The internet has changed dramatically in the last twenty years. The internet has grown from something that only a few people had in their homes to a state where everyone is always connected, pretty much all the time. This has been a double-edged sword for online marketers. More people are online, but they are using different devices throughout the day. This makes targeting people harder if you’re trying to reach consumers through desktop ads when everyone is using mobile. Google Adwords is rolling out a plan that will close the loop.
First, let’s start with the news that will be of most use to everyday marketers. According to a recent post on the AdWords blog, Google plans to enable cross-device remarketing for signed-in users.
“Today, we’re introducing cross-device remarketing for Google Display Network and DoubleClick Bid Manager to help you reach the same user across devices, apps, and sites,” explained Brad Bender, Vice President of Display and Video Advertising. “You can now tell a single story to your audience and decide how frequently they see your ad across devices.”
While Google spoke of this as digital innovation, the truth is they are behind other ad platforms, like Facebook, in offering cross-platform remarketing. When consumers are using a persistent login, like their Facebook ID or Google+ account (which is what you’re technically using when you log into something with your Gmail account), it’s possible to serve them ads on multiple devices and to keep track of activity.
Regardless who did it first, cross platform remarketing is big news for marketers who use AdWords. Right now, AdWords treats the same person using multiple devices as different people, even when they know otherwise. This means that at times, Google is showing data from three customers, when it’s actually the same customer three times. The new features for cross-platform remarketing will lead to more accurate results and the ability to fine tune how much cross-platform remarketing to do.
In the same release, Google also announced two other plans to help with integrating AdWords into a traditional media or in-store marketing. Marketers who are running TV ads can now use Google’s Brand Lift product to see how their campaign impacts brand metrics like awareness and purchase intent. This was available to YouTube marketers before, but Google will use data from AdWords and search to produce the metrics.
Marketers won’t even have to do a lot of setup or provide a media schedule to use Brand Lift for TV. According to Google, “As long as you’re running Brand Lift on both a TV campaign and a YouTube campaign, we’ll be able to report the incremental searches for your brand.”
The final innovation worth sharing is the news that Google will provide new metrics for offline business owners that use AdWords. Google is introducing location extensions and store visits measurement for the Google Display Network. Brands, like Home Depot, have used these extensions to put local store information in ads shown on mobile websites and apps of people near the store. This is format similar to the Local Awareness Ads used by Facebook.
What sets Google’s local apart from Facebook’s is the ability to track the results. Google has a Store Visits metric for display ads that measures the impact of Display Network ads on actual visits to the store, hotel, auto dealership or restaurant. Using Google Maps technology, AdWords has access to the exact dimensions of over 200 million stores globally and can deliver 99% accuracy in reported visits.
Expect to hear more about these tools and features as the individual launch dates approach. For more news about online marketing and PPC ads, read this article on Facebook’s new ad format for local retailers.