meme marketing is any marketing strategy that uses memes to promote a brand. The term “meme” itself was popularized by author Richard Dawkins over 50 years later in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene. In the book, Dawkins described how ideas evolved and were shared across different cultures. The internet has enabled this exchange to occur at an exponential rate, with the first modern memes emerging in the late 1990s and early 2000s.


Microtargeting is a marketing strategy that utilizes consumer demographic data to identify the interests of a very specific group of individuals. Like most marketing strategies, the goal of microtargeting is to positively influence consumer behavior.

Multi-Channel Marketing

Multichannel marketing executes a marketing strategy across multiple platforms to reach as many consumers as possible. Here, a platform may refer to product packaging, word-of-mouth advertising, mobile apps, email, websites, or promotional events, and all the other channels that can help amplify the brand to reach as many consumers as possible.

Multi-Level Marketing

Multi-level marketing (MLM), otherwise known as network or referral marketing, is a strategy in which businesses sell their products through person-to-person sales. When consumers join MLM programs, they act as distributors. Distributors make money by selling the product directly to other consumers. They earn a small percentage of sales from those that they recruit to do the same – often referred to as their “downline”.

Net Promoter Score

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a measure of the ability of a product or service to attract word-of-mouth advertising. NPS is a crucial part of any marketing strategy since attracting and then retaining customers means they are more likely to recommend a business to others.


Neuromarketing information is collected by measuring brain activity related to specific brain functions using sophisticated and expensive technology such as MRI machines. Some businesses also choose to make inferences of neurological responses by analyzing biometric and heart-rate data. Neuromarketing is the domain of large companies with similarly large budgets or subsidies. These include Frito-Lay, Google, and The Weather Channel.


Newsjacking as a marketing strategy was popularised by David Meerman Scott in his book Newsjacking: How to Inject Your Ideas into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media Coverage. Newsjacking describes the practice of aligning a brand with a current event to generate media attention and increase brand exposure.

Niche Marketing

A microniche is a subset of potential customers within a niche. In the era of dominating digital super-platforms, identifying a microniche can kick off the strategy of digital businesses to prevent competition against large platforms. As the microniche becomes a niche, then a market, scale becomes an option.

Push vs. Pull Marketing

We can define pull and push marketing from the perspective of the target audience or customers. In push marketing, as the name suggests, you’re promoting a product so that consumers can see it. In a pull strategy, consumers might look for your product or service drawn by its brand.

Real-Time Marketing

Real-time marketing is as exactly as it sounds. It involves in-the-moment marketing to customers across any channel based on how that customer is interacting with the brand.

Relationship Marketing

Relationship marketing involves businesses and their brands forming long-term relationships with customers. The focus of relationship marketing is to increase customer loyalty and engagement through high-quality products and services. It differs from short-term processes focused solely on customer acquisition and individual sales.

Reverse Marketing

Reverse marketing describes any marketing strategy that encourages consumers to seek out a product or company on their own. This approach differs from a traditional marketing strategy where marketers seek out the consumer.


Remarketing involves the creation of personalized and targeted ads for consumers who have already visited a company’s website. The process works in this way: as users visit a brand’s website, they are tagged with cookies that follow the users, and as they land on advertising platforms where retargeting is an option (like social media platforms) they get served ads based on their navigation.

Sensory Marketing

Sensory marketing describes any marketing campaign designed to appeal to the five human senses of touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound. Technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are enabling marketers to design fun, interactive, and immersive sensory marketing brand experiences. Long term, businesses must develop sensory marketing campaigns that are relevant and effective in eCommerce.

Services Marketing

Services marketing originated as a separate field of study during the 1980s. Researchers realized that the unique characteristics of services required different marketing strategies to those used in the promotion of physical goods. Services marketing is a specialized branch of marketing that promotes the intangible benefits delivered by a company to create customer value.

Sustainable Marketing

Sustainable marketing describes how a business will invest in social and environmental initiatives as part of its marketing strategy. Also known as green marketing, it is often used to counteract public criticism around wastage, misleading advertising, and poor quality or unsafe products.

Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Word-of-mouth marketing is a marketing strategy skewed toward offering a great experience to existing customers and incentivizing them to share it with other potential customers. That is one of the most effective forms of marketing as it enables a company to gain traction based on existing customers’ referrals. When repeat customers become a key enabler for the brand this is one of the best organic and sustainable growth marketing strategies.

360 Marketing

360 marketing is a marketing campaign that utilizes all available mediums, channels, and consumer touchpoints. 360 marketing requires the business to maintain a consistent presence across multiple online and offline channels. This ensures it does not miss potentially lucrative customer segments. By its very nature, 360 marketing describes any number of different marketing strategies. However, a broad and holistic marketing strategy should incorporate a website, SEO, PPC, email marketing, social media, public relations, in-store relations, and traditional forms of advertising such as television.

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