Thanks to companies like Zappos, most B2B companies are familiar with the concept of site retargeting. You visit a website to check out products or services. Then, you see banner ads for those same products or services when browsing the Internet. This advertising service keeps your brand top of mind after prospective buyers leave your website.

But the concept of search retargeting is less familiar, which can be even more valuable. That’s because it can uncover potential buyers who haven’t been to your website and may not even know your company or brand. Like Google Adwords, it’s a great way of building awareness based on website search activity. And yes, search retargeting campaigns do work for B2B companies…when they are set up properly and executed with creative ads.

Here are three things you may not know about search retargeting:

1. Ads are not text only 

Unlike Adwords, where you only get 15 or so words to tell your story, search retargeting ads are more like traditional banner ads. They can include text and images, with 2-3 rotating frames. Your ads can include a product photo and your company logo, so you can deliver your key message in a few seconds.

2. Only qualified buyers get served ads 

Unlike Adwords, which serves ads strictly by keyword usage, search retargeting qualifies potential buyers by their long-tail search queries. This means your ads are shown only to internet users who exhibited past buyer behavior that qualifies them as a prospective buyer of your products or services. Some retargeting programs can even target people that have demonstrated they are part of a specific audience segment like “Building Construction & Maintenance” and “Medical Devices and Equipment.”

3. Your ads are displayed on consumer sites

This point may initially sound like a disadvantage, but look deeper. B2B buyers also visit “consumer” sites like CNN, the Weather Channel and ESPN. When they do, they see your non-intrusive banner ads, reinforcing your brand.

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So when you are considering programmatic advertising and Google Adwords, make sure to also consider search retargeting to reach audiences that may not regularly visit traditional industry media sites. It can be a very cost-effective way to build brand awareness and drive traffic to your website.


In B2B tech marketing, tactics should be thought of as part of a larger whole, rather than separate pieces. By strategically integrating new and traditional marketing tactics, your marketing program become more effective and cost efficient. To learn more about how you can increase your lead generation and overall marketing, download our free eBook: Modern Integrated Digital Marketing—A Better Path for B2B Technology Marketers.

Chris HenneghanChris is one of Schubert’s longest-standing employees, starting with the agency in 1987. She now serves as Senior Vice President and Brand Strategist. Chris is a Notre Dame grad and enjoys tennis, golf, hiking and reading.