How to Get Started with Cross-Device Measurement

By Jerelle Gainey in Analytics & Information on April 14th, 2016

How to Get Started with Cross-Device Measurement

Cross-Device Measurement should be an integral part of your planning, buying, reporting, attribution and optimization strategies. 90% of people use multiple screens every day and 40% of smartphone users who research on mobile devices, make purchases on desktops, however 40% of enterprises are still using first/last touch attribution models. Here are some suggestions to help your company make the transition to cross-device measurement.

multiple devices

Let’s begin with a few stats, shall we? 68% of smartphone users check their phones within 15 minutes of waking up. 87% of Millennials always have their smartphone at their side, day and night. The average smartphone user checks their phone 150 times a day. The phone is central to our lives, enabling new experiences, and significantly more opportunities for research and engagement with brands, products and services. Google has coined the term, micro-moments, to describe the phenomenon of turning to a device (smart phone) to take action on whatever we need or want right now.

The customer journey may begin on mobile, but the path crosses multiple devices and channels. 90% of people use multiple screens for everyday activities and 40% of smartphone users who research on mobile devices, ultimately purchase on desktops. According to a multi-device study commissioned by Facebook, 60% of US and UK consumers use two or more devices daily, 25% three or more and 40% start browsing/researching products on one device and complete the transaction on another.  

modern customer journey

While the journey is becoming increasingly fragmented, 40% of enterprises are still using first-touch/last-touch attribution models, thus significantly under-valuing the role of mobile in driving your business. It is critical to account for multi-device activity when measuring and optimizing media performance. Cross-Device Measurement should be an integral part of all future planning, buying, reporting, attribution and optimization strategies. Here are few suggestions to get started on the transition.

1. Your ad serving platform matters. 

We suggest starting with an ad serving platform that has cross-device capabilities natively integrated. DoubleClick Campaign Manager by Google which leverages Google sign-in data and Atlas by Facebook which leverages Facebook sign-ins, both include native cross-device measurement capabilities and both succeed in helping provide a clearer picture of cross-device engagement more or less. Both tools have various reports that provide actionable insight into the devices a user interacted with prior to performing the conversion event.

2. Establish a comprehensive, holistic approach to tagging all your digital properties. 

You should place tags on your desktop site, mobile site (if your desktop site is not responsive) and your mobile/tablet apps. This tagging approach will allow you to accurately see which devices your users interact with, and at what point in the customer journey. This provides important insights into actual cost-efficiency metrics and mobile’s true impact on your business.

3. Use a tag management solution. 

Tag management solutions such as Tealium, Ensighten or Google Tag Manager are absolutely imperative for today’s marketers. In addition to significantly increasing the efficiency of deploying and/or updating tags on your site, they are a fundamental piece of the effective marketer’s data strategy – allowing you to create and leverage data layers for advanced user measurement.

4. Use an advanced marketing attribution platform that takes into account cross-channel, cross-tactic impact of media. 

Though we recognize the short-comings of last-click only measurement, due to the simplicity of implementing a last click model, these models are still commonly used. Using advanced marketing attribution platforms will uncover the true effectiveness, sequence and ROI of any combination of media, no matter if the channel is desktop, tablet or a mobile device.

5. Ensure you have the right people on your team. 

Cross-device measurement represents a paradigm shift in digital media and a well informed subject matter expert or agency partner can help navigate this quickly evolving space. A subject matter expert would be responsible for evaluating your current capabilities and identifying the proper investments to help your company maximize the customer experience and utilization of customer data to achieve cross-device expertise. Someone who can cross the line between marketing initiatives and technology capabilities will prove to be invaluable to positioning your organization to leverage cross-device capabilities.


In summary, cross-device measurement is absolutely paramount to optimizing your media spend, engaging your customers at crucial points in the customer journey and justifying mobile spend. If you’ve not already embraced cross-device measurement, you should building these capabilities now.


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