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Google's New Cross-Device Targeting Creates Opportunities for Marketers

Cross-device targetingGoogle AdWords recently announced it will launch a new feature for marketers that allows cross-device targeting campaigns for the first time ever. This means that if someone searches for a company's product or service in the morning on a smartphone, you can then serve ads related to that product on his or her desktop computer at work or tablet on the train ride home.

As long as the potential customer is signed in to a Google account (via Gmail, YouTube or any other Google service), marketers are now able to use powerful tools within AdWords for retargeting. Though it's been a long time coming — Facebook has been leading the way in cross-device targeting for many years now — this new development has some very practical implications for advertisers using Google's AdWord platform.

Retargeting With Google Is Powerful

Though retargeting has been around for some time — aimed at specifically targeting consumers who've somehow interacted with your brand without converting (clicked on a link, visited your website, put an item in a shopping cart, etc.) — it's been growing at a massive rate in recent months, with Search Engine Watch reporting that retargeting accounted for 62 percent of all display ad spending in the second quarter of 2016.

With that in mind, it's no wonder Google rushed to implement this feature on its own AdWords platform. And while Facebook has been a dominant force in the cross-device targeting world thus far, Google, with over a billion Gmail users alone (as of February 2016, according to The Verge), will make an even more powerful partner for marketers looking to expand their retargeting efforts across its many platforms.

Honing Your Strategy

Marketers are constantly honing their ad strategies in order to make sure their capital is being spent as efficiently as possible. But the implementation of cross-device targeting brings a whole new host of strategy tools for AdWords users. From targeting specific devices during various time windows to creating device-dependent ads, marketers will be able to serve even more efficient ads using even more robust tools within AdWords — and will have highly specific performance analytics to tell them how their retargeting efforts are performing across Google's vast network.

Picturing Consumers' Purchase Paths

Speaking of analytics: Google's new cross-device targeting feature will also allow marketers to gain specific insight into customers' purchase paths, with information on website visits, devices used to browse versus purchase, and where (and when) customers eventually convert, which will help inform future campaigns — not only for future retargeting efforts, but other types of campaigns as well.

Google's new cross-device targeting options are now available for AdWords users, and are worth checking out even if you don't run many retargeting campaigns. Not only can they help you reconnect with consumers who've shown an interest in your business, but they'll give you greater insight into your marketing strategies and your consumers' paths to purchase.

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