Retargeting 101: The Basics and Beyond (Part 1)

Posted by Hannah Jeon on Jul 19, 2018 1:42:32 PM

Topics: Tips & How to, Product Features

Ever wondered how you can close ‘sales’ or make a conversion that your campaign missed? Retargeting could be your answer. One of Marketing’s finest tools of the trade, so to speak, retargeting can be powerful and effective – if you know how to make skilful use of it.


What is Retargeting?



With targeting, you display ads to people who’ll be likely interested based on a set of criteria. Retargeting, on the other hand, means spending ad dollars on people who have already shown interest, people who have passed the initial stages of the buying funnel – awareness.


How does Retargeting works exactly?

Here’s how it works. Say a customer visited your website or mobile app, but for some reason, decided to jump somewhere else. When this happens, retargeting places your ad on that ‘somewhere else’. In doing so, it attracts them back to your website or mobile app so ‘sales’ can be translated into ‘desired actions’, or essentially, lead to conversion. Desired actions could be impressions, clicks, installs, first purchases, lead gen or even video views in the context of Programmatic as defined by advertisers.


As you can see, retargeting is more effective and impactful than most types of advertising. It can lower the cost of acquisition, yield higher brand recall and higher ROI.

On the Web, it all starts by placing a retargeting pixel on certain sections of your website or across your entire website. People who visit the pages with the pixel are then collected as an “audience” and "cookied". Thus, they will see your ads when they visit other websites in the display networks where your retargeting ads are running.

Retargeting works differently in the mobile environment where two methods are utilized:


  1. Pixel-based retargeting for mobile web
  2. List-based retargeting


(Mobile Web)
Both cookies and device IDs are used to track user data but information can be different.
On the web, cookies identify the audience based on historical browsing patterns, age, gender, up to a certain degree of anonymity.
Device IDs
In mobile, every time a user downloads an app, views or clicks on an ad, the app owner/advertiser anonymously gains access to the user’s device ID/advertising ID information.

This device ID data can create a whitelist to retarget the user with appropriate messaging, but unlike cookies, age and gender will not be available.


With pixel-based retargeting for mobile web, you can retarget visitors on advertiser or partner sites through a DSP to increase ad targeting effectiveness. This promises you a continuous supply of potential customers and a constant level of traffic to the landing page for retargeting. 


Continue to Retargeting 101: The Basics and Beyond (Part 2)






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