Gustaf Wallström
3 December, 2019
Kategori: Always On, Programmatic,

In previous blog posts, we’ve looked at remarketing (or retargeting which is the same thing) as part of the always-on strategy. Now that we’re being bombarded by adverts for Singles-Day, Cyber-Monday, Black-Friday and especially for the Christmas shopping season, you’ll probably feel as if that shirt you bought is following you around. Or maybe the kids will see what presents you bought them online if they surf on the same device? What does remarketing look like in 2019 and what are its advantages and disadvantages? How is the discussion within the industry going?


Remarketing is an advertising method that can be used on most digital advertising channels. Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Youtube, SEM and for programmatic buying to name but a few examples. In short, remarketing means that the visitors who have been to your site / app receive a cookie on their device that lets you know who has visited you. Then you can direct ads to them with a reminder message for them to buy, come back or remember your brand / offer.

Different kinds of remarketing

There are different ways to use remarketing and where to target the ads. Perhaps the most obvious is so-called product remarketing, which you will probably already know. If you have looked at a jumper, a pair of shoes and a pair of jeans online, you’ve probably then seen the same items pop up on a banner advert, on Facebook / Instagram or Youtube. The same thing happens with the large hotel booking sites.

For smaller companies, a more common advertisement is usually used, ie the brand with a request to return to the site or reminding people about the brand in general.

In this post, we focus more on display ads (banners) in newspapers, blogs, etc. and not on social media.

How remarketing is used in 2019

From a technical point of view, there haven’t been many changes in recent years. However, there are now a couple of major players in remarketing in addition to Google, such as Criteo and Adrol . Nevertheless, what has happened in recent years, is that remarketing has become much more commonplace. This is probably due to the fact that there has been a rapid increase in the number of online retailers across all industries.

Nowadays, a fairly common discussion in the industry is whether it’s wise to adhere to classic product marketing from a brand-building point of view . Today, the majority of online retailers use one of the major remarketing networks. As a result, most of the ads look pretty much the same, there’s no restriction on the frequency (ie how many times you get to see an ad during a given period) So, on any given site, the same ad can appear 2-6 times on a single page view. When talking about advertising fatigue, it’s not really surprising that remarketing is something that is high on the list of things that people are tired of, is it?



When it comes to the major remarketing options (this applies to display ads, ie banners), you have something of a Black-Box situation, which means that you don’t have much control over it as an advertiser. It’s rarely possible to influence the design, or frequency of the ad or which sites they appear on. In the worst case scenario, your ads end up on sites that don’t match the values that your brand stands for. More than likely, you pay per click, so it might not matter where the ads appear as long as there is a sale. The attribution, i.e. which channel takes the credit for the purchase, will probably go to remarketing, as the ads are equally visible everywhere so it’s more than likely that you’ve seen the ad just before making the purchase. Even if the purchase was made by going to the site directly without clicking on an ad.

How should advertisers think?

Our recommendation is to evaluate how much of the sales that remarketing ads attribute, are actually increased sales. For example, can you turn off the ads on certain days, or in certain regions to see the difference?

Also, consider whether you want your brand to be associated with what your ads look like. Is it worth seeing them in the wrong setting and with several ads per page because it results in good sales figures? If you’re taking more care and thinking about the quality of the traffic that is being driven to your site, you should consider other roads for it.

The advantage of programmatic ad buying is that you can choose which sites you appear on and set them at a lower frequency. In short, this means that you can test which sites drive more quality traffic by looking at how long people stay on the site or how many page views they generate. Choose the sites that you know are "good" and match what your brand stands for. Another benefit is that you can design your own advert. If you buy via Google DV360, you can also control the frequency between, for example, Youtube and other sites.

Remarketing is effective, but at a time when people are tired of advertising, there are other solutions that can make your brand appear better. And who knows, maybe you will sell more in the long run as well? Don’t hesitate to contact us if you want to discuss this further!


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