Cross-Device Targeting Best Practices

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Cross-Device Targeting

Often times people are served the same display ads on a handful of their different devices. This is no coincidence. Although your devices could have similar online activity where they may fall under the same data audience, you are most likely being targeted by a campaign that is using cross-device targeting.

What is cross-device targeting

Cross-device targeting is a strategy that uses online id matching technology to serve ads to all of one person’s devices after the first was originally hit.

Cross-device targeting uses online id matching technology to discover the other devices owned by the same person. This matching technology compares online activity and analyzes website logins to determine the devices that are owned by the same person.

How does it work?

According to’s article on cross-device targeting, there are two methods in which online IDs are matched, they are known as deterministic and probabilistic matching.

Deterministic matching is when the matching technology is sure that you are the owner of two devices because of email or website logins that are shared on both. This is the most accurate and easiest method and is rarely wrong.

Probabilistic matching is used when email and other accounts aren’t available to match amongst devices. This method uses website usage, interests, demographics and other online activity to make a confident guess which device are yours. This method obviously isn’t as accurate as deterministic but if your specific audience member isn’t correctly matched then you will at least reach someone very similar, right?

Cross-device targeting best practices

This strategy can be used in many cases but is recommended for only certain objectives. Firstly, adding cross device targeting to an ad group or campaign will make it more expensive, so it should only be used when it is worth the extra fees.

Cross-device targeting is an aggressive method of advertising, your audience will be receiving impressions on each device that they use. For strategies like geoframing, crm and retargeting campaigns, cross-device targeting’s persistent approach can be quite effective. These three strategies also tend to have a small inventory pool which makes it harder to spend. Adding cross-device targeting can double your inventory and assure that you will spend your budget.

Besides adding to an inventory pool, cross-device targeting can be used effectively to push for conversions. Your ads may be scrolled past the first couple of times but with the amount of impressions served to one person across multiple devices, your ad will be noticed. This strategy limits the amount of people you can serve ads to but amplifies the message you are trying to send with your display ads.

Contact us to see how you can use cross-device targeting to accomplish your goals.