Remarketing vs Retargeting: Which Term is Correct?

January 19, 2017

4 Minute Read

Oh the rhetoric of remarketing vs retargeting! Half of the time people call it retargeting, half of the time people call it remarketing. But which term is the correct one? Whichever term we decide to use, we know that this concept is incredibly successful! Remarketing allows us to target users who have previously visited our sites, meaning we only spend ad dollars on people who show interest instead of everyone in the world.

remarketing vs retargeting

Remarketing vs Retargeting

But that brings us back to our main point, which term is correct? Well, Google coined the term remarketing. Remarketing is specific to Google and retargeting is the general word for the approach. So should we continue to be confused on which term to use? Well, one way to look at it is that Google is dominating the internet and world, so maybe we should use remarketing. Remarketing does sound nice, personal, friendly and less like we are out to kill our audience with advertisements. I cannot say that everyone thinks of bombarding people when they think of retargeting, but for me, it makes me feel like we are aiming at objects, not people.

Taking a look at Adwords traffic for remarketing vs retargeting we see that the overwhelming searcher preference is for the term remarketing.

As we know, customers keep us in business, so we should please our current and potential customers. What if they see retargeting the same negative way I do? Most people don’t even know they are being retargeted until it’s called out to them.

Imagine retargeting like subliminal messages. Companies are subtly flashing advertisements at consumers in hopes that one day they will notice and select the advertisement. I bet most consumers don’t know why they had an urge for that product; it is all that subliminal retargeting. However, up until recently, I have been the consumer. If I knew that companies would refer to my former fellowship of people as people to be retargeted, I would assume someone has a hit on me.

For safe standing and goodwill, we will use the term remarketing. It tells our customers that we are marketing our products for customer benefit and not targeting people to buy our products. Targeting makes the consumers appear as victims. We do not want our customers to think they are victims of our services, do we?

If you are looking to implement remarketing strategies for your business, make sure you hire the right agency to get started. Find out what factors you should be considering with our ebook, The Paid Media Agency Research Guide.


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The BFO Team

Here at BFO, we're always striving to bring you the latest and greatest in digital marketing insights and education. We're not ones to brag, but we've been lucky enough to be featured in all sorts of fancy publications and media outlets, strutting our stuff and showing off our industry expertise.