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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

What is it?

Remarketing is showing ads to people who have previously visited your website, used your mobile app, or if you can target them by their email address with their consent. Remarketing is also known as retargeting. It lets you show ads to people who have previously been in your site and or integrated with your CRM or your database. When people leave your site without buying, remarketing helps you reconnect with them and show them a relevant ad across different devices, different networks and hopefully bring them back into the fold.

By using remarketing, we show display ads on like the Google Display Network, or on YouTube videos to past site visitors. The functionality available on Display Networks is also available on YouTube, on Facebook, on Twitter, on LinkedIn, and premium retargeting. So, once you understand the concept of retargeting, we're able to do it on any of the other networks and apply it to our audiences there.


To build on remarketing, let's look at some methods of remarketing.

  • Standard remarketing: This is just past website visitors, so people who've been in your site before. It's quite straightforward, and it's generally cookie-based.
  • Dynamic remarketing: We spoke about it with Criteo, and we spoke about it previously. If someone has been on your product page, we can link it to Google Shopping or we can link it to another XML feed handler, and we're able to show that product to the person with the price, and when they click on it they're driven to the landing page.
  • Mobile apps: We're also able to retarget people who use our app. So, in the example of the hotel booking engine, we might want to retarget people who are repeat using our app, to give them special offers and just keep them in the mix, keep what's front of mind and help drive the brand forward like that.
  • Video: Because YouTube is owned by Google Ads, and indeed owned by Google, we're able to retarget people based on the videos that they've looked at on our channel, on video categories and other channels.
  • Email lists: We can also upload with permission and with consent email lists into Google, into Facebook, into the other channels, and retarget people based on their email address. But there is specific consent that we do need to have to do it, and it must be outlined within the privacy policy itself.


Just some benefits of remarketing.

  • Drive ROI: So, whether you're looking to drive sales or increase registrations, promote awareness or any kind of re-engagement activity, remarketing is a strategic component for your advertising. It can drive a serious return on investment because again those are people that have been in your site before, and you're bringing them back in, because you have access to those people who've been in your site before.
  • Likelihood to buy: When they're most likely to buy, you can understand their movements, you can share across different platforms within Google Ads itself.
  • Reach your customer: Then with the similar audiences we're able to look at reaching customers when they're a little bit outside of our set, but still at the same time referring back to the traits and the attributes that have been noted within our own customer list.
  • Large-scale reach: We can broaden our reach out across devices, and as cross-device targeting is getting better we can track that single customer from their initial research on a mobile device to perhaps a conversion on a desktop device.
  • Tailored for your goals: We can tailor our lists to our advertising goals. If we have a certain list for blog visitors, versus a certain list for purchases, versus a certain list for people who are kind of browsing our product pages, but not purchasing, we can apply different strategies and different creative messaging around how we want to target those people and how we want to engage with them most.
  • Efficient pricing: What's important there is we can apply a daily budget that's different for people who want to purchase, versus people who we think are in the top-of-funnel stages of their research based on their interactions with our own website, so that's where tailored lists comes in. Then likewise, because we are working on the Google Display Network, pricing is quite efficient, it's still based on a CPC model. So you might think, "But we're targeting just really specific, really highly engaged audience on the Google Display Network," it's still relatively inexpensive to retarget people. So pricing is quite efficient there. Now if we are using retargeting through other products like DCM, which is also a Google product.

DoubleClick Manager

So DoubleClick Campaign Manager, or DCM, is a Google product and we can retarget people based on Google lists within DCM on premium display campaigns. So that's where DCM comes into the mix there. And if we are an e-commerce store, and we do have, like, thousands and thousands of products, it would be impossible to get every single product online when people are looking at them, so that dynamic retargeting allows us to drive our entire product inventory into Google Shopping, into Google Merchant Center, and then we target people using dynamic shopping ads, which will show the product and the price and the landing page. All very effective ways to bring people back into the fold with a conversion focus.

So the other targeting types we had been speaking about, which were contextual and audience targeting tend to be more in that awareness piece, whereas remarketing is way more in the conversion piece. So you might invest a little bit more, a bit more aggressively, or take different actions on your remarketing than you would in those top-of-funnel campaign types.

Setting up audience lists

In order to set up remarketing, we must first create the audience lists. So what we need to do to create an audience list is we need to add a piece of code to our website or to Google Tag Manager. This piece of code, or pixel as it's sometimes called, captures data about particular users on your site, such as where they've been and what they've done. We place this code on all sections of the website, and then based on the data, it is collected through cookies, we're able to segment our website into new different user lists and target those user lists differently.

Store lists in advertising platforms

Retargeting is the same on every single display network. You put a pixel on your site, you segment the cookies, or you segment the lists into the different parts of the site they've been on.

You can do it on Google Ads, which will feature in YouTube. You can import your Google Analytics into Google Ads. You can create your own retargeting on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

So, once you understand broadly how to create retargeting, you're able to do it across all the networks.

Google Ads

The retargeting for Google Ads is found in the shared library, which is in the main menu at the top.


The retargeting for Twitter is found in the tailored audiences, in the audience section of the main menu. The retargeting for Facebook is found in the audience section of the assets library, in the main menu of Business Manager. Again, Business Manager is essential to any kind of deep dive Facebook activity we do. And LinkedIn, you can find your matched audiences in the audience section of LinkedIn Campaign Manager.

Google Analytics

When you're retargeting in Google Analytics, you go to the admin section, and you can go to the Audiences tab in the property section of admin and define your audiences there. It's fairly straightforward, so you just build it based on a number of conditions such as they visited a certain page, they spent a certain amount of time, and you can use and/or conditions. So they visit a certain page, and they spend two minutes on that page. They've bought a product and they bought it again two months later, for repeat for purchases. So you're able to really deep dive into audience creation with GA.


Remarketing using Google Analytics allows you to deep dive into the type of behaviors that your audience might take on your site. You can also remarket on the GDN and YouTube.

So it's spreadable across all the different Google products. There's a lot more options. You don't need a separate tag. If you have Google Analytics on your site, you can just create it there once you have consent and understanding within your cookie privacy policy what exactly you're doing.

With the different GDPR regulations, it's important to make sure that we are compliant with how we are remarketing to people, and that is explicit on the site and what we're doing with their data. Because we do have a lot more in-depth data available to us with GA, and it just needs to be covered in the privacy policy. 

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Cathal Melinn

Cathal Melinn is a well-known digital marketing director, commercial analyst, and ecommerce specialist with over 15 years’ experience.

Cathal is a respected international conference speaker, course lecturer, and digital trainer. He specialises in driving complete understanding from students across a number of digital marketing disciplines including: paid and organic search (PPC and SEO), analytics, strategy and planning, social media, reporting, and optimisition.  Cathal works with digital professionals in over 80 countries and teaches at all levels of experience from beginner to advanced.

Alongside his training and course work, Cathal runs his own digital marketing agency and is considered an analytics and revenue generating guru - at enterprise level. He has extensive local and international experience working with top B2B and B2C brands across multiple industries.

Over his career, Cathal has worked client-Side, in digital marketing agencies and media owners with brands including HSBC, Amazon, Apple, Red Bull, Dell, Vodafone, Compare the Market, Aer Lingus, and Expedia.

He can be reached on LinkedIn here.

Data protection regulations affect almost all aspects of digital marketing. Therefore, DMI has produced a short course on GDPR for all of our students. If you wish to learn more about GDPR, you can do so here:

DMI Short Course: GDPR

The following pieces of content from the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library have been chosen to offer additional material that you might find interesting or insightful.

You can find more information and content like this on the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library

You will not be assessed on this content in your final exam.


    Display Advertising
    Cathal Melinn
    Skills Expert

    This module introduces the key concepts involved in display advertising. It covers the advantages of different types of display platforms and demonstrates how to set up a display advertising campaign. It also explores the key considerations for targeting and bidding in a display advertising campaign, and how to report on and optimize campaign performance.