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Understanding the Difference Between Remarketing and Retargeting | #AdWordsAnswers


Hello Community!



I’m Paritosh from the AdWords Team, and today I would like to clear up some questions about a couple of commonly-confused terms.


One question advertisers frequently ask is, “What is the difference between between remarketing and retargeting?”


Seeing as a lot of agencies, partners, and sometimes even Googlers use these two terms interchangeably, it’s understandable why there is confusion. With that being said, here are are a few important pointers with regards to this question:


Are remarketing and retargeting the same thing?


As far as the scope of Google AdWords advertising is concerned, remarketing and retargeting are exactly the same thing.


Both terms describe methods used to reach potential customers who have already visited your website, in an effort to re-engage them and influence them to take a desirable action on your website.


Simply put, remarketing is just a name given to the technique mentioned above and it can be used interchangeably with the word retargeting.


Again, this is only within the scope of Google AdWords advertising. There may be other advertising platforms which have their own definitions for these two words or which treat them as different concepts, but if you are talking about your Google AdWords account, then remarketing and retargeting are the same thing.


Important Tip - Don’t confuse the concept of “retargeting” with ”targeting.”


Now, let's look at another term which sometimes gets mixed up with the concept of retargeting.


As explained above, remarketing/retargeting is simply the strategy of re-engaging with your visitors after they have visited your website.


“Targeting,” on the other hand, can refer to  multiple strategies and more generally refers to when, where, and to whom we want to show our ads.


For instance, there is Device Targeting,which involves deciding which devices we would like our ads to show on. Display Targeting methods include options like Placements, Topics, and Interests. And for those of us running Video Campaigns, we have likely noticed that Target Groups function like Ad Groups in this type of campaign.


So targeting and retargeting/remarketing are indeed two different things. Targeting sets the conditions for when our ads show, whereas remarketing allows us to engage with our customers again.

We hope this helps. Let us know if you have any follow up questions in our comment section below.

Tammy Anthony B
April 2016

I working almost exclusively in Automotive. I'd use the terms "retargeting" and "remarketing" to mean two separate audience groups. A retargeting audience would mean targeting potential customers who visited the dealer's website and left without completing a form lead, texting, or phone call. A remarketing audience would be customers who was a previous buyer, a previous service customer, and/or one that completed a form lead, text, or phone call (could be used interchangeable with re-engagement).


What are your thoughts? 

Vlad I
May 2016

My business is insurance & financial services, many of you’d appreciate that it’s not the easiest business to be in… yet Google seems to do “Wonders” for my business J

 I’d use term “remarketing” when I market a new product to my existing group of clients or sites visitors. For example someone with a Public Liability insurance is offered a house insurance policy and wise versa.  

I use term “Retargeting” for all of those who have visited my sites however did not buy – so that now I retarget them with new offers.  Initially I was using banners but it looks that it is not as good I would hope it to be. Social media works much better for "retargeting".

If you have questions about how I do things – please do not hesitate to ask – I know from digital advertising point of view insurance & financial services yet in 2002 J