Behavioral retargeting

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Behavioral retargeting (also known as behavioral remarketing, or simply, retargeting) is a form of online targeted advertising by which online advertising is targeted to consumers based on their previous Internet actions, in situations where these actions did not result in a sale or conversion.[1]

Retargeting practices[edit]

In its most basic form, retargeting serves ads to people more frequently after they have left a publisher's website. A publisher is a website, an advertiser is a person showing the ad. So if a publisher has given access to an ad network to show ads from advertisers, then these publishers can also become part of retargeting network. In practice, most publishers sign up for displaying ads from ad networks instead of directly negotiating with the advertiser to display their ads. Some advertisers specialize in retargeting, while other companies have added retargeting to their list of methods of purchasing advertising. Retargeting helps companies advertise to website visitors who leave without a conversion - this accounts for about 98% of all web traffic.[2]

Retargeting is done by displaying ads to the user as they browse the internet, via various ad networks that the agency buys media from on behalf of their Business Customers. Retargeting marks or tags online users who visit a certain brand website with a pixel or a cookie,[3] and then serves banner ads only to the people who have shown at least some amount of engagement in the original brand. Retargeting ad campaigns usually run on lower cost media, such as display ads, which not only increases effectiveness by specifically targeting an interested audience, but also improves the overall ROI of the advertiser. Where a company has already spent money driving a user to their site in the first place, the term "retargeting" is derived from the concept of marketing to that same user again, in a different manner. Search retargeting, a form of behavioral retargeting, can also be leveraged to drive new customers that have not been to the site before because they are being retargeted based on actions taken on a third-party website.

Personalized retargeting, a related practice, differs from behavioral retargeting as it allows an advertiser to display a banner created on-the-fly for a particular consumer based on their specific browsing behavior. For example, if a consumer visits an advertiser's website and browses products A, B and C - they will then be retargeted with a display banner featuring the exact products A, B and C that they previously viewed. This is typically restricted to the visitor's browsing on a single website.

A refined version of personalized retargeting improves on re-engagement of customers. If a customer begins an online order, for example, but then fails to complete, a flag indicates they had interest in the product being ordered. Later ads showing the product of interest can be custom-linked to point back into the order system. When the user clicks on the ad, they are returned to incomplete order. Such an implementation requires that the order system support deep linking or other retargeting services.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "To Recoup Click-through Losses, Redirect". Search Insider. 5 June 2006. 
  2. ^ Samir Soriano (2 March 2011). "What is retargeting and how does it work?". ReTargeter. 
  3. ^ "The Future of Retargeting, Remarketing and Remessaging". Marketing Land. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  4. ^ "How Does Mobile Retargeting Works?". App Development News. Retrieved 2014-09-29.