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Retargeting for Events and Entertainment Part I: How to Use Retargeting to Boost Sales and Awareness

Entertainment and events industries are realizing how profitable advanced digital marketing can be to engage fans, followers, and customers. In the past few years, techniques such as retargeting have been utilized to drive growth primarily for retail and merchandise sales, but the entertainment and events industries are adopting these techniques at a breakneck pace. Professional sports franchises, music festivals or concert venues, conferences, conventions, movie and album releases, and video games are now seizing the opportunity to engage their customers online.

Many entertainment and events brands could benefit greatly from advanced digital marketing techniques that can complement their current efforts. This post is the first of a three-part series on how events and entertainment brands can incorporate some of these techniques to boost their audience engagement, drive sales and ultimately increase revenue.

What is Retargeting?

Retargeting is a digital marketing technique that allows brands to serve display ads only to people who have previously engaged with the brand online. It allows you to maximize marketing dollars by serving ads only to a pre-qualified audience and avoid wasted impressions.

So, how does this work in practice? Let’s say you’re an NFL team. To ramp up ticket sales, why not focus ads on an audience who you know is interested in your franchise? By serving ads to people who have visited your website, you know you can reach those who are most likely to purchase tickets to games. You can also add a layer of geo-targeting to ensure you only reach fans in your area.

Retargeting can also be utilized by professional sports teams in the off-season, not for ticket sales, but to keep engagement high and sell merchandise to the same audience of loyal fans.

Retargeting’s effectiveness is certainly not limited to the sporting world. In 2010, indie rock duo Chester French (Chester French’s DA Wallach is now artist in residence at Spotify) was one of the first artists to take advantage of retargeting to promote an upcoming album. Two years later, the practice is now much more common among both artists and venues looking to promote new albums or upcoming concerts.

Moving Beyond Site Retargeting: Email and CRM

While site retargeting (discussed above) is the most frequently used form of retargeting, there are many other ways to reach out to the people who have previously engaged with you online. For events or entertainment brands with large email databases, email or CRM retargeting can serve as phenomenal supplements to email marketing campaigns.

If you are operating a music festival and use email to keep in contact with your fans, you can incorporate email retargeting which will allow you to serve display ads to anyone who opens your emails, keeping your event top of mind among your email subscribers without deluging them with emails.

CRM retargeting, yet another digital marketing technology, allows you to reach with nothing but an email or a mailing address—even if they’ve never opened one of your emails. This type of marketing could be particularly valuable for annual or semi-annual music festivals, allowing the festival to stay on people’s radar in the lead up to the event.

For conferences or other events with a long list of email addresses, CRM retargeting provides an unobtrusive way to keep in front of that valuable audience.

Moving Beyond Site Retargeting: Search

If your primary marketing problem isn’t finding ways to reach out to your list or site visitors, but rather bringing people to your site for the first time, search retargeting may be the right solution.

Search retargeting allows you to serve ads to people based on their search behavior. For example, if you are releasing a movie, you can serve relevant display ads to people who search for your movie title, your starring actors’ names, different movies coming out around the same time or statements of intent such as ‘what movie to see this weekend?’ The list of potential keywords is limited only by your research and imagination.

Search retargeting is a particularly effective way to market for an event, since you can ensure you get in front of people who are searching for more information related to your event, or are searching for similar event.


Stay tuned for the next post in the series on retargeting for events and entertainment! We’ll be telling you how to optimize your creative to get the best results from a retargeting campaign, and use next generation ads to engage deeply with your audience.



Case Study – Watters

Watters Logo | ReTargeter

Watters is the brainchild of designer Vatana Watters. For over 30 years, it has been the leader in offering luxurious designer bridal gowns, innovative bridesmaids dresses, classic special occasion dresses for mothers of the wedding, and adorable dresses for flower girls and junior bridesmaids around the world. Selling primarily at trunk shows and in third-party […]

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