Three Critical Factors in Choosing a B2B Retargeting Solution

Last month, we wrote a blog post on retargeting, including best practices, and why retargeting (or remarketing) was an important tool for B2B marketers. Given that less than 2% of online visitors (according to Optify’s B2B Marketing Benchmark Report) convert to customers, retargeting can become a complementary tool for bringing back potential lead opportunities that did not “convert” in a first visit.

While there are many remarketing/retargeting services, we often get asked how to choose one over another. In other words, why should B2B marketers use a retargeting solution other than Google AdWords?

In my opinion there are three critical factors B2B marketers need to evaluate when choosing a remarketing vendor. The objective of this post is to look at these factors in greater depth and identify why you might choose Google Remarketing (over a competitive vendor).

Size & Transparency of Network

The most important question to ask is what sites and publications a retargeting network has relationships with. B2B marketers want to make certain their advertising communications are going to appear in a wide enough distribution channel.

A word of warning: Many vendors share the same or similar inventory. Basically, certain publisher sites may have multiple partners. This, in and of itself, is not a problem, but it makes the remarketing service more of a commodity, and can make vendors difficult to differentiate.

One advantage of Google’s remarketing solution is that Google allows you to see their entire list of display network inventory.  You can easily run reports and see where your ads are being served, and also determine how successful the output from different placements is performing.

Many display vendors will tend to hide their inventory or provide boiler plate reporting. There is also concern with a limited and/or potentially shrinking inventory of networked sites. As indicated previously, the inventory is shared between networks and can be very similar.

Even though a retargeting vendor may not be able to focus their advertising strictly in B2B segments, that might not be an issue. This type of advertising is user defined. Retargeting follows the user into websites within their individual online experience and brand association would not be made to the general public.

Technological Innovation

Aside from size & transparency of network, you should also consider technological innovation when evaluating a retargeting solution. As advertiser demands continue to evolve and we’re better able to connect data points through technology, how has the retargeting vendor’s solution evolved?

Technological innovation is one of the reasons we often start B2B advertising clients in a Google Remarketing program first. Three elements of Google’s program that benefit our existing search engine advertising programs include:

  • Remarketing Lists for Search: Remarketing lists allow AdWords ads to get a more prominent position for relevant users. When a user goes to a specific website, leaves (and gets cookie’d) and searches for a new keyword, that search term may be entitled to preferential paid ranking as long as it meets relevance and eligibility requirements.
  • AdWords Integration with Google Analytics: Analytics integrates seamlessly into all Google products and B2B marketers can set up filters and define goals influenced by different sources.
  • Dynamic Retargeting: Dynamic retargeting allows for the integration of remarketing programs with Google Merchant Center and Google Shopping. This could be especially valuable for B2B e-commerce vendors because the user can be reminded of specific e-commerce catalog items that they previously viewed.

Regardless of whether Google Remarketing is the solution chosen, I would recommend discussing with prospective retargeting vendors what types of functional enhancements they have in their development timeline. This type of insight might tip the scales in decision making, particularly in a scenario where product updates have a direct impact (positive or negative) on your organization’s unique marketing initiatives.

Customer Service and Account Management

I am a big fan of good customer service and account management. This is an area where specific discovery questions need to be addressed with prospective retargeting vendors as well. Examples of questions to ask include:

  • Who do I contact for billing inquires / account management?
  • What are my options for account questions and support (IE, phone, email, online, etc)?

Depending on your level of monthly spend in AdWords, you might also receive access to a dedicated account team for fielding questions, help with pushing through creative or content, and support with billing questions or issues. Make sure to investigate this as well.


There are many retargeting companies that offer a wide range of services. Proper exploration of network, features (existing and upcoming), and account management are all important factors B2B marketers should consider when selecting a vendor.

What’s been your experience working with retargeting vendors? I would love to read your feedback and perspective via comments below.

Additional Links and Resources

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