Remarketing ads are a widely-used and effective form of online marketing. It enables advertisers to connect with users who have visited their websites before. This method allows advertisers to strategically place ads in search browsers or other websites. This leads to more brand awareness and reminds users who are already familiar with the advertised website to return. 

Many benefits come with using this strategy. Including the possibility of increasing brand awareness and conversion rates. Remarketing allows for timely targeting. Sending ads promoting your website when users are about to make a similar purchase or are searching for one of your items online. Remarketing also allows for focusing marketing efforts on specific groups. Such as users who have items in their cart. And remarketing allows ads to be sent on a major scale. 

However, an important issue was brought to light these last couple of weeks. Most of our remarketing ads via various ad networks aren’t showing up to visitors in California.

This poses a major problem, restricting us from contacting many people in the state. As a whole, the state of California is the world’s 6th largest economy? Probably 5th by now? And 4th any day? Two important questions come to mind: what is going on, and what can we do about it?

Well, what’s happening is that the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) has now come into effect. But what does this mean, and how does it affect our ability to use remarketing?

The CCPA was a response to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR requires companies outside of the European Union to adhere to the principles of safeguarding data. The CCPA mandates opt-ins, prohibits spam mail and doesn’t allow the keeping of people’s information without their permission. It stops companies from using  “identifiable information”, including geolocation and electronic network activity. 

What many of us didn’t realize is that the CCPA would forbid and restrain the most straightforward types of remarketing. With these new measures, we cannot contact people in the state of California without their permission. This goes against the way remarketing ads function. Leaving us unable to contact a particular person who is an identifiable visitor of an existing site. The fact that we can’t use their personal information restricts the possibility of contacting them with targeted ads. 

Remarketing has functioned as one of the most effective forms of online advertising. This leads to our second question: what can we do about this situation?

There is no current definitive solution to this problem. The short answer is that no one knows what to do. 

The longer answer urges people in the industry to rack their brains, hoping to find a way to square the circle. There is a third, longer answer that no one knows about. Or if some do, it hasn’t left the circle of the big guys. Whether we will find a way around this or come up with new creative initiatives to replace remarketing, is something we are waiting to find out.