Cross-device: Not just a buzzword in Europe


In Europe, cross-device is one of the biggest phrases on everyone’s lips. As the industry follows close suit to the industry standards in the US and UK, marketing professionals in mainland Europe are starting to truly understand and unlock the value of cross-device marketing.

But what exactly is it?

At its core, cross-device marketing refers to targeting consumers with marketing campaigns throughout their buying journey—from the first time they see an ad or visit your website, to when they eventually buy your product. To do this, you need to connect the dots between different devices and browsing sessions and link all of these back to a single user. On its surface, this means connecting devices—like your mobile device and your laptop. But a solid cross-device strategy also tracks users across browsers (from Chrome to Firefox, for example) and across environments (from the web to in-app browsing).

How it works

To implement a cross-device strategy, tech providers utilize what is called a cross-device graph. This is, in essence, a scientific term to describe how cookies, device IDs, and other identifiers are linked together to create a holistic view of one consumer and their digital presence. This view is constantly refreshed to ensure that it is as up-to-date as possible. Because of this focus on the individual, cross-device marketing is often called “people-based marketing”.

Why is it important?

The real-time element of cross-device marketing is crucial. Because if the data is not current, it can lead to wasted budgets or missed opportunities. One example would be if a consumer was browsing for shoes, and then completed a purchase. If your cross-device graph is not updated in real time, you could still be targeting that specific consumer with an ad for the shoes they already bought—a waste of your marketing budget and an annoyance for your customers.

The cross-device myth in Europe

While cross-device marketing offers a number of benefits, marketing professionals often believe that it is very difficult, or even impossible, to implement in lot of European countries, especially Germany. A piece of this thinking is due to the European laws about how you collect, store, and use consumer data, which are stricter in the EU than many places around the world. But the idea that you can’t successfully activate cross-device marketing in Germany or elsewhere in Europe is a myth. Many marketing professionals are already reaping the benefits of this strategy, including reduced cost per conversion and consumer insights that can be used to inform future campaigns.

Check out how agency Duncan Channon achieved impressive results with a cross-device strategy.