Have you ever looked at something online and then become reminded of that something for the next three months via ads on every other site you visit?  No, you are not crazy. No, the CIA is not following your smart watch search. Welcome to the world of retargeting.


Retargeting is a powerful tool used by marketers across the land.. It is an optimization and branding tool that is used after a person visits a site on the oh-so-ever glorious internet and does not complete a purchase.  What, you thought you were going to skate out of a purchase and not be tracked thereafter?  Not in 2016, my friend. So how does it work? Well, it goes a little something like this….

You visit a website and browse some vacation rentals in the mountains for you and your friends, but then your phone rings and your friend tells you not to make that purchase because there might be a better deal that she is looking into.  Ok, got it. You exit that website and go about your business as usual.  What you didn’t know is that website had an unnoticable code placed in their website by a retargeting provider. Next, this code has placed retargeting ‘cookies’ into your browser and is now able to track you (wherever you go, I go).  Later that day, you are scrolling through your Facebook feed and what do you know, VACATION RENTALS! Essentially, the marketers want you be reminded of the product and redirect you back to them to finish your purchase.


Thanks, Retargeter for the visual! If you are interested, there are whole load of retargeting platforms you can check out, such as: Adroll, Retargeter , Fetchback, and Chango.

Happy creeping (I mean, retargeting), everyone!




  1. I feel like retargeting is a blessing and a curse all wrapped up in one. As a marketer, it’s extremely effective at reaching your target audience. As a consumer, it’s just creepy at times. However while some have concerns over privacy with behavioral targeting, I think most consumers do appreciate the fact they are receiving relevant content. “Smarter” and “more useful” are two terms used to describe how targeted curation positively affects a consumer’s web experience. I think there’s a balance between brands being seen as “Big Brother” versus “helpful” when using retargeting in their marketing efforts. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a great post. There is a way to avoid retargeting via utilization of ad blockers. A marketer’s worst nightmare is trying to reach individuals who use any type of ad blockers on their internet browser. But alas, there is a way around that as well. Marketer’s have been able to send you emails to welcome you back to their site and possible make a purchase. I get that a lot. Even though I do use ad blockers, I still receive an email from the last site visited in addition to related emails from their partners.


  3. Retargeting is clever, but a little creepy at the same time. I constantly have a million and one things going on at a time between work, school, family and friends, so I do find retargeting helpful in some scenarios to remind me of what I was looking at for potential purchase. Digital marketing is a competitive world so retargeting makes sense. What makes the practice effective, however, is real-time bidding (RTB) technology, allowing marketers to bid on and purchase ad impressions. Because of this, retargeting campaigns cause highly-targeted engagement, which then helps marketers to incur less campaign costs due to retargeting’s efficiency. This is an obvious win for marketers, but it still feels like Big Brother at times.


  4. Re-targetting may be creepy but we use it A LOT in my job. “The number of consumers using ad blockers in the U.S. increased 48 percent during the last year, according to a report commissioned by Adobe and conducted by PageFair, which estimates that ad blockers on desktop computers will cost publishers $22 billion this year. ” We are contantly thinking of ways to reach our target market at the right place and the right time and wonder how ad blocking will effect us in the future!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Re-targeting is a very powerful marketing tool, that can really help increase sales and conversion rates. There are three basic types of re-targeting: search re-targeting, email re-targeting, and contextual re-targeting (Ratcliff, 2014). I personally have experienced email re-targeting on more than one occasion from some of my favorite e-commerce sites. Lands End, Eddie Bauer, and are three sites that I have experienced email re-targeting. I have to admit that I am often guilty of cart abandonment, I will put things in my cart as I am browsing, but then never actually complete the purchase. There have been quite a few times that when I received the reminder email about my cart abandonment, I then went and completed the purchase. These re-targeting emails have the ability to convert 12% of abandoned carts (Kiss metrics, n.d.).

    Kiss Metrics. (n.d.). How peak design recovers 12% of abandoned carts with email remarketing [web log]. Retrieved from

    Ratcliff, C. (2014, January 9). What is retargeting and why do you need it [web log]. Econsultancy. Retrieved from

    Liked by 1 person

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