Google Analytics Cross Device Remarketing Explained

If you've logged into Google Analytics recently, chances are you've noticed this alert pop up in your account :

As of May 15th 2017 you will be able to take advantage of Google Analytic's new cross-device remarketing functionality. 

Google Analytics Remarketing

A remarketing audience is a list of cookies or mobile-advertising IDs that represents a group of users you want to re-engage because of their likelihood to convert. You create remarketing audiences based on user behavior on your site or app, and then use those audiences as the basis for remarketing campaigns in your ad accounts like AdWords and DoubleClick Bid Manager.

Currently Google Remarketing does not allow you to target across device and has historically relied on cookies and mobile IDs to identify users for remarketing lists. This is obviously not ideal as it's pretty normal behaviour for users to browse the web across multiple devices.  In fact, according to a study, '6 in 10 internet users start shopping on one device but continue or finish on a different one'.  

Currently, if a marketer built a remarketing audience in Google Analytics then they would only be able to reach them via browser cookies on a singular device.  Obviously this is not ideal and Google has noted that a solution is one of the top requested features.  For years marketers have been trying to find a work around for the problem.

Problem Solved

As of May 15th 2017 this problem will be solved.  Marketers will be able to reach users across devices similar to Facebook and Twitter.  As of May, if someone visits your website on one device, you can now reach them with more relevant ads when they search or browse on another device. By using signed-in user data, ads can be shown to visitors across any device which is linked to their Google account. 

"Google will use data from its signed-in users together with your Google Analytics data to build audience lists for cross-device remarketing. In order to support this feature, two things will happen:

First, for users on your site, Google Analytics will collect Google-authenticated identifiers associated with users’ Google Accounts (and therefore, personal information).

Second, Google Analytics will temporarily join these identifiers to your Google Analytics data in order to support your audiences."


What changes will I need to make?

Marketers should reconsider their remarketing strategy now that ads are going to be seen across multiple devices. 

To take advantage of these changes, ensure you have enabled remarketing in your Google Analytics account and made the relevant changes to your privacy policy: