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Reaching the Individual with New Cross Device Reporting in Google Analytics

Andy Semenihin   
August 15, 2018  
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With the recent release of cross device reporting in Google Analytics, brands can now to take action on people-centric insight and optimize marketing based on user-level behavior. This means brands can now reach desired audiences based on actual behavior at the individual level, instead of based on fuzzy measurement duplicated by browser- and app-based cookies.

How is cross device different from the all-too-familiar User ID reporting?

Google’s previous User ID solution had a substantial limitation: the ability to analyze only those who created a Google account and browsed while logged in. But Google’s new cross device measurement means accuracy no longer depends on whether or not a user is logged in; brands now have the ability to understand crucial metrics like device overlap and customer journey, even if a user browses on one device as a guest, browses on a separate device while logged in, and purchases even still on a different third device.

Secondly, cross device measurement doesn’t require any technical code updates or specified implementation in Google Tag Manager like User ID reporting does; brands can simply switch cross device measurement on within Google Analytics and be good to go.

Finally, there’s no need to create additional Google Analytics Views in order to understand a view cross device. This new set of reports integrates seamlessly within the master view, allowing for efficient access to multi-device insights.

What’s the value proposition?

As mentioned above, brands can now take action based on the journey customers take — engaging with site and media — across multiple devices prior to, through, and after conversion. With cross device conversion reporting in place, brands can collapse cookie stacks into individual users, and understand trued conversions based on device contribution.

While brands can currently optimize media spend based on device overlap data, cross device reporting can offer a new view on incrementality by providing an actionable understanding of the role non-desktop touchpoints play in pushing users down funnel to conversion. This insight means the ability to shift budget toward the most efficient paths, to invest toward incremental revenue for flat or decreased cost. In the meantime, analyzing sales based on originating device can improve efficiency for upper funnel targeting, providing insight into customer device preference during initial research.

In total, these benefits add up to building a complete view of marketing impact to inform run smarter campaign optimization.

How does it work?

The new cross device measurement uses Google Signals from several Google products to identify a person using multiple devices. Designed to enhance remarketing and reporting, Google Signals allows Google Analytics audiences to serve ads in Cross Device-eligible campaigns. This behavior modeling can be used in Google Ads (formerly AdWords) and other Google Marketing Platform advertising products, like Display & Video 360 (formerly DoubleClick Bid Manager).

The new set of Cross Device reports appears in the Google Analytics account, and provides information regarding: device overlap, device paths, deduplicated channel performance, and acquisition device.

Get started

To use the new Cross Device features, start by enabling Google Signals in the Admin section of your Analytics account. The data for the new reports will start collecting going forward.


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