Does Remarketing Campaigns Work?

by Nicolae Buldumac
Does Remarketing Campaigns Work?

Does remarketing still work for marketers? Or is it just hype? Many marketers often find themselves asking these very questions after failing to see the results they'd hoped for following a campaign that utilises the technique. However, the ad industry is evolving, with new marketing techniques being introduced and more traditional options becoming obsolete.

With the landscape constantly changing, and new ad networks being built, it's important for companies to decide what kind of ad campaign to run, in order to achieve the best results in terms of brand engagement and leads generation.

The advertising industry introduced banner ads way back in the mid-nineties, but there came a time when companies realised they needed a solution to the challenge of re-engaging those who had visited their website without completing a purchase. Developer Louis J. Montulli II helped solve this issue, by implementing the cookie protocol that is widely used for remarketing purposes.  

Over two decades on, and it unfortunately seems that remarketing techniques have lost their authority when it comes to generating sales or leads. However, remarketing was a great inspiration for many new ad networks to develop the technique further and fine-tune it, creating more specific remarketing such as people-to-people marketing, or company-based marketing.

There are several reasons why cookie-based remarketing is losing its effectiveness when it comes to positive engagement:

  • 615 million devices now use adblock  - If 615 million devices block ads, this means that 615 million cookies can no longer be targeted

  • 11% of the global internet population is blocking ads on the web - This means that 11% will never see an ad campaign

  • U.S. consumers now spend 5 hours per day on mobile devices - Cookies do not work on mobile, so the more time consumers spend on these devices, the less chance ad buyers have of winning a large audience.

  • 10x more ad buyers are bidding against your visitors cookie ID - Your website visitors may have visited 100 websites on the same day; this means that ad buyers have to bid against another 100 ad buyers, which will reduce campaign visibility due to high costs.

  • Consumers have more than 3+ devices for browsing the internet - Nowadays consumers own on average more than 3 devices, which means ad buyers may not be able to target ads to all consumer devices, because cookies are not transferable between them.

So, can remarketing campaigns work if browser cookies are not effective in today’s ads?

The short answer is yes. There are other methods to use in a remarketing campaign, thanks to all of the ad network platforms that have made great strides in creating more varied and valuable techniques. As cookie-based remarketing is losing its stronghold inside the ad network, these 2 new remarketing techniques are being used more aggressively:

Account Based Marketing - Account based marketing works by uploading a company's contact list, allowing the ad provider to then show ads to particular companies using its in-house data resources. For example, everyone knows that LinkedIn is the biggest social network for employers, this means also that LinkedIn is able to show banners specific to an employer, without using cookies.

People to People Marketing - People to people marketing works in a similar way to ABM, but in this case, the ad buyer uploads specific contacts using an identity ID such as email, phone number, or address, and the ad provider will then be able to show ads just to those specific contacts. For example, Facebook allows ad buyers to upload an email list of their contacts, and Facebook will then show ads only to those contacts.

As we've now gone over these 2 new marketing strategies which are set to replace cookie-based remarketing, we've seen that the new era in advertising is not based on cookies, but instead on personal data, such as email, Twitter ID, phone, or any other identified data from a consumer.

ABM and PPM were not available until 2016, when LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Adroll enavled ad buyers to use a contact list or a company list for ad targeting.

If you want to target companies:

  1. Use LinkedIn’s network to shows ads to specific companies

  2. For company lists: Use your own in-house target companies list, or buy a company database list from a reputable provider.

  3. For creatives: Find experienced ad banner designers on, or other freelancing sites.

To conclude, our final thoughts on remarketing are that a cookie-based method will not always work, which is why it's important to test new ideas that can hopefully bring back your visitors for future engagement. ABM and PPM are very interesting strategies which can also reduce your ad budget by up to 50%, due to the fact you are targeting only the people you need, whereas cookie-based remarketing casts a much wider net.


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