Have you ever been searching for a product or event, and ads for that product or event started popping up on your Facebook feed or other websites that you are visiting? If you’re like me, you’ve probably wondered how on earth these oddly specific ads are finding you. Truth be told, the answer to this can be explained through a strategy called remarketing. Remarketing is the process by which an advertiser can show their ad to a potential customer who has recently visited their website — while they are searching other websites!
Google created remarketing lists for advertisers when they started placing “cookies” on website visitors, thereby adding their “cookie ID” to their remarketing list so that they could be targeted in future ads. This process remained fairly similar throughout the years, that is until this past Monday, when Google announced that they would (finally) be launching cross-device remarketing.
What does this mean and why is it important? For starters, Google will no longer rely on cookies to create remarketing lists. Starting Monday, October 3, 2016 (and rolling out globally in the following months thereafter) Google will be using “signed-in” data, which is made up of people signed-in to Google devices and accounts. When you factor in Gmail, Android, YouTube and Maps users, it becomes apparent that this is a tremendous amount of people. But why are they doing this? According to searchengineland.com, a Google study found that 60% of conversions start on one device and end on another. With cookies, this left large gaps in the data for marketers looking to remarket.
With signed-in data, Google can track searches across all devices. This allows marketers to assemble more complete remarketing lists. It also allows ads to be more specific to users. This falls in line with the rapidly expanding Facebook advertisements which use user data to target advertisements to very specific user groups. Using signed-in data, Google will be able to target ads more specifically than when they were using cookie ID tags. This will be very beneficial to marketers, because not only will it allow ads to be shown to the most likely to convert candidates, but their activity can be tracked throughout their entire search experience — from their phone to their desktop and anywhere else they may switch along the way.
More specific and precise remarketing lists will allow marketers to have more success in showing ads to the right people, at the right place, and at the right time. This is the recipe for digital marketing success. So if you or your company have been considering a remarketing campaign, now is a great time to take advantage of the newest cross-device remarketing updates from Google!