Why is device targeting such a big deal? To find the answer, take a moment to think about cookies – not the ones you eat, but the type that are less delicious and can’t be seen. In the online marketing world, a cookie is a piece of code, placed onto a website, that tracks what users do on a site. With the resulting data, marketers can study the flow of traffic through their site or use retargeting ads to pull buyers back toward their products or services.
Device targeting skips cookies and moves the technology one step further. This type of advertising communicates with a unique ID on a phone or device that can be captured. To see why this has such tremendous value, let’s assume for a moment that you take your favorite laptop or tablet into a local coffee shop.
If the coffee shop in question uses device targeting, the business can serve you ads for the next seven days. These might come in the form of coupons, branding, or general display advertising – all designed to bring you back into the coffee shop for your favorite order, and all without using any cookies (unless you happen to impulse buy one to go with your cappuccino).
For another example, imagine your friendly local Realtor decides to put device targeting to use.
Rather than placing indiscriminate ads or wondering about the results of their work, this professional could host and promote an open house. During the event, they could use device targeting to see who has visited the property and set follow-up appointments. They could also relay important information back to their clients so homeowners can see what types of buyers have stopped by, how many of them are showing interest after the open house, and so on.
These are only two simple examples, but it should be clear that device targeting is a technology with huge potential within the world of digital advertising.
Some advertising agencies and experts will tell you tracking visitors with cookies is a thing of the past. We disagree. While the great thing about digital advertising is that it’s always in a state of growth and flux, that doesn’t mean we throw away profitable tactics simply because they aren’t new anymore.
Device targeting is an exciting piece of advertising innovation, and it can be used in a lot of ways. It’s just not ready to replace cookies yet. Retargeting (which relies on cookies) is still an incredibly strong and profitable way of giving customers additional exposure to your company, along with more reasons to buy from you.
Balancing your campaigns is all about making the most of The Push and Pull. You need to push users to a website based on what you know about their needs, and then use strategies like retargeting to pull them back in. As exciting as device targeting is, it hasn’t been able to replace retargeting as a major pull event that leads to conversions yet. Plan your ads accordingly.