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3 ways to ensure a consistent brand message on every device

3 ways to ensure a consistent brand message on every device Andrew J. Chapin
When you got to work this morning, did you check your email on your computer? How about on the ride in -- did you scope out your inbox on your smartphone? Or maybe on a tablet?

Of course you did, and your consumers' did, too. As marketers, you know our attention is divided more than ever.

Creating content for just a desktop or a single mobile device is no longer an option. There are simply too many open lanes for competitors to overtake you. It would be like having an entire social media team dedicated to running one Facebook account while your competitor is up on every social media platform, website, and forum across the internet.

In analog terms, it would be like creating a great in-store flier without accounting for the brochures, signage, and print ads that need to supplement the radio and video themes. Putting all your work into one tiny piece of an entire campaign seems ludicrous, but we see it done all the time online.

Reaching today's users means transmitting brand messages across as many platforms as possible, to be accessed conveniently on the widest range of devices. Everyone uses mobile devices for different reasons. That's why every successful ad strategy needs a consistent brand message across every platform.

The importance of spreading yourself evenly

Data consistently shows people pay attention to multiple devices throughout the day. Shopify, for example, recently found 50.3 percent of e-commerce traffic comes from mobile devices, compared with 49.7 percent from desktop and laptop computers.

Hollywood long ago noticed viewers were using second-screen devices. With 77 percent of viewers paying attention to smartphones while watching TV way back in 2012, it only made sense to start integrating hashtags in TV programming and commercials.

Everyone from iHeartRadio to NBCUniversal is focused on creating mobile content and drawing advertisers to their platforms, which include multiple distribution channels for content and affiliate marketing, sponsorships, and data-driven marketing opportunities.

In retail, multichannel strategies are more than a trend; they're the future. The line between online and brick-and-mortar retailers is effectively gone. This means the businesses with the best centralized operations are those that will survive, even thrive, in this new marketplace.

Simplifying is your best strategy

About two-thirds of Americans own smartphones, and 53 percent have tablets, according to Pew Research. But whether you're marketing a B2B or B2C brand, systematically making that brand visible on each of these devices isn't as difficult as it sounds. You just need to follow these three steps:

Maintain brand focus
It's important to stay on brand across every channel. Nike and Adidas don't change their logos from the pants to the shoes. By the same measure, there should be no brand fragmentation across any of your channels. Your Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Snapchat, and other social media accounts should maintain the same theme as your desktop and mobile website and apps. Print, TV, and radio ads should maintain this consistent message. You'll notice that AT&T and Best Buy stores typically look exactly like they do on TV.

Logos, colors, fonts, and other design elements should remain continuous across every channel to convey a consistent brand message, regardless of how or where a customer interacts with your brand.

Keep messaging consistent
Video advertising campaigns are consistently being consumed on mobile devices. Videology, a programmatic video ad platform, recently found 70 percent of ad campaigns had run on more than one device.

This means commercials made for the internet have to compete with commercials made for television broadcasts. Your search advertising department is now a part of your traditional marketing department. Both need to be integrated and running a consistent message.

A consistent user experience is important as well. Even the big boys in tech like Apple, Google, and Microsoft are sometimes guilty of naming something differently on mobile than desktop. If a button says "Add to Cart" on your desktop website, it should say "Add to Cart" on the mobile website and app. Don't reinvent the wheel for every platform, or you'll waste time and money making your department look inefficient and sloppy.

Build an engaged ecosystem
What Apple does right is offer a seamless experience to everyone in its ecosystem. If you're all in on Apple products, your iPhone, iPad, MacBook, Apple Watch, and Apple TV work effortlessly together. Apple even owns the content distribution channel with iTunes and the App Store.

Apple's systematic approach to creating a stickiness and top-of-mind awareness has allowed the company to successfully pivot and remain a leading Fortune 500 company for decades. You need a solid marketing plan in order to grow an Apple.

Measure and document how users interact with your content. Study clicks and conversions on each platform as they engage with your brand. Get them to communicate their needs to you so your brand can fill them.

It can be tempting to push for a users' constant attention, but their attention is already divided. The best way to efficiently reach as broad an audience as possible is to communicate on every available platform.

They'll find you when they're ready, as long as you give them a way.

Andrew J. Chapin is the founder of benjamin, an e-commerce flash deals app that forces you to make a purchase decision in 60 seconds or less. In a space that’s thick with competition from contenders including Groupon and LivingSocial, benjamin...

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