Remarketing – what is it and how to get started?

July 1 2022

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Remarketing is a marketing tool to support sales. It reminds undecided customers of the offering and acts as a motivator. It allows you to reach an audience interested in a particular product category. It is an additional way to connect with people who have already visited your site or interacted with your app. That is what remarketing is. How to start, how to use its potential?

 What is remarketing?

There is a small percentage of truly determined and motivated customers. They know exactly what they are looking for, what they want and they are determined to buy it. A given, specific product, from a given shop, at a given price. This is the ideal, the dream of every trader. However, most people are undecided. They look in different shops, visit different websites, compare goods, models, check prices.

What is remarketing? This is a marketing campaign aimed at people who have already visited your shop but have not made a purchase. The action that “triggers” the remarketing process can be, for example, a visit to and exit from a product page. It is also common practice to trigger remarketing when a shopping basket is abandoned – the customer adds a product to the basket but does not complete the transaction.

Remarketing systems are based on the use of cookies. They collect data about users and assign them to a specific segment of potential customers. This ensures that a 15-year-old male looking for running shoes is unlikely to see an advert for baby nappies. Such an advertisement might appear to a woman of 27 who was comparing the prices of nappies in several different shops an hour ago.

How does remarketing work?

Remarketing is applied through the Google Ads system. It allows you to display a specific advertising campaign to a web user or to take more direct actions. You can show an internet user exactly the product that they have previously viewed but not bought.

The objectives of remarketing can therefore be twofold – to persuade people to return to the online shop and build its brand, or to support the sale of a specific product. There is no wrong choice here; it all simply depends on what you need more at the time.

An example of a remarketing advertisement

It may be that you are keen to clear your stock of items that cost a lot to store. In that case, remarketing, what a clever trick it is, will take the hassle out of your business and make room for more marketable products. If you are pointing to a campaign, this is standard remarketing. If to a product, this is dynamic remarketing.

How does remarketing work? It depends which of the above options you use. Yes, there is no one correct way to do it, but the better option is to use dynamic remarketing. The adverts displayed to the user can then be more personalised, and therefore more appealing and more strongly supportive of purchase decisions.  In addition, Google Ads then automatically adjusts ad layouts to where they are displayed.

Remarketing, YouTube and Facebook

It’s worth remembering that if you use remarketing on Google, your ads will be displayed across the company’s entire ecosystem, so also on YouTube. This increases coverage.  In case of YT, banner ads are displayed to users as a kind of overlay on the video window. Video ads can also be used as an alternative to banner ads. Here, YouTube displays video ads before the video the user wants to watch.

Remarketing ads also exist in other channels, such as Facebook. I will give some advice below for the Google system, although most of it is universal.

Remarketing – how to get started? Some basic steps and principles

The first step is to link your Google Ads account with Google Analytics. You can also add a special remarketing tag. This will allow Google to collect the data needed to create remarketing lists.

The second step is to create a visual. It will be a type of banner (square, rectangular) that an internet user sees while surfing. Several things are important here. Firstly, the banner must be clear. It must not distract the user with too many elements placed on it.

Secondly, however, it must be distinctive. Not flashy, as it will be considered too aggressive. It should be designed as a “firm reminder”. To show what product it is about, while also serving as an incentive to buy. You can place a CTA button with the words “Buy now” on it.

You also need to decide whether you prefer banner advertising or video and promotion strictly on YouTue (see above).

The third stage is the configuration of the campaign itself. Based on the parameters you choose, you can create it yourself (by selecting options) or rely on Google Ads alone. Naturally, you get better results by digging into the options and adjusting your preferences to suit your needs. How to do remarketing? Above all, in your own way! You will not need all the options, some may even get in the way of meeting the needs of a particular campaign.

An example of a remarketing campaign without a graphic content

Additional remarks

It is worth remembering that Google Ads offers such possibilities as displaying ads only when an Internet user meets certain criteria. This could be, for example, abandoning a shopping basket or being in a specific location. It could be that someone is looking for a restaurant in a city they are visiting for a holiday, but then something distracts them and they close the page. In this case, remarketing will allow you to attract such a person back.

In addition, you can also limit the number of ad displays for a single user, for example to two. This is quite reasonable – if you haven’t managed to convince an internet user to buy while they were on the site, and by showing them the ad twice, then something is wrong. Perhaps the mistake lies in a poorly calculated product price, inadequate photographs or bad copywriting. Whatever the case, it’s certainly not worth throwing money down the drain.

How to do remarketing? By using an advertising display schedule. You can display adverts, for example, only at specific times, so you don’t waste your budget. It is unlikely that anyone will be looking for a torch at 3 AM. In a cupboard perhaps. On the Internet, not necessarily.


After reading this text, you already know what remarketing is. How to get started, too. It is worth remembering that it is part of a wider marketing strategy and should fit in with it. You have to approach this subject calmly and think what is more important – brand promotion or product promotion? What graphics to use? What to display? What texts to use?

Many things work, but marketing is not an exact science. Unfortunately, solutions need to be tested. If you’re hesitant about how to get it all up and running and don’t know how to make remarketing your weapon of choice, you can also opt for a business consulting. I would be happy to help you sell more.

O Autorze

Jarosław Ścislak

Pracowałem nad brandingiem, rebrandingiem, skalowaniem biznesu i strategiami contentowymi dla wielu firm. Tworzyłem strategie marketingowe, contentowe, budowałem od zera działy marketingu, szkoliłem juniorów. Mogę skutecznie pomóc. Poprzez tworzenie kluczowych procesów i integrację ich w jeden ekosystem sprawię, że Twoja firma będzie pracowała dla Ciebie, a nie na odwrót. Część usług które widzisz w mojej ofercie (np. rozwój sklepów e-commerce w opozycji do platform e-commerce) wprowadziłem na rynek jako pierwszy w Polsce.