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Google Adwords Remarketing Explained
15th December, 2011

The concept of remarketing is an age old one, advertise to the people who have already shown interest before… let’s take an example.

You’re a shop owner – people walk in and browse your shop… but maybe they don’t buy anything… Wouldn’t it be nice if once they have left the shop they see a bill board or other advert showing the very thing there were looking at only moments before, or maybe even a few days before.

Imagine you could infiltrate their television with a Advert with products related to what they were looking at in your shop.

Or maybe – if they actually brought something, a TV for example, you could advertise a CD player, speakers, home cinema, films to watch and so on.

Of course all that is impossible.  No shop owner can advertise to such a precise level.  But for good or bad the same is not true on-line.  And indeed if someone visits your website and if they purchase something… well scarily Google can track it… Especially if they found you via Google Adwords in the first place.

Let’s go back a few steps and see what is happening here. Because we should be clear this is not some sort of stalking or cyber spying, Google and others have gort around that stumbling block, this is about a user actively responding to an advert you (the shop owner) have placed on Google. Normal activities do not count. Google’s only tracking you if you click an advert.

At this point Google can track the whole process, for years they have collected data on time, location, keywords used, ads responded to, and so on… it was only a matter of time that Google would allow us advertisers to use this data.

So when you switch on Google Adwords Remarketing (under Audiences in your account) – you’re actually just using the data you are already collecting.

What happens is the following:

  1. Potential customer clicks/responds to your advert
  2. They are tracked through your website, products shown or bought
  3. They leave your website, but Google remembers that user has visited your website
  4. Now when the potential customer visits other websites that display Google Adverts it puts two and two together…
  5. Your adverts are shown repeated (within reason) until the user responds again and look sat your website a second or third time, or they make a purchase.
The pros from a marketeers point of view are massive, the opportunity to advertise only to those that are already interested is great.
The cons however exists as well, repeat adverts can annoy, offend or even harass people.
For now the numbers speak for themselves, remarketing is garnering huge interest because quite simply it works.
With a caveat – and this is important – it will work much better for some people than others, particularly business with a long lead to sale time… to reassure, increase brand awareness and emphasis commitment to prospects is vital to long lead time to sale customers.  So these are likely to be the Adwords customers Google are aiming for.