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The Role of Cross-Device Tracking in Connected TV Ad Campaigns

Connected TV (CTV) has emerged as a powerful platform that bridges the gap between traditional television and online streaming. As viewers increasingly shift towards consuming content on their own terms, advertisers face the challenge of tracking user journeys across multiple devices.

Keep reading to learn about cross-device tracking in Connected TV advertising and its role in understanding user journeys so you make the most of your advertising efforts.

What Is Cross-Device Tracking?

Cross-device tracking in Connected TV advertising refers to identifying and matching user interactions across multiple devices, particularly televisions, smartphones, laptops, or tablets. This unified view provides a comprehensive insight into customers’ cross-device behavior for effective attribution modeling and targeted advertising.

Through cross-device tracking, advertisers can better understand which device triggers specific customer actions along their customer journey analysis. It overcomes traditional limitations by offering device-independent tracking solutions and captures user activity regardless of the devices used, making it a powerful tool for omnichannel marketing strategies and audience segmentation.

How Cross-Device Tracking Works

Cross-device tracking is where data is collected from various sources and used to deliver personalized advertising. Although it’s a technically complex process, the end result is a more seamless and effective advertising experience for the user and a more successful advertising campaign for the marketer.

Data Collection

Data points offer a unique piece of the puzzle, helping to build a comprehensive picture of a user’s digital behavior. The more data points collected, the more accurately a user’s journey can be mapped across different devices. Some of the main ways data is collected include:

  1. Cookie tracking: This involves placing a small set of data on users’ devices when they visit your website. This is useful for tracking their behavior and preferences across different sessions.
  2. Device fingerprinting: Unique identities for users can be created based on certain attributes of their device, such as operating system, browser type, and screen resolution.
  3. Digital marketing analytics: These platforms aggregate data from various sources and provide insights into user interactions across channels.
  4. User behavior analysis: By examining behaviors such as browsing patterns and purchase histories, marketers can gain an understanding of consumer tendencies.

Device Identification

Once the data collection phase has been completed, device identification depends on the unique characteristics of each device. Each type of device, be it a tablet, a laptop, or a smartphone, has several special features.

For example, a tablet typically has a larger screen than a smartphone, supports landscape mode, and may be used more often for leisure activities such as reading or watching videos. On the other hand, a laptop is often associated with more extensive tasks and longer periods of use and usually runs a different operating system to tablets and smartphones. Smartphones tend to be the most personal devices, often used on the move and, therefore, more likely to have location services enabled.

Identifying each device is the cornerstone for the subsequent steps of cross-device tracking. Once each device is accurately identified, it is possible to link multiple devices to a single user or household, a process that’s important for creating a comprehensive overview of the user’s digital behavior.

Device Linking

In cross-device tracking, devices likely to be used by the same person are linked. This is where deterministic and probabilistic tracking comes into play: deterministic tracking links devices based on data provided by the user, such as using the same login credentials on multiple devices.

On the other hand, probabilistic tracking uses statistical algorithms to recognize patterns in the anonymous data collected. Based on these patterns, informed predictions are made about which devices are likely to be used by the same person. It’s important to note that deterministic tracking offers a high level of accuracy, while probabilistic tracking offers a broader scale.

User Journey Mapping

Mapping the user’s journey involves tracking their interactions on each device, revealing a wealth of information about their digital behavior. Every user interaction on a device, be it visiting websites, using apps, or responding to ads, leaves a digital footprint.

These traces form a map representing the user’s journey through the digital landscape when pieced together across different devices. Each stop on this map and interaction provides valuable insights into the user’s behavior, preferences, and habits on each device. It shows what users are doing on each device and provides insight into how users move from one device to another.

Personalized Ad Delivery

Based on the insights gained from the user journey map, marketers can serve personalized ads tailored to the user’s behavior and preferences on individual devices. This could mean displaying an ad for a product the user was viewing on their smartphone when switching to their laptop or changing the ad content based on the time of day, the device being used, or the user’s previous behavior.

Personalized ad delivery is the culmination of the cross-device tracking process, where all the collected data and insights are implemented. The aim is to provide users with a seamless and engaging advertising experience tailored to their needs and preferences.

A Deeper Look Into The Two Types Of Cross-Device Tracking

Each type of cross-device tracking offers several advantages and limitations. The choice between them depends on the specific requirements of the campaign, the data available, and the accuracy and scalability required.

Deterministic Tracking

Deterministic tracking provides higher accuracy by assigning multiple devices based on user-identified information. This method relies on concrete data points provided by the users, such as login credentials for different applications or websites.

If a user logs into the same account with different browsers on the same device, these browsers can also be linked through deterministic tracking. Similarly, if multiple users log into their accounts on the same device, such as a shared home computer, deterministic tracking can distinguish between these different users.

It provides advertisers with an accurate understanding of a user’s cross-device journey and allows them to deliver a more consistent and personalized advertising experience. However, the scope is usually limited to the platforms or environments where users are logged in, which can limit the scope of tracking compared to probabilistic methods.

Probabilistic Tracking

Probabilistic tracking, or statistical matching, involves using algorithms to analyze a large amount of anonymized data points, such as IP addresses, device types, browser settings, and operating systems. By identifying patterns in these data points, algorithmic matching creates intricate connections or device graphs that enhance the creation of user profiles while maintaining privacy standards.

For advertisers, this means a more comprehensive overview of their target group’s behavior without relying on the data of logged-in users. Using probabilistic tracking for cross-device identification enables targeted advertising based on an aggregated but anonymous profile of users’ activities and preferences.

Benefits Of Cross-Device Tracking

Cross-device tracking provides a more accurate overview of the customer journey and enables marketers to gain deeper insights into the overall impact of their campaigns. By leveraging these benefits, marketers can create more effective and engaging cross-device advertising campaigns.

Accurate View Of Customer Journey

Cross-device tracking provides marketers with a comprehensive view of a user’s online journey across multiple devices – from smartphones and tablets to laptops and connected TVs.

By tracking these interactions, marketers better understand how users engage with content across different devices. Each interaction provides a unique insight into the user’s habits and preferences.

Deeper Insights Into Marketing Impact

Cross-device tracking is a key enabler for marketers who want transparency and deeper insights into their campaigns. It provides invaluable data on consumer behavior across multiple platforms and offers a transparent customer journey overview. This increased transparency allows advertisers to refine their strategies and precisely deliver targeted advertising.

By understanding which devices influence consumer behavior, marketers can effectively optimize their cross-channel advertising efforts, resulting in higher conversion rates and a better return on investment. These insights are revolutionizing traditional marketing approaches by enabling data-driven decisions that directly address the needs and preferences of the target audience.

Expansion Of Insights To Include Offline Activity

With advancements in technology, it’s now possible to link online and offline behavior and thus obtain a more complete picture of the user journey. Using techniques such as geofencing and beacons, marketers can track these offline visits and link them to online behavior. This can provide valuable insights into how online marketing leads to offline conversions.

Understanding the connection between online and offline behavior can help marketers develop more cohesive and integrated marketing strategies. For example, they could use online ads to attract users to physical stores or in-store promotions to encourage online purchases.

Optimized Market Spend

With deep and detailed insights from tracking user behavior across multiple devices, marketers can make more strategic and informed decisions about allocating their marketing budgets.

Cross-device tracking provides a detailed overview of how users interact with content and ads on different devices. This uncovers patterns and preferences that can help with budget allocation. For example, if the data shows that users are more likely to interact with smartphone ads during the morning commute, marketers can allocate a larger portion of their budget to mobile advertising during these peak times.

It can also reveal which devices or platforms are driving the most conversions. If a particular device is consistently associated with high conversion rates, allocating more budget to advertising on that device would be advisable. Or, if a particular platform is underperforming, marketers can use these insights to redirect their budget to more effective channels.

How To Use Cross-Device Tracking For Connected TV Advertising

As a marketer, integrating cross-device tracking into your CTV advertising strategy can significantly increase its effectiveness. By understanding your audience, creating consistent customer profiles, and personalizing ad delivery, you can use cross-device tracking to create more engaging CTV ad campaigns.

Analysis And Problem-solving

To excel in connected TV advertising, brands need to use cross-device tracking to analyze user behavior. This technology reveals how customers interact with their brand across display, mobile, and CTV devices. With these insights, advertisers can find out what drives consumer engagement and leads to conversions.

Developing effective conversion tracking strategies relies heavily on cross-device data and identity graphs. Using these tools, brands can take a people-based approach to their campaigns by leveraging first-party data. Utilizing such tactics will help your business delve deeper into audience segmentation, providing essential solutions to potential problems during the customer journey mapping process.

Increasing Conversion Rates

Cross-device tracking can drastically increase your conversion rates for connected TV advertising by enabling a more precise view of the customer journey and making it easier to recognize when and where conversions take place. It also makes it easier to apply targeted advertising strategies that are proven to increase conversion rates by delivering relevant content to the right consumers at the optimal time.

By leveraging these insights from cross-device tracking, you can create personalized marketing campaigns that engage users across multiple platforms and inspire action. More engagement often means more conversions, positively impacting your brand’s bottom line.

Real-time Data Analysis

Real-time data analysis improves the effectiveness of cross-device tracking in networked TV advertising as it tracks customers’ online behavior across multiple devices and gives advertisers invaluable insights. Brands can now identify real people behind the screens and engage with them instantly. The real power lies in providing accurate, up-to-date information for quick decision-making.

It helps with accurate attribution modeling and enables marketers to deploy targeted messages in a timely manner. This, in turn, leads to optimized marketing campaigns and improved conversion rates across display, mobile, and connected TV channels.

Let The Remnant Agency Handle Your Connected TV Advertising

As digital marketing strategies continue to evolve, incorporating remnant advertising allows for more efficient and cost-effective ad spend, maximizing your reach and engagement. The Remnant Agency specializes in Connected TV marketing strategies, utilizing the power of cross-device tracking to deliver highly personalized and effective campaigns. With our expertise, you can tap into the full potential of remnant advertising, accessing unused ad inventory to reach your target audience at a reduced cost.

If you’re ready to take your marketing strategy to the next level, click here to schedule a meeting now – we’d love to chat.

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