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Remarketing – so much more than you might think

Over the past year I’ve gone from being lukewarm about Google AdWords “Remarketing” to the point where I’m now recommending it in some form to almost all of our clients. Here’s a quick guide to what it is, and why it can work so well for companies with the particular requirements of the engineering and scientific sectors.

Firstly, what is remarketing? It’s simply tagging someone who’s visited your website (or specific pages), and subsequently modifying the AdWords adverts you show to that person. Initially, it was sold just as a tool for online retailers to show past purchasers other offers, or to repeat the offer to those who looked but didn’t buy. You’ll recognise this from the ads served up by Amazon, Marks & Spencer and John Lewis which “follow you around the web” once you’ve visited their site.

But remarketing is now so much more than “ads following you around the web”. It’s extremely appropriate, if less measurably so, for products with a long buying cycle, which will probably include your own. Why? Well, we all know that a large proportion of B2B customers spend months – if not years – of consideration before deciding to change supplier. Once you’ve gained their attention, you need to remain on their radar constantly.

The normal (and still best) way of doing this is to offer them something great, obtain their email address, and send them regular information to remind them how good you are. But many companies find that too hard, and anyway, most prospects won’t give you their contact details until they absolutely have to.

Remarketing quietly does the same job. You can now even show different ads on the Google search results pages to people who’ve already visited your website. I’ll look at the various implementations tomorrow, but for now, if you’ve got an MD who has the wrong idea about remarketing (because of all those Marks & Spencer ads), it’s time to let them know what it’s really all about.

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