Banking Marketing Marketing Insights

How cross-device tracking follows the customer’s journey in financial marketing


Cross-device tracking targets the pain points of financial marketers who are trying to develop a holistic view of their customer’s journey. When a financial campaign is targeting multiple audiences and each person within that audience owns multiple devices that are connected to the internet, it can be difficult to follow a consumer’s journey with a bank’s online brand from beginning to end. 

However, setting up cross-device tracking for financial marketing campaigns can provide data about the customer’s journey that turns these campaigns into success stories.

We’ll explain the nuances of cross-device tracking and how it can and should be integrated into financial marketing strategies.

How does cross-device tracking work?

Simply put, cross-device tracking allows financial marketers to correctly attribute a specific action to a specific user on their specific device. 

Let’s say a consumer named Tina searches for a “home equity line of credit loan” on her phone during her lunch break and an article on your website is listed on the search engine results page. When she goes to your website on her phone, she is assigned a unique user ID (more on this later).

Later while at work, Tina remembers how your brand helped her, but this time, she types in your brand name on her work computer and is taken to your website. She is again assigned a unique user ID for this website session. 

While at home, Tina sees an ad from your brand on her phone and decides to take action – she has everything she needs to fill out an application on your website about a home equity line of credit loan.

Tina visited your website three separate times and these visits were on multiple devices – her phone and her work computer. If cross-device tracking was not part of your marketing plan, it could have seemed like Tina was multiple users on your website instead of just one. 

As marketers, we use cross-device tracking to see your brand’s touchpoints on Tina’s devices, see the actions she took because of those specific touchpoints and correctly attribute the action – her filling out an application – to the correct device and marketing medium. This shows us a complete view of Tina’s journey as a customer. It can also help marketers identify which campaign elements are working and which are missing their mark.

What are some methods of cross-device tracking?

There are a couple of ways cross-device tracking can work in financial marketing campaigns. Both of the following examples are compliant from a data privacy standpoint and do not collect any personally identifiable information on consumers.

Let’s say you are a bank looking to acquire more mortgage loan applications. In one method of cross-device tracking, you could have consumers sign in to your website before they are able to fill out an application. Then, you would know when they sign in on their phone to work on the application and when they sign in on their computer to finish the application and submit it. 

The other option for cross-device tracking relies heavily on Google’s ad personalization settings. When a consumer logs onto your site using their Google credentials, Google can show that this user “ABCXYZ123” visited from an iPhone on March 1 and again on a desktop on March 2. (Google cannot turn the generated user ID into any personally identifiable information.) The caveat is that your consumer has to be logged into their Google account on each device and has to have Google’s ad personalization turned on. 

How can cross-device tracking be used in banking and financial marketing strategies?

There are plenty of opportunities to use cross-device tracking in the banking industry, especially when it comes to filling out an application. Someone browsing on their phone may see a bank’s ad highlighting the bank’s new credit card with great cashback rates and decide to start a credit card application. However, that consumer may not have all the information needed at that moment and decide to finish the application later on a desktop.

As marketers, we want to be able to have the correct attribution and user flow from beginning to end instead of relying only on last-click attribution. In this case, we would want to know the consumer was served an ad that encouraged them to apply on their phone but that they had to stop their application and complete it at a later time on a desktop. This could encourage us to build a way for them to save their application so that the information they inserted while on their phone is not lost when they come back to finish it.

Learn more about cross-device tracking from us.

At MHP/Team SI, we are excited about the tools used to enhance cross-device tracking capabilities in marketing. We want to be able to follow an accurate depiction of the customer journey and present those marketing successes to our clients. To learn more about our cross-device and cross-domain tracking capabilities and experience, contact us here.


Whitney Burgess