Leveraging Cross-Device Tracking as a B2B Business


Take a minute to think about your daily routine, and what kind of device you are using throughout the day. Do you usually switch back and forth between mobile and desktop? A typical day for you might look like this:

Wake up – Check Mobile

At work – On Desktop

On lunch – Check mobile

Back to work – On Desktop

Go home – unwinding on mobile, occasionally on desktop still working

The fact is, your buyers aren’t just sticking with one kind of device throughout their day. 75% of users start a task on one device and continue or finish on another. So, even though they may not be using mobile to fill out your website forms, they’re definitely using mobile to research you. 

How do we stay in front of buyers as they go from device to device?


Cross-Device Tracking

If you’re unfamiliar with this type of remarketing, I’m sure you’ve overheard friends or family talk about the ads that are “stalking them”. They looked up a pair of shoes on their phone at home and an ad popped up on their work computer the next day – They’ve never looked up shoes at work. 

What in the…?

To put it simply, cross-device tracking uses data to expand customer audience and reach the same user on multiple devices. This is possible when the ad platforms you use (Google, Bing, Choozle, etc.) matches one user profile with multiple devices. As an example, if you’ve logged into your Facebook account on your work laptop/desktop and you’ve logged into your Facebook account on mobile, you’re sending a pretty clear signal on both devices that you are the same person. 


Is Cross-Device Tracking Legal?

Yep, sure is! This is great news for us marketers, but a little creepy for consumers. The US Federal Trade Commission conducted a workshop and released a Staff Report that explains the technology behind cross-device tracking, the benefits and challenges associated with it, and outlines four industry self-regulatory efforts to address those challenges. 

  1. Transparency – You must truthfully disclose tracking to consumers and partners
  2. Choice – Offer consumers choices about how their cross-device activity is tracked. Customers are free to use opt-out tools, which should be respected by companies that utilize cross-device tracking
  3. Sensitive Data – Unless you receive “affirmative express consent”, you must refrain from acquiring sensitive data such as health information, finances, children’s information, and geolocation
  4. Security – You must maintain reasonable website security to avoid unexpected and unauthorized uses of data.


Benefits of Cross-Device Tracking for B2B Businesses 

  • Brand Repetition

How many times have you gotten an email at work and ignored it or let it get buried in other emails? It’s all too easy. Unlike the B2C sales cycle, the B2B purchasing process is much lengthier. Cross-device tracking allows B2B business to close this loop by sparking recognition when users are shown an ad multiple times throughout their day.

  • Multiple Touch-Points

70% of employees work at least one weekend per month, which means that people aren’t working the typical 9-5 hours anymore – They’re taking laptops home with them. It’s equally important to recognize that your buyer may be in different parts of the sales funnel, depending on what type of device they’re on and what time of day. Cross-device tracking allows B2B marketers to reach those buyers on different devices when they’re at different stages of their day and buying cycle.

  • Personalization

By looking at your cross-device reporting, you can create funnel-specific content and messaging to speak more directly to buyers at their different stages in the purchasing journey. 

  • Conversion Attribution 

Tracing the steps of the conversion gives a detailed insight into your marketing efforts. If the final conversion and slam dunk happened on a desktop, you might not know if there were any touch-points on mobile that may have helped along that way. Cross-device tracking helps show how buyers interacted throughout the path to the conversion.


Reporting on Cross-Device Tracking

  • Device Overlap

This report lets you view how many different types of devices users engage your content with, group users by the different device types, and compare the engagement and conversion rates of each group. As an example, your data might show you that people who only use mobile convert less often than people who use both mobile and desktop.

  • Device Paths

The Device Paths report shows you the sequence of device categories used to engage your content. With this report, you can discover the ways users move between devices as they engage with your content and progress towards conversion. With this report, you might find that a specific segment of users with a User ID assigned engage with your content on multiple device types before converting, while another segment only uses one device type.

  • Acquisition Device 

The Acquisition Device report combines attribution and traffic metrics to help you better understand how different devices contribute to the ways you attract new users and convince all users to convert. With this report, you can find out how many users you acquired on one type of device convert on that same type of device, how many convert on a different type of device, and how many don’t convert at all.


Ready, Set, Track

Many businesses are hesitant to put ad spend toward mobile without a clear understanding of the ROI. With cross-device tracking, marketers now have a precise understanding of how consumer behavior differs on mobile versus desktops. We can prove that a smartphone resulted in a later purchase on a desktop. This type of attribution helps companies to find where their advertising efforts should be focused for maximum impact. 

We’ve only just scratched the surface of cross-device tracking. If you’re ready to dive into the logistics, give us a shout to see just what cross-device tracking can do for your business.