--> Remarketing & Google Remarketing Tag - How it Works

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5 Remarketing or retargeting

Remarketing is the marketing technique where you show your ad(s) to visitors who have (recently) previously been to your website. This marketing technique is a simple and cheap way to target visitors that have already been to your digital property (website or app) and might not have converted. The longer the customer journey, the more sense it makes to remind people of your USPs, or to up or cross sell certain products.

There are a few ways in which you can create your remarketing audience lists.

Google Analytics Remarketing

Remarketing with Google Analytics combines the power of Google Analytics with the reach of the Google Display Network. Using the 250+ native variables of Google Analytics, marketers are able to create sophisticated user segments, which can then be retargeted on GDN (also via Similar Audiences and or via RLSA on Google Search) just as normal Google Ads remarketing lists. Users can create remarketing lists in the Google Analytics interface which are linked to an Google Ads account.  Once created, a remarketing list can be used in the Google Ads interface just as a normal remarketing list generated with the Google Ads remarketing tag. GA Remarketing lists automatically show up in the “Shared Library” section of Google Ads and generate Similar Audiences lists just as Google Ads Remarketing lists. 

Please see the Google Help Center for more screenshots and how-to’s information for a simple setup. If you want to take you remarketing strategy to the next level, take a look at advance strategies for audience segmentation in our Google Analytics start guide. If you sing in on that page, you will find a guide to creating test audiences that you can use to create A/B test to determine incremental effect of any audience strategy. You can also play around with Custom Dimensions to collect for example to favourite airport, peak versus non peak travelers, or family non family data points and use these in your segmentation strategy.

If that is not advanced enough, you can use GA’s Data Import feature to pull in customer value data like churn propensity, customer value, lifetime purchases, etc. to build lists which can be used for remarketing. These lists are also ideal for generating Similar Audiences for example for “Gold Members”. Get started on that here.

Everyone should try to use a Google Smart lists in their Remarketing strategy. It uses Google’s Artificial Intelligence techniques to determine your most valuable visitors characteristics and it selects the 15% of cookies that are most likely to convert on a subsequent visit.

If you are using the DoubleClick platform you might want to consider upgrading to Google Analytics 360 in order to use your GA audiences for your remarketing strategy.

Google Remarketing Pixel

One large disadvantage of the Google Analytics remarketing audiences is that they are and will likely be cookie based for quite some time going forward. If you have a simple strategy (based on combinations of recency, frequency and purchase behaviour), you might want to use the Google remarketing pixel. These lists will target users across the different devices they are logged in one (if they have agreed to being targeted), hence creating more reach across all devices your visitor uses. You have less options to customise the lists, but you will find extensive segmentation (churn propensity, customer value, lifetime purchases, last purchase) works well only for the large advertisers.

However you create your audience lists, make sure you (minimise or) exclude the possibility that one cookie or user is in more than one audience lists you target simultaneously. That is really important in order to make sure your data is reliable.

Other vendors that have a large following are Criteo, AdRoll and/or Facebook. Make sure you create extra reach for your remarketing efforts via text inventory that is exclusively available through GDN. And target text only in order to prevent bidding against yourself. That Google Ads text activity will give you some ammunition to question the CPA pricing some the the black box vendors out there will charge you.

Dynamic Remarketing

If you offer a wide range of products, you could greatly enhance the effectiveness of your retargeting strategy by making sure you have a dynamic creative. That creative could be based either on the different parts of the site that have been visited and /or a dynamic feed you have created. You can read more about setting that up a feed to power you dynamic remarketing here (for Google) or here (for non Google feeds). No need to be intimidated by the language, it is a pretty simple process.

Customer Match

You can also create audiences list from email lists that you might own. That can be done through both Google and FaceBook. These audience lists can then be targeted with specific offers or more generic branding activity. For example, you could split the email lists you have in three. One with regular clients that have purchased more than twice in the last year. Another list with clients that have purchased once, and perhaps one that have not purchased for the last year. Match rates between your email lists and Google or FaceBook cookies are usually far from the 100%. But once you have a match you are very likely to have all devices operated by that user in your audience list.