Retargeting: A Simple Strategy for Marketing Success

Small business owners looking to get the biggest bang for their online marketing buck should study up on a powerful, emerging trend: Retargeting.

In short, this is a simple concept that's allowing entrepreneurs to extend their reach -- and their brand -- far across the web. Retargeting essentially allows you to track visitors to your website after they leave and to strategically place ads on websites they visit. It's an incredible tool that can help you reach consumers who don't convert on their initial visit to your online storefront.

The process is a relatively simple one. An anonymous cookie is placed in a visitor’s browsing history when they visit your site for the first time. After they navigate away from your page, the cookie collects data on their browsing habits and then shows the visitor a targeted ad for your product or service based on what their needs seem to be.

For instance, let's say you own a mortgage company that caters to veterans. A prospective consumer visits your site but ultimately fails to take any specific action. By using retargeting, you can show that consumer ads about your interest rates and mortgage options while they search other sites, from news and information sources to entertainment sites.

You also have the ability to set the frequency of ad playbacks that each visitor receives in order to customize the process and avoid saturation.

Many marketing analysts consider retargeting to be one of the most underutilized marketing strategies for online businesses, and perhaps that is due in part to lack of knowledge. The majority of online business owners would be shocked to learn, for example, that only around 2 percent of potential customers who come to your site after clicking an ad actually make a purchase the first time around. While effective marketing can change these figures slightly, most sales are made by employing consistent reminders to the potential client that your business is the right choice for their needs.

Businesses that begin to use retargeting can expect to see a significant increase in first-time sales nearly immediately. After the initial setup, retargeting requires very little time and effort on your part. In fact, there are marketing companies devoted entirely to the business of retargeting.

If you lack the time or knowledge to begin the process yourself, consider using a service like Fetchback , AOL, or Collective Media. With the cost of the process relatively low, particularly compared to other marketing efforts, the cost benefit analysis of retargeting makes the decision an easy one. Especially as you sit back and watch the sales roll in as your competitors scramble to keep up.

About the author

Chris Birk, a former newspaper and magazine writer, works for Missouri-based, a unique firm that provides angel investment and online marketing expertise to emerging companies. He is also a principal with and a part-time college professor.


Chris, It's great to hear


It's great to hear your thoughts on remarketing. I'm Kathryn, marketing associate at Where some people might find this technology "creepy", I can fully agree that remarketing is not scary if you understand how it works. The technology and purpose behind it is amazing. Getting ads about the products and services that actually interest you when you are interested is a wonderful opportunity. Remarketing is also an extremely effective tool for smaller to medium-sized businesses with limited budget and need for maximum reach! I so appreciate your point of view! Thank you. For anyone interested, visit us: We'd love to hear from you.

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