A few forward-thinking brands ventured into cross-device campaigns in the last few years, with some success. But now that mobile and smartphone usage has steadily risen (and in fact surpasses desktop access of the web), so has the effectiveness of these campaigns. Marketers are more interested in mobile than ever before – and developing cross-device campaigns is a critical component of any successful campaign or initiative. Not surprisingly, digital media budgets for cross-device campaigns have increased 24% from last year .
Multi-Device Campaigns and the Path to Purchase
Here’s why this is so important. The average American user has three or more devices that they use to access the Internet throughout the day. They move from desktop to laptop to tablet to smartphone – and back again. From the minute we wake up to the time we doze off at night, we are practically fused to an Internet-enabled device. We consume more content than ever. We comment, reply, like, favorite, share, send, search, research and we buy — all from our devices. This graphic from Business Insider does a great job of showing how users are accessing the web.
In most instances, the entire path to purchase doesn’t happen on just one device. We switch between our gadgets as we move from home to car to office to coffee shop and so on. For example, consumers often start shopping on one device, then finish shopping on another. Or in the case of second screen campaigns, people might watch a favorite show on a television, but also concurrently use a phone or tablet to engage on social media networks. You also have those who like to multi-task by doing two unrelated things on separate devices. I routinely watch TV with my laptop in my lap because I’m working, but also have my phone or tablet (or both) at the ready for other things I might want to do – like play a game, pop onto Facebook or browse Instagram. Obviously, just thinking about your own behavior, it’s clear that consumer habits vary wildly. And our challenge as marketers is to connect with consumers in a variety of different iterations on any of the devices they choose to be using.
The Importance of Multi-Channel Attribution Data
Another challenge for marketers is to make sure we’re using multi-channel attribution analytics as part of our data gathering and using that data to drive strategy. Data is the driver of everything, including your cross-device campaigns. So if you’re not really dialed into what it takes to collect the data that’s available to you, analyze the data and then adapt your tactics accordingly – learn. I got the chance to see Matt Hertig of Alight Analytics present on multi-channel attribution strategies at the recent Integrated Marketing Summit event in San Diego a few weeks ago and it was fascinating. Now, more than ever multi-channel attribution, reporting and data management are at the very top of my list of things I need to learn more about and integrate more into what we’re doing for our clients this year and beyond. If you didn’t make the San Diego event, you can hear Matt speak on this topic at the upcoming IMS event in Atlanta – I’ll include a link for more information at the bottom.
Cross-Channel Campaigns More Effective, More Cost-Effective
If you’re struggling to get the budget you need for cross-device campaigns developing and analysis and tracking, note that according to research from ValueClick Media and GrayStripe more than 50% of marketers surveyed report that cross-device campaigns expand the overall reach of campaigns, makes them more affordable in general and also helps optimize the performance of the entire media
Marketers need to be where their prospects and customers are. And they need to understand how consumers use and interact with their devices. Do they do their homework on a tablet but purchase on a laptop? What signals are they sending us and how are we taking those signals and creating experiences that allow us to “get” them when and where they are ready to take the action we want them to take? The challenge is to create a fluid cross-device experience that works seamlessly and tells an integrated story. And remember — it’s not just a matter of telling the same story or serving up the same experience across all devices. But it’s also not just about creating a device-specific strategy. Instead, all the components of your strategy need to work together and take multiple devices into consideration. AdRoll’s Greg Fulton does a terrific job of explaining this in his Wired post, Are Marketers Ready for Mobile?
I don’t know about you, but as a marketer who also happens to be a consumer, who also happens to use multiple devices every day, this is a fascinating topic. As consumers, our needs are simple. We want what we want when and where we want it. And when we’re ready to buy, we want it to be quick and easy. We marketers need to develop every campaign and experience as a multi-channel one and serve up the best user experiences possible, while also making the path to and the process of purchasing as easy and as painless as possible. Easy, right?
What about you? Surely you’re a multi-device user as well – are you starting to see brands move to multi-channel campaigns and cross-device functionality? If so, I’d love to hear who you think is doing a great job of it.
Lastly, if you want to know more about multi-channel attribution and other integrated marketing strategies, come join us in March in Atlanta for the Integrated Marketing Summit. It would be great to see you there!
Other Posts on This Topic:
eMarketer: Multiscreen Campaign Importance Rises With Smart Device Use
Mobile Marketer: Mobile is the Great Unifier as Cross-Device Advertising Takes Off
Multi-Channel Attribution: Definitions, Models and a Reality Check