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You may have heard of ad retargeting and have some idea what it’s about. If you’re wondering whether it could be a good solution for your business, here is an overview of when and how retargeting works best, and the different kinds of retargeting strategies that digital marketers are using today.


What is retargeting?

Unlike typical banner ads which are set to run continuously on a specific web page, retargeting ads are a dynamic form of online advertising that is served out quickly on the browsers of people who have just visited your website, or are a contact in your database (like a lead or customer).

These are the ads that follow you around to different sites after you’ve visited the retargeter’s site, or performed some other relevant action that’s being tracked. They might show up as pop-ups on another website, or on your email or social media pages.

The theory of retargeting is that when someone has just demonstrated shopping interest in your product but abandoned your page before making a purchase, they’re still a warm lead who could convert if you just hit them one more time with a reminder message.

The costs of ad retargeting are dynamic as well. Prices are determined by a bidding process calculated according to specific competitive demand on any given platform in use at the time.


The case for B2B retargeting is a compelling one.

Retargeter analyzed statistics gathered from their client base of both B2B and B2C customers, and reported these results:

  • CTR Click Through Rate: B2B retargeting outperforms B2C retargeting by 147%
  • CPI Conversions Per Impression: B2B outperforms B2C by 402%
  • CPC Conversions Per Click: B2B outperforms B2C by 273%
  • CCPC Click-through Conversions Per Click: B2B outperforms B2C by 189%

They postulate a few reasons why and how retargeting works even better for B2B:

  • Business consumers are more ready to purchase a solution
  • Retargeting acts as a reminder for B2B consumers who tend to be very busy
  • There tends to be a higher sense of purchase urgency with business solutions than with consumer goods


Retargeting comes in many forms.

Search retargeting

Targets those who have previously made searches using keywords that are relevant to your business.

Based on assumptions. You don’t know the searcher’s intent.

Site retargeting

Triggered by people who actually visited your site, so you can follow them and make your message heard.

You may still wish to target users differently, depending on what they did on your website.

Email retargeting

This type allows you to retarget visitors based on the actions they have taken on your emails.

Simply add a retargeting code into the HTML or signature of your emails. Leads who open your emails will automatically start seeing your ads across the web.

SEO retargeting

Very similar to site retargeting, these are triggered by all search terms used to arrive on your site.

Social media retargeting

These are retargeting ads served out on social media networks exclusively.


What’s your retargeting campaign goal – Awareness or Conversion?

Awareness campaigns

These campaigns cast a wider net, introducing you to the universe of potential customers. They’re a good way to introduce a new company or product, when you don’t have a lot of customer information yet. Use awareness campaigns as precursors to a  more effective campaign goal: conversions.

Conversion campaigns

Conversion goals are just that –they get people to click on your ad and take a next step, such as filling out a landing page form.

Conversion campaigns are best used to align a specific list with a clear next step in the funnel, and can be measured with typical conversion metrics like website clicks, form submission, and cost per lead (CPL).


It’s all getting very personal.

As the body of marketing dashboard tools and web analytics data continues to grow, the retargeting industry has added new levels of sophistication enabled by Big Data, with the ability to personalize ad messaging down to micro levels.

It isn’t enough to allocate a digital marketing budget and hope for the best. With personalized retargeting, you can target, measure, and optimize your B2B ad spend.


Ways to optimize your ad spend with personalized retargeting

1) Company-Specific Messaging

Your audience is more visible than you may know. Google Analytics will show you the names of companies associated with the IP addresses of your website visitors, allowing you to personalize messages.

2) Industry-Specific Messaging

Using B2B analytics integration, personalized retargeting also allows you to see which industries your prospects represent.

3) Focus on Sales-Qualified (Key) Accounts

Using Account-Based Marketing, group accounts by their similar attributes, rather than a specific organization or industry. These could be grouped by industry, buyer personas, or named account lists that have been lead-scored by the sales team.

It’s very effective when you can engage target accounts with personalized content, messaging, and calls-to-action.

4) Target the Accounts that Matter

Once you’ve analyzed the segments coming to your site and you’ve fine-tuned your messaging to these most relevant accounts, you can optimize your retargeting budget to focus on the campaigns that drive the traffic you specifically want.

5) Map your ad content & landing pages to different stages of the sales funnel

Just as you would for any other type of campaign, you design a message sequence appropriate to the buyer’s journey. Drill down from intro messaging at the top of the funnel to invitations for free demos or samples when they’re ready to decide.

6) Use Facebook Custom Audiences

A lesser-known benefit you can gain by advertising through Facebook is Custom Audiences. There, you upload a list of email addresses or phone numbers and those contacts then see your ad whenever they’re on their Facebook page. You can also build audiences on this service from website visitors or mobile app users.


Retargeting Trends to Watch in 2017

Omnichannel is the most interesting trend to watch. Omnichannel marketing creates a unified, seamless customer experience across every type of encounter: desktop, mobile, broadcast, telephone, even a brick-and-mortar store. Omnichannel technologies were previously affordable only to enterprise businesses, but we are now seeing price points and platforms tailored for local, small businesses.

A related trend is cross-device retargeting, which can identify a user and continuously track his or her moves across devices. The recent move by Congress to loosen the reins on user privacy constraints promises to open that door even wider. Whatever may be your personal feelings on this issue, for marketers it will enable more ways to connect with interested prospects.

Leadit Marketing works with all the major ad retargeting services. We can help you develop a plan and budget, and recommend the best vendors to consider if you’re not sure where to start.


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Shannon Prager is recognized B2B marketing strategist and the President of Leadit Marketing. She is responsible for the daily operations and management of Leadit Marketing as well as the long term vision for the company.

A marketing leader with over 19 years of B2B demand generation and marketing experience, she understands the importance of a fully developed integrated marketing strategy. Shannon’s background includes demand generation, marketing automation, social media, digital marketing, customer marketing, account based marketing and marketing operations. You can follow her on LinkedIn via or Twitter @

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