Custom Remarketing

The features described on this page are only available for these types of Display Network campaigns: Mobile app installs, Mobile app engagement, and Ads in mobile apps. They are not available for other campaign types, like Universal App Campaigns, search campaigns, or campaigns that show on websites within the Google Display Network.

App remarketing allows you to target users who already have your app installed, and show them ads that can help drive additional usage.

To target ads to the following types of users:

  • All users who have your app installed
  • People who did or didn't use the app recently
  • People using specific app versions

you simply need to put the AdWords conversion tracking SDK into your app, using the default integration described here.

If you also want to segment users in a more customized way, in order to show a tailored message to people who took specific actions in your app, you'll need to take a few additional steps described below.

Usage and disclosure

Check the Personalized advertising policy to find out which sensitive categories of sites or apps can't use remarketing, and what you need to add to your site's or app's privacy policy.

Tag events with custom parameters

After integrating the AdWords conversion tracking SDK into your app, you'll need to decide which specific events in your app you'd like to tag for remarketing purposes. (For example, you could show a particular ad to users who have browsed an item in your app but without making a purchase.) We recommend doing this as broadly as possible. For any significant user event in your app, you should consider tagging that as a remarketing event, so that you can decide later which events can be useful for remarketing.

Example: Remarket to those who viewed or purchased a product

In your e-commerce app, you might decide that the best way to categorize actions is with the following custom parameters: action_type, product_category, value, and product_id.

When a user browses a pair of shoes, you might want to report this event as follows:

action_type=page_view
product_category=shoes
value=15.99
product_id=222

And when a user purchases this pair of shoes, you might report that as follows:

action_type=purchase
product_category=shoes
value=15.99
product_id=222

Here is a code example of how you would call the AdWordsRemarketingReporter.reportWithConversionId method to report when a user browses the shoe page:

Map<String, Object> params = new HashMap<String, Object>();
params.put("action_type", "page_view");
params.put("product_category", "shoes");
params.put("value", "15.99");
params.put("product_id", "222");
AdWordsRemarketingReporter.reportWithConversionId(
    getApplicationContext(),
    "CONVERSION_ID_FROM_MY_ADWORDS_ACCOUNT",
    params);

You'd then make a similar call if the user completes a shoe purchase:

Map<String, Object> params = new HashMap<String, Object>();
params.put("action_type", "purchase");
params.put("product_category", "shoes");
params.put("value", "15.99");
params.put("product_id", "222");
AdWordsRemarketingReporter.reportWithConversionId(
    getApplicationContext(),
    "CONVERSION_ID_FROM_MY_ADWORDS_ACCOUNT",
    params);

If you care about targeting based on user properties instead of individual actions, you'll need to store these properties in your app. For example, if you are interested in targeting users who have spent more than $20 on in-app items over their lifetime, your app should maintain state about the total amount purchased to date, and then send that up with each new purchase. You might use an extra custom parameter called total_spend_to_date. Or, if you care about targeting users based on the number of items they've bought in your app, you might store the number of items previously purchased, and send up a custom parameter called num_items_purchased_to_date.

Confirm setup

You should see messages similar to the following logged each time you carry out one of the actions that you've tagged for remarketing:

I/GoogleRemarketingReporter( 1557): Pinging:  [...]

I/GoogleRemarketingReporter( 1557): Ping responded with response code 200

The logging you see will show the exact details of the ping that was sent, including your custom parameters.

You can also verify in your AdWords account whether each of your apps is successfully firing remarketing events or not. To do so, click on Shared Library from the left navigation bar in your AdWords account. Then click View under Audiences.

You'll see a status widget in the top right corner that shows the Active vs. Inactive status of remarketing in your AdWords account. If at least one of your websites or apps is firing remarketing events to AdWords, then your tag will show as active.

If you expand the widget, you'll be able to see which sites and apps are successfully firing remarketing events (apps are identified by their app store URL) as well as which custom keys and values are being recorded.

Next step: Define lists and start campaigns

Once your remarketing tagging is successfully set up, the final step is to define your lists in AdWords and run your campaigns. Read on in our help center to find out how.

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Mobile Apps Conversion Tracking and Remarketing
Mobile Apps Conversion Tracking and Remarketing