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The definition of retargeting and its variants have evolved and changed over the years, especially in context of the online world. Mentioned below are different types of retargeting terms along with a brief description and its place in the funnel and in any marketing strategy.

Search retargeting usually tries to connect with new customers from within a target audience that may have displayed interest in your brand or its products and hence lies in the middle to upper funnel in your strategy. Technically, search retargeting cannot be called as retargeting since the new customer may not have had any relationship with you and this form of retargeting also does not depend on any existing relationship for data.

Search retargeting views data extracted from a customer’s search habits, which may include new and existing customers. Thus, search retargeting provides an audience that is much bigger than one attracted through SEO keywords or one received through site retargeting.

Site retargeting basically involves targeting existing customers that visit your website and may have also purchased your products or services. This strategy lies at the bottom of the funnel and involves encouraging your site customers to make more purchases by learning more about their purchase and browsing habits.

Social retargeting uses social data from social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, etc., and is located in the upper funnel as compared to search retargeting. This retargeting makes use of data points of interest in a bid to construct groups that may or may not have purchased products or even researched a brand or its products.

Sites such as Facebook used this data to place related advertisements based on brand comments and status updates, and now includes search as well as site-level data.

Behavioral retargeting is similar to search and social retargeting as it tries to build audiences. However, instead of depending on actual searches or social channels to get its data, this form of retargeting depends on inference to build an audience. Hence, the quality of data achieved through behavioral retargeting can be quite low as compared to other types of retargeting.

Marketers need to identify the actual difference in these types of remarketing as they try to build an audience based on existing or potentially new customers. Every type of retargeting strategy has a different place in the funnel and should not be based on the same metrics.

Search retargeting does seem to offer the best balance and potential as this strategy brings together search data and display advertising for the best possible performance.

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