Cross Device Reporting & Remarketing: How Will This Impact Paid Campaigns?

During the keynote streamed at Marketing Live, Google announced a new initiative that will help promote more accurate measurements across device types in today’s mobile-first world: cross device reporting and remarketing.

Google Ads Product Management Director, Anthony Chaves, shed more light on the announcement when he took the stage: “There are more mobile devices than ever before, and people move between devices throughout the day. You need tools that can accurately measure the impact of your marketing across devices to help you run smarter and more precise campaigns. That’s why we’re introducing cross device reporting and remarketing in Google Analytics.”

Among the other new initiatives announced during the keynote, cross device reporting and remarketing seemed to draw the biggest reaction from the crowd. With all the excitement, what does this mean for marketers? We explore some of the implications here.

The Push for Cross Device Reporting

According to Verto Analytics, “35% of online shoppers shop only on mobile devices, while 18% of online shoppers shop only on a PC device. However, the majority of total online shoppers use multiple devices in e-commerce.”

Source: Statista

We as marketers are aware that conversion rates are higher on desktop. But for the first time ever, we can now get a combined view of devices customers are using throughout their purchase journey. Chaves explains, “These new reports link moments together, revealing trends and insights that you couldn’t get before.” Marketers are finding this exciting because they can tailor ads more effectively to reach customers in multiple stages of the buying process.

Consumers want to see personalized ads, no matter where they are in the customer journey or with what device they are using. Tailoring ads to mobile, desktop, and tablet have always been an important part of ad copy creation. Now, with the insight gained from the new cross device reporting, we can personalize our ads with mobile, desktop, and tablet-specific copy in addition to language for stages of the purchase funnel, based on device.

Cross Device Remarketing Audiences

Along with the cross device reporting comes cross device remarketing audiences. How will marketers utilize this new audience?

As an example, customers who spent $50 on mobile and $50 on desktop are now seen as one customer who spent $100, rather than two separate customers. These customers are now seen as more valuable and we can bid higher on this audience.

Creating dynamic remarketing ads with the cross device audience will help marketers reach a whole new group of people who were not previously available. One thing specifically we can offer this audience (our most valued customers) is more personalized special offers. In Chavez’s words, “Going forward, your company won’t overlook anyone when you run remarketing campaigns to reach your highest value customers.”

Likewise, with the use of personalized advertising, we can improve ad relevance for users while also increasing ROI. According to Google, it works by employing online user data to target users with more relevant advertising content, which can provide an improved experience for users and advertisers alike. With cross device reporting and remarketing, personalized advertising becomes even more advanced. Overall, this update is positive for marketers. Yet, it’s worth asking what challenges come along with this change.

Do We Risk Burning Out Our Most Valued Customers?

With the advancements of cross device remarketing audiences, we are able to reach our most valued customers. However, if we continuously show ads to customers who have already increased their average order spend or purchase frequency, do we risk losing their attention and future business?

According to a 2017 Epsilon study, “80% of consumers indicate that they are more likely to do business with a company if it offers personalized experiences and 90% indicate that they find personalization appealing.” Personalized ads are more desired by consumers than ever, but it needs to be done right.

For consumers, seeing the same ad right after making a big purchase becomes an annoyance. It comes as no surprise when those same consumers decide to opt out of personalized advertising.

So, how can we as marketers make sure we are not over-exposing our customers to the same ad?

  • Offer high value customers a special offer if they’ve spent X amount of money with your site across all devices.
  • Align headlines and descriptions with previous buying behavior based on device and stay away from brand awareness terminology.
  • Align ad images with previous buying behavior based on device and display personalized offers.

If we keep the consumer in mind at all stages of ad creation, our campaigns will be more successful.

User Privacy: Will Our Results Be Limited?

Ad personalization is very important to consumers, and if ads are not tailored to what the consumer wants, they can choose to opt out. Chavez explains, “One important note, our cross device reports only display aggregated data from users who agreed to share it – individual user data is never exposed.” There are some limitations for this update because users can opt out of personalized advertising.

As consumers, privacy is always our number one priority. But as marketers, our priority is to have the most accurate results with as much data as possible. With the option to opt out of personalized advertising, that becomes more difficult.

Source: Google

The cross device reporting update will give us more insight about customer behavior between devices, but it is important to note that not all of our most valued customers will be opted in to personalized advertising. If we rely on only giving a certain audience segment our best deals and most personalized ads, we could lose a large amount of conversions from other important audiences. However, even with this limitation, we can look forward to the new insights we will gain.

Final Thoughts

Deeper analysis of the consumer journey will always be great news to marketers. Personalization is key in this day and age, and cross marketing reporting gives us the opportunity to elevate client’s advertising strategy. As Chavez explains, “By better understanding the holistic customer experience, you can make more informed product and marketing decisions.” Now, you can measure, report, and take action based on a comprehensive view of your customers. As the beta rolls out, we can begin to test and implement new strategies and gain insights that we never could before.