09/13/2012 11:26 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Google Remarketing: Combine the Reach of Display with the Precision of Search

The Challenge: Display advertising has significant limitations when it comes to high impact branding. However, it's worth evaluating Google's innovative "Remarketing" Campaigns which can achieve double-digit click-through and conversion rates, if used carefully.

Many marketers feel that display ads are the "brand awareness black hole" of online marketing. They have extremely low click-through and conversion rates, and their effectiveness as a brand awareness tool is questionable. Google Remarketing is different.

Remarketing allows you to track what visitors view on your site, and display ads to them accordingly. Rather than seeing generic banners about your product, visitors will see ads based on the specific pages they were viewing. This results in more relevant ads for users, and greater revenue for advertisers.

Important caution: what some will regard as highly relevant ads, others will see as invasions of their privacy. Therefore, it is crucial to be proactive about explaining how people can opt-out of Google Remarketing Ads. (Unfortunately, Google has not gone so far as to make remarketing opt-in.) Customers can disable ad targeting in their settings, and Google "removes all of your historical ad targeting information if you opt-out and then opt-in again."


» Abandoned Shopping Carts
Many customers abandon the conversion process without making a purchase. With remarketing, you can target these customers directly and encourage them to come back and complete the conversion process. The results are dramatic: "On average, 8 percent of customers return to a site to buy if the company does no remarketing. With a remarketing program in place, however, that average jumps to 26 percent."

» Repeat Customers
Repeat customers already know the value of your offer, and they've converted in the past. If you run a home goods site, for instance, you may expect customers to make purchases on a monthly basis. With remarketing, you can place ads across the display network reminding your loyal customers to come back.

» Saving Impressions
Some business are not looking for repeat customers: once somebody has subscribed to a magazine, for instance, there may not be another offer to make. In that case, advertisers can reduce their costs by not showing ads to these customers. Save your impressions for people who haven't yet converted.

» Unattributed Benefits
Not every benefit of remarketing campaigns can be directly attributed. In some cases, customers who don't click on your ads might still search for your offer, or interact with your business in some other way. This is much more similar to traditional "branding" campaigns on display networks, and should be tracked and attributed similarly.

About Ernan Roman Direct Marketing Corp., (ERDM):
ERDM provides Voice of Customer-driven Customer Experience Marketing consulting services for companies such as IBM, MassMutual, QVC, NBC Universal, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, and Symantec Corp. They have conducted over 9000 hours of in-depth interviews with customers and prospects of these clients to gain an in-depth understanding of their expectations for a high value customer experience.
Ernan Roman, President, is recognized as an industry pioneer and was recently inducted into the Marketing Hall of Fame for creating three transformational methodologies: Integrated Direct Marketing, Opt-in Marketing, and Voice of Customer Relationship Research.
He was also named by Crain's B to B Magazine as one of the "100 most influential people in Business Marketing".
His latest book on marketing best practices is titled, "Voice of the Customer Marketing: A Proven 5-Step Process to Create Customers Who Care, Spend, and Stay." 2010-12-08-ernan.jpg
Ernan is also the author of the widely read blog, "Ernan's Insights on Marketing Best Practices", (, and author of "Opt-in Marketing" and "Integrated Direct Marketing".