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Pretargeting versus Retargeting

You may notice after you visit a specific site that you begin to see advertisements on another site about them more and more. It’s not a coincidence. Systems like Google Adwords utilize a third-party cookie that enables them to see when you visit an advertiser’s site and then follow you as you visit other sites with advertisements. Retargeting is quite successful and leads to high conversion rates with lower costs per click.

What you may not realize, though, is that there are also techniques to identify sites that people tend to visit before arriving at yours. This is called Pretargeting and it’s explained in this infographic from Pretarget. Pretargeting and retargeting are two different advertising technologies that are used to reach potential customers at different stages of the buying journey.

  • Pretargeting, also known as prospecting, is the practice of targeting ads to potential customers who have not yet interacted with a brand or website. This is typically done using data-driven targeting techniques such as contextual targeting, interest-based targeting, or demographic targeting. The goal of pretargeting is to reach new audiences who may be interested in a product or service and introduce them to a brand or website.
  • Retargeting, on the other hand, is the practice of targeting ads to customers who have already interacted with a brand or website in some way, such as visiting a website or adding a product to a shopping cart. Retargeting works by using cookies or other tracking technologies to follow a user’s online behavior and deliver ads that are relevant to their interests or past interactions. The goal of retargeting is to re-engage potential customers who have shown interest in a product or service and encourage them to take action, such as making a purchase or filling out a form.

The main difference between pretargeting and retargeting is the stage of the buying journey that they target. Pretargeting targets new customers who are at the beginning of the journey, while retargeting targets customers who have already shown interest and are further along in the journey.

Another key difference is the type of data that is used for targeting. Pretargeting typically uses data such as demographic information or browsing behavior to target potential customers, while retargeting uses data on past interactions such as website visits or shopping cart abandonment to target customers who have already shown interest.

Overall, both pretargeting and retargeting can be effective advertising technologies when used in the right context and with the right targeting strategies. By understanding the differences between these two technologies, marketers can create more effective advertising campaigns that reach potential customers at different stages of the buying journey.

Pretargeting vs Retargeting loRes 8.5x11

Douglas Karr

Douglas Karr is the founder of the Martech Zone and a recognized expert on digital transformation. Douglas has helped start several successful MarTech startups, has assisted in the due diligence of over $5 bil in Martech acquisitions and investments, and continues to launch his own platforms and services. He's a co-founder of Highbridge, a digital transformation consulting firm. Douglas is also a published author of a Dummie's guide and a business leadership book.

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