What's all the Hype About Re-Marketing?

What you need to know about Re-Marketing: It may not be worth all the hype. 4 min video.


Hi, welcome to our video blog series of FAQs about paid search advertising for people like you. I’m Brian O’Grady from Search Warrant Online Marketing, buckle up.

So, let’s talk about re-marketing for a second. What is it and is it worth all the hype in the industry. My short answer to that is yes, it’s exciting and it is new and different. But, it may not be worth all of the hype in the industry. First, let’s take a look at what re-marketing is and how it works. Basically, re-marketing is the ability with your ad tactics, your advertising tactics to continue conversations with people you have already connected with one way or another, either through your ads or through your messaging. And that’s really important because that allows you to raise the quality of the conversation and if you already know what those people are interested in then you can begin to tailor your message specifically to those people.

I’ll give you an example, if you’re shopping on Amazon and you’ve put two or three products in your shopping cart and then the phone rings and someone comes to the door and you lose interest for whatever reason and you go to do something else that’s incredibly valuable information for an advertiser like Amazon to have. Because as a customer you came this close to making a purchase. It probably wouldn’t take a whole lot of encouragement to find you again to make those purchases. Maybe we’ll toss you a $5 discount to see if that pushes you over the edge. Well, in effect, that’s what remarketing allows you to do. It allows you to find me or someone like me who’s come really close to taking an action or has taken an action we consider valuable and to advertise to them again to encourage them to take the next step or to take another action. So, it can be very powerful when used properly.

Let’s talk for a second about a couple of downsides of re-marketing. They are real and they do exist and you will hear about them in the industry. The first one is the creep factor. What I mean by that is if you’ve ever been followed around the internet by the same ad everywhere, all the time, that can get a little creepy and it makes it pretty obvious that someone is watching you. The second potential downside is that you need a really big list in order to make re-marketing work for you. If your lists are too small, the math of re-marketing is going to mean that that effort just isn’t worth it in terms of dollars and cents. A large list is a good thing for your re-marketing programs for a couple of reasons. First, and foremost, it makes it much more effective because the math of marketing means that by the time you’ve got someone from your ads to the website to the action you want, it’s not going to be very many people left at the bottom of that funnel. So, you need to start with a really large list and secondly you want a large list because it helps keep people anonymous and helps avoid the creep factor as well.

So now that we know all of that about re-marketing, where does it fit into your advertising campaigns. How should you treat it? That’s an important question for me because I see a lot of agencies, businesses and people in the industry that seem to treat re-marketing as a tactic unto itself. For example, on your report, they might have your search marketing, they might have your display marketing, they might have social marketing, and on a separate line item, they actually have your re-marketing. Now, I don’t agree with that approach, that it’s a tactic unto itself, that it should be budgeted separately and treated separately. Instead, I see re-marketing as a really valuable and powerful feature of the tactics you’re already using. It’s the icing on the cake if you will. Because remember what it is really doing is it’s allowing you to take that conversation you were already having in various different tactics and you’re just raising the quality of it with those people. Again, with all the same tactics. So, don’t treat re-marketing like its own island instead treat it like a valuable accessory, a valuable feature of the tactics you’re already running. And if you do that, re-marketing will help you improve the quality of your results day after day, all the time.