There have been a number of recent articles highlighting the impact of retargeting as an effective marketing vehicle. I couldn’t agree more. However, this article in MediaPost with the headline “Ad Retargeting Can Outperform Paid Search” really caught my attention. This headline as a standalone statement is over-simplified. It’s important for marketers to understand that search and remarketing are different media animals used to achieve fundamentally different objectives. So, of course it’s not surprising that remarketing performs better than search if you just look at overall conversion rates.
What it is: Remarketing re-engages the 98 percent of Web browsers who visit a Web site yet don’t convert on their first visit, including those who arrive from a search engine.
What it’s for: The purpose of remarketing is to re-engage prior visitors to draw them back to the site and convert or up-sell them.
Paid search is used to capture more of the search traffic on your brand or terms related to your brand’s offerings – regardless of who’s doing the searching – and drive them to your site.
An advertiser’s remarketing audience is a smaller, more targeted group from the overall Web audience – these consumers already know the marketer’s brand and have been to their site, so the barriers to conversion of have been lowered. The best way to look at remarketing is to think of it as a way to help drive conversions and retention after search or other marketing channels drive consumers to a Web site. And, as always, search, remarketing and other online channels should be integrated as part of a holistic media plan to drive optimal performance and efficiency.
– Chris Hansen, VP of Performance Marketing