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The new metric for understanding the retail consumer

The new metric for understanding the retail consumer Brian Surowitz

Marketers have historically set their sights on "lifetime value" as a marketing metric when they evaluate their return on advertising spend. But as the marketing environment continues to evolve and the marketer adopts a cross-device approach, a new and crucial metric comes into play: device time value.

The more we target, capture, and understand individual consumers' behavior across each and every device in his or her day-in-the-life -- the better we can maximize their point-by-point engagement and thus their value to our brands. This metric is especially valuable for the retail marketer seeking to optimize path to purchase and tune every step on that path for maximum outcome.

So, first things first… what is device time value and how would a retailer calculate it? At a glance, we have:

Brand engagement / Retail device time spent = Device time value

Digging into the formula factors here, Brand engagement is defined as the totality of interactions with a brand -- site visits, coupon downloads, loyalty rewards/program interactions, in-store shopping, video completes, banner clicks, and any imaginable interaction along the path.

Then, device time spent refers to the actual moments spent in your respective retail space or vertical, across all the consumer's devices, whether converting actions are taken or not. This "time spent factor" tallies time spent on things like: searching/researching a brand or product, doing a product comparison, physically being at a store location -- tracked via lat/long data or beacons -- or consuming and/or sharing content about a brand, product, or other consumer experience.

Once you've done the quick math to calculate a brand's device time value, you've got a new golden key. With this key in hand, you can:

  • Boost your own marketing efficiency, by accomplishing true, targeted reach with specific desired audiences, optimizing to their most effective device based shopping behaviors
  • Pinpoint intent, as you evaluate commercial intent signals to gauge which devices on the path to purchase are invoking or conveying those signals and thus helping to drive up Device Time Value
  • Raise your marketing game, ultimately becoming more sophisticated in applying this metric and evaluation to cross-device initiatives as a whole

All in all, by tuning into this metric and becoming more fractional on consumer engagement and action across devices, with even things like device switching considered, you glean an aggregate consumer value -- with their device-driven life as your lens. Then, you are poised to develop an evermore strategic path for consumer marketing.

In fact, as a total approach, this new metric makes the tried and true focus on lifetime value even more powerful. Ultimately combining device time value with your customer life time value, a marketer can can effectively change and impact a brand's overall marketing ROI, with less extrapolation and more real world human precision in the process.

As Senior Account Executive at Qualia, Brian is responsible for developing marketing strategies for brands and agencies across the Northeast, Midwest and Southern regions. Brian has over 20 years experience in digital and traditional omni-channel...

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