Last week, we told you about this sweet new thing in Google Analytics (GA) called “Display Advertiser Features”, which lets you toggle a switch to start collecting remarketing data without the pain associated with placing new codes.

If you have Universal Analytics set up, you can tell GA to start collecting data on your site visitors that allow you to use these types of features. In addition to the remarketing capabilities, you can also use:

  • Google Display Network Impression Reporting
  • DoubleClick Platform integrations
  • Google Analytics Demographics and Interest Reporting

However, you will need to update your privacy policy since this action changes the type of data you’re collecting and what you’re doing with it. Visitors might be kind of creeped out by it.

If you saw the recent Parks & Recreation episode about a company called “Gryzzl,” collecting creepy amounts of data and using it to send personalized gift baskets to their front door via drones, you will have an idea of how people could feel about this change in data collection capabilities. For example, take Ron Swanson’s reaction to one of these drones bringing a present for his son, which Gryzzl gleamed info for from his wife’s email:

Yeah, he shot it

Of course this data collection isn’t nearly on that level, but you’ll still want to update your privacy policy.

Aside from privacy issues, it appears this change is nothing but awesome and will save people a lot of hassle. Google quoted, with this release, a study that found only 1/5 people actually finished setting up their remarketing codes properly. As someone who has clients with a ticket system for coding/site changes that can take over a year sometimes, I am sure this will make my life a ton easier.

Here’s some of the feedback from the PPC Community:

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John Ellis sees the potential, but is nearly as suspicious as Ron Swanson.

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Aaron Levy recognizes how much value this adds, but he can’t help but think of all the other big problems with using GA remarketing.

While not being able to use RLSA and having to switch over to GA to manage your lists is kind of a pain, we’ve found some pretty awesome uses for GA remarketing here at Hanapin!

Just recently, our own Sarah Stemen wrote about how swell they can. The basis of her argument is:

“One enormous benefit of using Google Analytics Remarketing is that you are effectively designing your marketing campaign using data straight from Google Analytics.”


This means that all that crazy amount of data in GA is at your fingertips for creating audiences to target with remarketing. Think: screen resolution, browser type, etc. There’s lots of data Analytics tracks that AdWords doesn’t, and customization like setting up events as conversion goals, etc, that makes GA remarketing more powerful than AdWords remarketing.

In this article, Carrie Albright compares the two remarketing options for us. She delves into the differences between the two and the pros and cons. However, she boasts a case study that shows a 56% increase in conversion rate for a GA remarketing list that targets a really specific set of people based on GA-only available data.

Final Thoughts

This change will streamline the Google Analytics remarketing set-up process for a lot of folks, and make their lives easier. It’ll make agency folks like myself breath a sigh of relief that I only need to get my clients to place the Universal Analytics code, and not have them make a ton of different code placements and alterations.

However, we still would like to see the availability of RLSA and other features we’re missing from AdWords remarketing. In the mean time, I believe many advertisers are using both options. I know I am! What do you guys think of this update?