Advertisers typically view their mobile and desktop campaigns as two distinct strategies with different goals and success metrics that need to be analyzed separately. But if we dig deeper, we find that a holistic, cross-device view delivers the greatest ROI.

Customer behavior isn’t as simple as a single segment

When advertisers launch a Mobile App Install campaign on Facebook, they (obviously) want to drive app installs. Therefore, it’s natural to assume that tracking how many new users install the app will give a complete and accurate representation of how successful that campaign has been.

But is that really the case?

Let’s imagine you’re running retargeting campaigns through AdRoll. You’ve just set up a Facebook campaign on mobile to drive app installs and acquire new app users. Meanwhile, you’ve also set up Facebook campaigns on desktop to convert prospects to customers.

Some prospects will see your mobile ad and download the app. But there will probably be a few people who see the ad but, rather than downloading the app, head over to your website and make a purchase there.

In the latter scenario, your ad campaign was still a success: someone saw the ad and converted as a result. But if you’ve taken a narrow view of attribution, you may miss assisted conversions that cross-device campaigns provide, and lose valuable insight into the holistic impact of your successful ad campaigns.

Conversion tracking gives you the whole picture

A more realistic approach is to track whether users hit any conversion goals after seeing your Mobile App Install ad.

The best way to do this? Set up conversion segments. Even if you’re only using AdRoll to run Mobile App Install campaigns, it’s worth setting up our SmartPixel with conversion segments so that you can see—and measure—conversions. If someone saw your app install add and later converted on your website via desktop, that mobile impression still had an effect on (and deserves credit for) that conversion.


Imagine if AdRoll wasn’t showing you this data. These conversions would still be happening, but they’d have no attribution. At AdRoll, naturally, we tell you how many app installs were driven by your campaign, but we also provide a way to approach your online advertising campaigns as a holistic story via our dashboard.

In addition to your website, if you also have a mobile app, I recommend that you set aside a test budget to run a Facebook campaign to see the incremental effect of mobile on your website conversions. Taking a holistic approach to your campaigns allows you to identify various trends in user behavior and optimize the campaign to achieve your overall sales objectives.

Click here to read more about cross-device retargeting on Facebook.