New in Audiences: Introducing cross-device audience segmentation

By Danielle Nissan
cross device audience segmentation

As a former New Yorker, shopping was part of my daily routine.

Like many of my fellow co-habitants of the city, almost every day I would make at least one purchase online, whether it was for groceries, a late-night call for take-out, a birthday present, new socks, or that impossible-to-resist sale on yoga pants that just dropped into my inbox. I was constantly connected at home, the office, and on-the-go. 

You see, as an average New Yorker, and like the majority of digital natives, I was constantly switching between devices.

Whether on my laptop at work, on the subway with my iPhone, or at home chillin’ with my iPad. I always had a screen in front of me, even if it wasn’t always the same screen, and often I would pick up my shopping on an entirely different device than the one I initiated my browsing on. If this behavior sounds familiar to you, keep reading.

There are an estimated 21-22 billion connected devices in the world (a number that continues to grow rapidly) in a population of nearly 7.8 billion people globally. The average American alone is projected to have an average of 13.4 connected devices by 2022, according to Cisco. Something that makes device switching pretty much a given in our daily routines.

By now, this behavior is well-known to marketers and is something we must embrace as the new cultural norm.

People’s daily rituals have become immersed in this new digital space and it’s up to performance marketers to provide the best user experience for their customers with this in mind.

Naturally, marketers need to recognize that their users engage with multiple devices throughout their online journey and they must provide experiences that don’t simply ‘accept’ this reality but rather optimized for it.

If you are an avid shopper (like me), the scenario where you are browsing in a physical store (let’s say in SOHO, NYC), and pull out your phone to look up an item online may be quite familiar.


Well, perhaps there is a special promotion for first-time online-shoppers; or maybe that item is offered in other sizes online?

Personally, I would even put an item in my wish-list for that end of the month paycheck splurge. While my phone would be the first device used in my shopping experience, knowing myself, I am also very likely to go back home, turn on the TV and flip open my iPad too.

With eCommerce experiencing ongoing exponential growth both in terms of raw numbers and the value of purchases, the online shopping experience is the new frontier for performance marketers; and therefore, making the online experience easy, engaging, and as consistent as possible is the real competitive edge marketers have over their competition.

If a user is browsing at home on their iPad and completing a purchase on their iPhone after getting a push notification, shouldn’t the marketer know about it?

The last thing you want to do is send an incentivizing email or show multiple ads to someone who has already made a purchase on another device. It is both a waste of your marketing budget, and can be off-putting to users who are already inundated with countless amounts of emails, ads, and push notifications.

Introducing support for CUID

That’s why we are excited about AppsFlyer Audience’s support for customer user ID.

We made it possible for marketers to create remarketing segments based on their existing customer user IDs. This lets you easily segment a group of users who have carried out a certain action regardless of which device they used, so you can be sure to offer the right message to the right customers, on the right device, at the right time.

While shopping is one important use of this new way of segmenting users, it is not the only use case.

A few months ago, I was traveling through Sri Lanka. While on my trip, smack in the middle of nowhere, I broke my phone. By “broke” I mean that my phone was dead and gone forever.

Naturally, I purchased a new phone the moment the plane landed on the runway back home.

Yes, I made that purchase online but that’s irrelevant to this story (for now). While it was only my mobile phone that changed, to a marketer I would be categorized as a “new device” and; therefore, a new customer (one that presumably had not made any purchases on the mobile app in the past). That’s a shame because it would, in turn, lead to a lot of wasted budget, since I am in fact that same loyal user, but only now with a brand new device.

To make things even more complicated for the marketers trying to reach me, while my advertising ID changed because I am now connected with a new device, my customer user ID did not. This inevitably disrupted my user experience because I was getting mixed messages depending on what device I was on.

For example, on my iPad, I was still a loyal user for a shopping brand but on my iPhone, I was receiving ads enticing me to make my first purchase.

By leveraging existing 1st party customer user IDs, marketers enjoy the option to segment based on either the advertising ID (devices) or user IDs (cross-device) as part of their remarketing strategy, so that they can provide a consistent and smooth experience for their users.

Once a marketer selects the CUID method, AppsFlyer technology intelligently matches the CUIDs to cross-device in-app engagements to build a segment of users according to their entire historical engagements with an app.

Bottom line: if you segment by CUID you won’t be at risk of losing a user’s historical data.

Here is another example provided by a seasoned shopper (still me).

Let’s say I made a purchase on my iPhone for running socks. Within that same week, while leisurely browsing a sports app on my ipad, I decided to finally buy a pair of shoes that I had been eyeing for some time. The purchase on my iPhone amounted to $20 while the purchase on my iPad days later was for $90.00 (the shoes). Effectively, I purchased $110 in total across both devices during that week.

The technical break-down is as follows:

Using the Advertiser ID

Audiences based on advertising ID: users with total revenue of more than $100 will result in only the devices that have generated a total revenue of at least $100 on a single device ( in my case none of my devices).

Marketers should leverage this method when looking to segment users based on actions taken on a single device.

Using the CUID

Audiences based on CUID: users with total revenue of more than $100 will result in all devices that are matched to a single CUID if the total revenue generated by all devices combined is at least $100 (in my case, both my iPhone and iPad).

Customer User ID is another advancement in AppsFlyer Audiences tool that allows marketers to intelligently connect their first party data for a better user-experience with their brand. Whether it’s related to my story or your own, there is immense value in the flexibility marketers have when building out their segments.

In addition, new integrated partners for Appsflyer Audiences

AppsFlyer Audiences is continually evolving with exciting new updates as to how marketers can measure the true incremental impact of their remarketing efforts. New partners are being added regularly making the connection to multiple remarketing networks even easier.

We are very excited to share that we have a first-to-market Audiences integration with TikTok Ads and have also added The Trade Desk to our integrated partner list.

This means that marketers can sync their remarketing audiences directly with these partners via an API connection – hassle fee.

Nate Gawel, General Manager, Data Partnerships commented on this, noting:

It’s great collaborating with the AppsFlyer Audiences’ team to provide our mutual clients with the benefits of this joint-integration. This feature allows advertisers to efficiently utilize their Appsflyer audiences to run successful campaigns on The Trade Desk by easily connecting via API.  

We believe that a strong remarketing program must have the flexibility and scale needed to succeed. Whether that means testing and connecting to multiple remarketing networks, using granular in-app attributes, or having the ability to choose which method to segment users by.

The possibilities are endless.

Danielle Nissan

Danielle Nissan is a seasoned digital marketer and mobile tech junky, who has been working in the advertising technology space for over 7 years, starting as a technical project manager and later, as a client success director at Kenshoo. She is now a product marketing manager, passionate about leading strategic initiatives through collaboration between clients, agencies, partners and publishers alike. Danielle is also best known for her excessive use of coffee in the office.

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