Google Remarketing is currently a BETA program with limited access to preferred agencies and clients. Open access starts Q2 2010.
UPDATE: Google announced Remarkeing is now available  to AdWords customers.
Retargeting is the art of reaching out to visitors who browsed your product or company site but only window shopped. Getting these exposed users to return to your site may require diverse messaging, and/or incentives to grab the low hanging fruit.
Google is “renaming” retargeting and throwing in some ways to access the entire content network and go combing for your cookied consumers. Google Remarketing services are currently in BETA. Now is the time to consider taking those clicks that didn’t convert and shaping them into a retargeting strategy to take advantage of this service when its available in general release.
The ability to leverage audience engagement with unique messaging for related levels of product or website consideration.
Google Remarketing consists of two different targeting types:
A) Interest Categories– The ability to target users (in the Google content network) who have shown affinity for certain content areas over an established period of time i.e travel, health & beauty, or automotive.
Example: If you want to target automotive or health and beauty categories, Google has compiled a list of individuals who visited all relevant sites within the interest category (comprehensive site list). This site list is based on peak traffic sites within category and these user’s online behavior and Google audience modeling.
B) Remarketing – This second and more in-depth area of targeting (often referred to as retargeting) relates to the users who have visited an advertiser site, and performed any level of trackable activities or pageviews.
Another level of depth comes with the addition of Boolean style targeting i.e. users who fulfill multiple requirements. An example would be a user who has created a shopping cart(A), but who has not been to the final purchase page(B). It is then possible to serve this user a “come back and finish shopping” ad within the network. There is also the added option to narrow the focus and retarget within a specific interest category.
Pricing: There is no additional fee for Google Remarketing. These new opportunities are an extension of the existing Google Content network auction platform. The standard CPC or CPM bidding structure would apply.
Many recent studies show how the combination of search campaigns and display capture a broader range of relevant users for optimal conversions. With retargeting, there has been even higher efficiencies and new ways to capture the lowest hanging fruit. Additional budget is recommended based on your overall retarget audience size.
Competition: Retargeting has been around and well executed by the major ad/content networks. Google differentiates Remarketing with their own algorithms and architecture, but most importantly its seamless optimization via adwords.
Almost all the major ad networks, can compete in retargeting with similar functionality and products. The Google Content network is still larger and more customizable than most of the alternatives. With many other networks the activity takes place on their backend, so creative, reporting and goal setting is not as transparent.
Technical & Creative Consideration:
Additional tags on advertiser sites may raise some implementation and privacy concerns. There is also the added effort to produce additional and relevant creative for each conversion stage desired.
Google tries to be flexible by allowing for 1 day to 18 month cookie duration. This enables added strategy for how to set cookies around purchase and consideration cycles. Setting up cookies and implementation time is dependent on the amount of unique visitors.
Recommendation: Retargeting is nothing new, but Google is working hard to refine the science and build out conversion volume. The biggest challenge with added data and targeting is how to apply it to a goal. Start by identifying the biggest drop offs in conversions and test remarketing to re-engage these users with new offers. Also test display retargeting against search traffic as this has been shown to drive a significant lift in conversions. Both forms of remarketing are great tactics for added branding and engagement against a relevant audience.