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Can You Still Run a Remarketing Campaign with Google Ads Post-GDPR?

A lot has changed since 25th May when GDPR came into force, especially in regards to how businesses use data in marketing campaigns.

Remarketing is a commonly used tool by many companies and can produce great results for many, but is it still ok to use this ad type post-GDPR?

What is Remarketing?

Google Ads (previously Google AdWords) provide a function within their software where, with the correct tracking code, you can run ads which will solely target people who have previously visited your website.

For example, if someone visits your website and doesn’t buy a product, Google will put them on a ‘Remarketing’ list. This allows you to run ads directly to this list through Google Ads to try and reconnect and convert this user.

Remarketing campaigns provide so many benefits to your marketing strategy such as:

  • You can reach the people who have previously interacted with your business.
  • You can be specific with your targeting, g. someone who visited a certain page.
  • Large-scale reach, you can target people on over 2 million websites.

How Does Remarketing Work?

If you already use Google Ads for your marketing, you will already have a business account set up. If not, this is your first step – set up a Google Ads account, not a Google Ads Express account!

In order to run a remarketing campaign all you need to do is add a piece of remarketing code into your website. Your audience will then be added to your remarketing list using their browser cookies.

You can customise your remarketing code depending on the pages, and whether you need it to respond to defined categories, for example, this may be adding a certain item to your basket.

Once you have enough people on your remarketing list, Google will show your ads to this list across the Google Display Network. This will be a range of different websites where these list members happen to be browsing.

Remarketing Post-GDPR

The new regulations will not stop you from running remarketing campaigns, but there are a few things that your business will need to do in order to be compliant with the regulations.

To help businesses comply with GDPR, Google Ads have created a consent policy for businesses who use the Ad software.

According to this new consent policy, all businesses must gain the user’s consent to:

  • Use cookies on their website and store the associated data locally.
  • Collect, share and use their personal data collected by cookies for the personalisation of ads.

In addition to this, businesses should retain records of the consent given by individual users and provide clear instructions to users for the revocation of consent.

For both Google Remarketing and general compliance to GDPR, businesses should all have complaint cookie pop-ups, privacy policies and terms and conditions on your website. Including the mention of all aspects of your data collection, storage, use and sharing.

If you want to know how a remarketing campaign could benefit your company, contact us today!

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Tierney Crocker
Tierney Crocker is part of the Digital Marketing team at WNW Digital, involved in all aspects of digital marketing and social media. You can email her at

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