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Can mobile crack the cross-device conundrum?

Can mobile crack the cross-device conundrum? iMedia Editors

“We execute seamless campaigns across multiple devices to achieve a single customer view and cracked omnichannel attribution years ago,” said nobody, ever.

But there are emerging trends, tactics and technologies that are enabling marketers to power more efficient, engaging and effective cross-device campaigns. Mobile is the dominant device with the data. It’s our compass for communicating, consuming and connecting with the world. It’s the channel that provides more insight into buying behaviour than any other.

Mobile: the key to connect online and offline behaviour

Mobile agency Fetch COO Greg Grimmer says mobile provides the first opportunity to truly link a user’s digital and physical worlds: “The ‘right place’ part of the marketing goal has typically always been an either/or decision of a shopping mall or the skysports.com homepage.”

Just 8 years old, Fetch counts eBay, Hotels.com and Expedia and became part of the Dentsu Aegis stable in 2014 after the Japanese network reportedly paid $48 million to boost its mobile offer. The challenge for mobile-first agencies like Fetch is to make sense of the complex relationship between online and offline behaviour: “In reality, for a real person in the real world engaging in digital communications (which is everyone, all the time) their true ‘right place’ is a mix of their physical and digital context,” adds Grimmer.

“In reality, for a real person in the real world engaging in digital communications (which is everyone, all the time) their true ‘right place’ is a mix of their physical and digital context”.

Is email the missing link?

Whilst mobile can reveal rich customer behaviour insight, the ineffectiveness of cookies on the mobile has debilitated retargeting made the cross-device utopia more distant.

Email could be the unlikely white knight to rescue the marketer struggling to make sense of cross-device behaviour. People-based marketing tech player LiveIntent uses email identity to track consumer interactions across multiple devices working with clients including Penguin Random House, Kraft and La Quinta Inns & Suites.

“Email has gone from being primarily about sending email to central in how the mobile era thinks about identity and marketing to people,” explains Dave Helmreich, LiveIntent’s COO.

“Email, and the logged-in nature of email, is ubiquitous. It doesn’t just occur on desktop, it occurs on every device. In fact, it’s the most used mobile app, and people spend over six hours a day in it.

“Email is now central to how we identify ourselves across devices, channels, and platforms, making its resurgence ever more appealing to marketers focusing on reaching people at every stage of the customer journey. By having email at the core of their people-based programmes, brands drive greater efficiency and performance, seeing as much as 4:1 return on ad spend.”

Measurement matters

Today’s British consumer has got itchy feet and flips between smartphone, tablet and laptop on average 21 times in one hour, according to OMD’s Future of Britain study. 

Making sense of unpredictable cross-device behaviour continues to create an attribution headache for marketers and many still rely on out-of-date last click models. Criteo’s State of Cross-Device Commerce study revealed 40% of conversion rates to be miscounted due to weak attribution modeling. Addressing the issue is high on the industry agenda - research by Facebook revealed that 82% of marketers are seeking new tools to optimise cross-device strategies.

Many brands are now raising their game when it comes to ditching last click attribution and pursuing more precise models. Content streaming service Now TV is working with marketing intelligence platform Visual IQ to secure a more accurate understanding of advertising performance. The insight gained enabled Now TV to optimise the performance of its advertising investment and brand engagement, leading to a 20% boost in marketing efficiency.

Meanwhile, Monarch Airlines invested in cross-device marketing technology to propel a 35% uplift in ROI after piloting Tapad’s Device Graph and Encore, Flashtalking’s fractional device graph.

The technology provides Monarch with a more sophisticated understanding of cross-device behaviour that in turn delivers actionable insight on media investment: “Both desktop and mobile play important roles in the customer journey. As such, the need for accurate, cross-device insights is critical,” says Robert Foulkes, Monarch Airlines’ Head of Marketing & Digital.

“By analysing the cross-device customer journey, we can measure and optimise media investments with even greater confidence.”

“By analysing the cross-device customer journey, we can measure and optimise media investments with even greater confidence.”

Recent gripping drama around fraud, viewability and measurement are likely to add to the stress levels and put even more intense scrutiny on brands, agencies, publishers and tech firms alike.

Whilst there’s much work to be done, the cross-device dream is now realistically in the grasp of the savvy marketer willing to rise to the challenge.


Don’t miss speakers from Hotels.com, Fetch, LiveIntent, omd, Starbucks and VICE at MMS Mobile on 6 July at The Old Truman Brewery, London. Click here for more details.

iMedia Communications, Inc. is a trade publisher and event producer serving interactive media and marketing industries. The company was founded in September of 2001 and is a subsidiary of Comexposium USA.  ...

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