Post: Retargeting Your Online Ads

Flex News, Marketing

Retargeting Your Online Ads

By now you’ve heard the term targeted display or retargeting by more than one sales person or advertising agency. You may have an influx of emails wanting to sell you targeted display or phone calls explaining how you can grow your business through online campaigns. But what is targeted display and retargeting?

Create Your Marketing Plan

Say you own a costume shop. Sales around Halloween are great. Your customers are happy with the quality of your costumes and your customer service. But the rest of the year could use a little boost in revenue. You did some brainstorming and came up with a marketing strategy to promote costume parties. You are using inbound marketing (we will cover this in part 4 of this series) to offer ideas and content to potential buyers. You have key words, placed some information on your website and started an email campaign. That’s all great stuff, and it should be part of your marketing strategy, but how do you get your message in front of people that are actively looking for costumes?

Now, Let’s Retarget

This is where targeted display comes into play. Picturing a target is exactly what you should do when thinking about online display ads. The web is the target and your potential customers are the bullseye. The web is a great research tool for buyers, and you want to find those consumers. Placing banner ads national websites is fine. It’s great for brand recognition, but you aren’t effectively reaching the potential consumer for your business. Think about it this way. Would someone on the Wall Street Journal’s website from Topeka, Kansas be interested in a costume you’re selling in Little Rock, Arkansas? Probably not. Your money and impressions would serve you better by targeting a specific type of person with specific research habits.

With retargeting, you can get your business in front of a consumer who is actually looking for and researching your product. So not only are you getting in front of a potential buyer, you are getting in front of the best prospective buyer out there for you.

Retargeting works in three ways. If a person does a search for your service or product, if a person visits your website, or if a person is reading an article on a product or service you sell, your ad will then be served to them as they search the web. Of course your ad will appear if they fit certain parameters you’ve set – like location, age range, gender, etc.

Here’s an example:

Jim’s best friend is turning 40 and having a costume party to celebrate. Jim hasn’t worn a costume since he was a kid and his mom made that one, but his wife doesn’t sew. He decides to do some research. He grabs his laptop and searches for men’s costume ideas. The local costume shop might not show up in the search listings since he didn’t type in their name or the local city.

After some research, Jim decides he doesn’t want to purchase a costume, but would like to rent one. He’s decided that he and his wife would look great as Robin Hood and Maid Marion. As he was reading about costume ideas, he noticed a local costume shop’s ad by the article. He briefly glanced at the ad and then decided he wanted to get an update on the score of the local game. While checking the score, the ad for the local costume shop pops up again. Jim takes note that he needs to check out their website next time he does more research.

The next day while waiting in line at the local coffee shop, Jim checks his Facebook news feed on his mobile phone. While looking at status updates, he sees a photo of a guy wearing a Robin Hood costume and the local costume shop’s name again. Jim is now convinced this is definitely the outfit he needs to wear to the party. He remembers seeing the shop’s ad when researching and decides to visit their website. They have a great article on tips for throwing a great costume party, and Jim glanced over it so he could give his best friend some tips. He also noticed a phone number on the site he could click to call the shop directly. Jim talks with the friendly clerk and discovered there is a Robin Hood costume available in his size. He’s set up an appointment for him and his wife to try on costumes and pick them up the following day, and he’s done this all while waiting in line to get a cup of coffee.

The Resuts

A lot of things happened to convert Jim’s research into a sale, and each marketing element played a role in his buyer’s journey. While Jim didn’t physically click on the retargeted ad, he did recognize the costume shop as a viable solution to his need. When he was reminded of the costume shop again, he decided to act. By following Jim around the web and making him aware of their brand, the costume shop developed a top of mind awareness with Jim. The relevant content on their site and the ease of a responsive web design made Jim’s shopping experience easy and convenient.


If you have any questions or need help evaluating your website, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll be happy to help you find a solution to fit your digital needs.

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