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Prospecting VS Retargeting

Prospecting and Retargeting are two sides of the same coin within Performance Marketing and play key roles in the Marketing Funnel. Understanding your unique Marketing Funnel is an important function for any advertiser to know which campaigns work and which ones do not. The Marketing Funnel is divided into 3 parts: TOFU (Top of Funnel) for prospecting: Prospecting at TOFU is where audiences become aware of an ad, or see it for the first time. MOFU (Middle of Funnel) for prospecting & retargeting: Prospecting/Retargeting at MOFU is where the audience is interested in the product of the ad and is still doing more research on it. BOFU (Bottom of Funnel) for retargeting: BOFU is considered pure retargeting where the audience has shown enough interest that a similar ad continues for has a high chance for final conversion.

What exactly is Prospecting and Retargeting?


Prospecting happens at the top of the funnel and reaches the largest audience. Generally the audience at TOFU has not yet visited the site in the last 45+ days. The importance of Prospecting is to introduce new user audiences to a company/offering and to raise actionable awareness. Prospecting helps advertisers understand which ad campaigns interested users and lead them further down the funnel to MOFU and BOFU. The goal of prospecting is to facilitate incremental growth through creative interest and spark ideation to convert.


Retargeting happens at bottom of the funnel and is based off of collected data of users that have shown interest from TOFU and MOFU. Since users have shown interest, the targeting becomes easier and they typically drive a higher conversion rate.

Why is TOFU Prospecting Important?

The Marketing Funnel is not a straightforward concept. When a consumer is exposed to an ad for the first time, even if they click on the it, most likely they will not convert. Prospecting is a way to, not only expose an ad and spread brand awareness, but also to show which campaign strategies had the best user response and lead to a higher conversion rate later on down the funnel. Prospecting should always garner incremental growth. Why is BOFU Retargeting Important? Retargeting helps build and maintain a loyal consumer base for a company. It helps companies serve more targeted ads which drive towards a higher conversion rate and a higher ROAS.



Meant to reach the highest audience with vague targeting parameters (Loca-tion/Geo and Demographic). The main goal for reach is audience exposure and to lead potential consumers to final conversion. A CPG brand would likely take this approach if they are a universal product.


This is quality inventory, as ranked by Comscore, where the advertiser chooses where to display. It gives the advertiser more control over their inventory, formats, and potential audience.



Advertisers target users that have shown interest in the site by engaging or adding something to cart (for e-commerce).


This is where the creative is highly personalized, meaning that it shows a consumer the exact product they’ve previously engaged with.

Incrementality and How to Gauge it?

Judging a campaign based on ROAS (return on ad spend) is important, but it should not be the only lens you evaluate your partners through. Incremental growth is what you will need to consistently grow your company.

What Exactly is Incrementality?

Incrementality is the measure of lift that an advertising spend provides to the conversion rate and top line growth. In order to effectively measure incremental lift, an advertiser needs to look at how they spend their current budget across their channels, areas, and how they target users. The next step is to then create a holdout group. A holdout group is composed of any of the aforementioned parameters (marketing channel, geo, target audience) and withholds them from a sample size to evaluate the value derived from a channel. Value can come from conversion rates, AOV (Average Order Value), or RPV.

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