Why your business must remarket – The power of the Mere Exposure effect

Why your business must remarket – The power of the Mere Exposure effect

Famed psychologist Robert Zajonc dedicated most of his life to the power of repetition.

In one experiment Robert showed his participants images that they didn’t already have extreme reactions to (e.g., foreign words, Chinese characters, or faces of strangers). The participants were asked to rate how pleasant the images were to them.

Some people had seen them just once, some people had seen them a few times, and some people had seen them a load, as many as 25 times.


The mere exposure effect remarketing



The results were clear: the more the subjects had already been exposed to an image, the more they said they liked it.

Now what’s important to note in Roberts study is the word “like” He proved to the world through a number of tests that familiarity didn’t just make people feel safe with something but they actually grew to like the thing in question!!

This is known as the mere exposure effect and it’s been occurring since the beginning of time.

Think about it, In order to survive, animals must react cautiously to anything out of the ordinary with withdrawal and fear and there’s a good reason for this of course!

But over time if the repeated exposure of the thing is followed by nothing bad, then it eventually becomes a safety signal.


How to take advantage of the Mere Exposure effect in marketing

Now we all know business is about relationships and relationships don’t happen without familiarity and liking!!

Which is why using remarketing to build this online is one of the biggest no-brainers going.


What is remarketing? Also known as retargeting

If you’re on our website, there’s a strong chance you’ve activated our own remarketing.

And now for the next 30 days, our banners will follow you about on other peoples websites, YouTube and Facebook.

Remarketing is when someone comes on your website, leaves and then a video or banner follows them about on other websites or social platforms.

It’s the ultimate mere exposure effect tool.


A remarketing example 

Let’s say John happens to stumble across your website and 9 of your competition and he leaves all of them just browsing with the thought of looking more seriously in 3 weeks.

Who is he going to come back to?

The 9 random websites who like the animals he has a slight withdrawal or fear to? Or the one that he’s seen on multiple occasions, who without knowing it, is growing to like?

What’s even more incredible is John doesn’t actually have to take notice of any of your remarketing conspicuously, studies have shown he’ll still end up liking it even if its a quick flash as they pan down through Facebook! 

Why isn’t everyone remarketing if it’s so powerful?

The answer is…. Well, actually we don’t know.

When we turn it on we notice an instant jump in enquiries. In fact one of our best ever results was just putting our logo up….

Some people may fear it’s too annoying to follow someone about, but as an SME, that kind of politeness (though admirable) will keep your business below the radar when competing with your bigger competitors. In short,  if you don’t, other businesses will.

Some may get put off by the fact you need to make a banner or video and think its too hard.

Some even may look at the back end and scream in terror and confusion (Dave did at first).

But just like animals react cautiously to anything new, give it a shot, check out the many online tutorials and eventually, you’ll may end up loving it. Or at least not loathe it.

How to set up remarketing for your own business.

Step 1: Set up your Google Adwords account and YouTube account and a Google Tag manager account

Step 2: Apply Google’s search audience remarketing tag to your webpage

Step 3: Create an audience to remarket to

This is how you decide who sees what.

E.g John visits a specific service page of your website you can then remarket that service to him.

You can get even more targeted as you go.

E.G John visits your service page, and then signs up for your newsletter when he lands on the “Thank you for signing up” page, you can stop the service ad from showing and put in front of him a new ad with an offer on to create urgency etc

Step 4: Create your banners and videos people will see.

You can do these yourself on Photoshop

You can hire someone on Fiver to do it

You can use tools like Crello 

You can use tools like Canva

Just make sure its obviously from your brand. Our most clicked add was simply our logo, clicks were not actually our goal with that one though, we just want to give people the mere exposure effect.

If you really want to stay memorable and get this working for you then we’d advise appearing in your own remarketing ads, people are proven to remember faces more than brands or anything else.


Top performing banner sizes

Medium rectangle 300 x 250

Lareg rectangle 336 x 280

Leader board 728 x 90

Half page 300 x 600

Large mobile banner 320 x 100

Make sure your file sizes are 150kb or less

You can compress images here for free 

Step 5: Create your banner campaign 

Step 6: Create your video campaign 

Follow the same steps in the previous video but under the video section or you can remarket to your YouTube viewers like so:

Step 7: Wait for approval

Google can take a few days sometimes to approve your ads so don’t worry if they don’t show straight away, it’s unlikely to be instant.

Step 8: Monitor

Keep an eye on your campaign to start, you’ll have set budgets not to go over but it’s always good to check up on how many impressions you’re getting.


How will you know it’s working?


For us it’s always been a case of knowing it’s working because:

  1. People mention it when they call up.
  2. We get sent photos of us appearing on peoples computers with comments like, “How are you here?”
  3. Our leads increase without showing conversions in Google.
  4. People have a better understanding of the service or whatever it was we have remarketed to them with.
  5. If it’s a free course we’re remarketing, it gets more sign-ups.
  6. If you track all your leads every month you should see a rise.

Really, it’s test it and see. In the e-commerce world, remarketing is all about conversions and measuring ROI because it can be done. In a service sector if you’re not selling a product online and there are multiple ways they can get in touch with you then the only way you’re going to know its worthwhile is through comments and conversation.

There are many many different strategies for remarketing, awareness is one. Give it a shot and if it works for you then maybe start to explore more complex systems.


An example of a more complex remarketing system using E-mail a website and remarketing.

  1. Someone comes to your website and leaves.
  2. They begin to see banners and video offering them a free course to help them with a particular issue your audience has.
  3. They click the banner and go to the page but do not sign up.
  4. They leave and as a result of seeing that page, they now see a new set of banners creating an urgency that the free course will only be free for another 24 hours.
  5. They click it and decide to sign up and give their e-mail.
  6. They are e-mailed the course, go into your e-mail marketing and then being to see a new set of banners.
  7. The e-mail marketing automation emails them 5 emails over 7-10 days further helping, educating and building quality.
  8. New banners show pushing the service that they may be interested in.
  9. They click it and do not enquire.
  10. The email system is coming to an end and the final e-mail is an offer that’s lasting 48 hours.
  11. They click the link and have a look and activate new banners.
  12. The new banners now show the offer and they finally give in and enquire.
  13. Now that’s just one strategy you could use, it’s pretty complex but believe it or not you can go even further.

We wouldn’t recommend trying that out for yourself to start with because we’ve seen this work well when its kept simple.

Good luck and happy remarketing.

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt