I feel that remarketing started as a complimentary tactic that quickly grew into a marketing "must-do" for businesses looking to compete online. What is it? How does it work and how does it compare with other forms of advertising?
The easiest way to explain remarketing is just to break it down visually.
So, if you follow from left to right - This type of marketing is enacted when someone visits your website(green circle). An internet cookie1 is then assigned to your computer and then follows you around the internet. Now, this might sound semi-creepy, but it's not as intrusive as you might think.
It's not storing identifiable information or tracking you as a person, but rather using this ID(cookie) to trigger ads across the web. The criteria are set at the beginning of a remarketing campaign and ads will display a "reminder ad" of your website when prospective visitors are on an external media property that supports the ads.
These external sources are often other websites, but you will find offerings for mobile apps, games, and social platforms just to name a few.
Remarketing is effective. It is growing in popularity which means that the web is beginning to become saturated with these kind ad campaigns. Despite the saturation — it has yet to show any decline in its' effectiveness.
For example, in 2016,
WordStream; a reputable source in the PPC/AdWords industry that develops software and free marketing tools did some research with their client data and the results are interesting, to say the least.
There are some industries where the difference is negligible, but then there are instances where it was 3 -4 times cheaper to go the remarketing route. Again, this isn't Google reported data, but in my experience, remarketing is easier to compete in, both for cost and actual implementation when compared to Pay Per Click(PPC) campaigns.
As of May 2017, there are nearly 2 billion websites (1,814,996,345) — Now, that doesn't mean these are all legitimate sites, but it does mean there is a lot of clutter out there in general. This is exactly why a "build it and they will come" mentality is just not plausible for online business.
So, long story short, I think remarketing is a great idea for any online business/person that wants to sell items, gain marketing presence, build up brand authority, or just about anything else.
Cookie is a small text file created by a website that is stored in the user's computer either temporarily for that session only or permanently on the hard disk (persistent cookie).Cookies provide a way for the website to recognize you and keep track of your preferences and/or could be used to display relevant ads. Source