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How brands can solve the targeting paradox

How brands can solve the targeting paradox Bill Schild

At the end of each day, the majority of us leave our offices and arrive home to our tablets, laptops, smart phones, and connected TVs. We engage with an array of apps and programming options available on our many devices connected to the internet.

That being said, the average American household now contains nearly six connected devices, with individuals regularly shifting between them. And, of the 203 million multi-screen users in the U.S., 81 million interact with three or more screens87 percent of which do so while watching TV. This creates an interesting paradox for brands looking to reach the average consumer. Though the attention of most target audiences is increasingly divided, they are also more connected than ever before.

As media consumption habits continue to change, a new group of purchase influencers is also on the rise. Children of all ages are being viewed as arbiters of style and taste, increasing their influence on purchasing decisions. Therefore, building social advocacy through shared viewing experiences will ultimately lead to brand conversions, just as it did in the early days of television. That is why it is more important than ever before that brands reach all members of a household while making these impactful decisions.

This evolving landscape poses several challenges for marketers and advertisers. Brands must shift focus to reach consumers -- both individuals and families -- across screens by viewing groups of devices as a single platform. Studies show that brand recall increases 33 percent when ads are seen in both online video and TV campaigns. Additionally, when a consumer is exposed to a message on two or more devices, it triples their purchase intent

Outlined here are three key considerations that brands should explore before implementing a strategy that synchronizes messaging across all connected screens within a household.

Ensure a household approach is the right strategy for your product or brand

Some decisions are inevitably influenced by group input. Deciding on the family car, for instance, will most likely be a family affair. Specific Media research found that 46 percent of parents actually consider input from children when buying a car. Therefore, influencing purchase decisions by reaching every member of the household across their connected devices is critical for automotive manufacturers. Remember, reaching all screens is not just about lead generation. It is also about reinforcing the messaging through mobile and web, in addition to traditional TV advertising. In all instances, we found that households reached on multiple devices were three times more likely to make a purchase, while consumers exposed to the same message on two or more devices resulted in a nearly 90 percent basket-to-checkout conversion rate.

Ensure consistent measurement

One of the top challenges we hear from clients is the inconsistency of measurement. Multiple campaigns running on multiple platforms result in disjointed campaign metrics. In addition to creating purchasing inefficiencies, running separate campaigns for mobile devices, connected TVs, tablets, and websites limit an advertiser's ability to holistically understand the effectiveness of the strategy. This impedes a brand's ability to reconcile viewing behavior with conversion rates, as there is no clear way to discern which advertisement was the tipping point for a certain behavior or purchase. Additionally, brands are not able to optimize in real time to improve results for current or future campaigns.

However, a householding campaign executed in an integrated fashion across all devices can be measured effectively. Though disparate devices, each are part of a unified strategy linked by a common platform, and can be measured through a single currency. With an incredible amount of investment inefficiency in today's digital advertising world, brands should consider which platforms provide cohesive, coherent, and accurate results.

Identify and implement cross platform frequency management

The promise of an integrated household solution is the ability to deliver the somewhat elusive frequency cap. Because a household solution is a unified strategy across all devices, it is an efficient way to effectively control the number of ads received. Advertising is not just about message exposure and repetition. It is also about thoughtful and measured exposure so that the consumer does not experience brand oversaturation. The solution your brand selects must be capable of delivering cross platform frequency measurement, so that you receive the most out of your media investment.

As one can imagine, the industry continues to struggle to effectively deliver messages that resonate and capture today's distracted consumer. However, we must transcend the barriers posed by traditional single-device targeting and the utilization of disparate platforms. In doing so, we have the ability to influence purchasing decisions by implementing a full householding solution that delivers results based on a single currency. By simplifying the approach, we can help mitigate some of the complexities in today's advertising landscape and improve what brands really care about, return on investment.

Bill Schild is senior vice president of global marketing at Specific Media.

On Twitter? Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.

Bill leads multiple initiatives across the Specific Media network, Vindico, Xumo and Myspace. His product knowledge has helped Specific Media translate our capabilities into client benefits and enable us to develop deeper relationships and...

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Commenter: Michael Robleto

2014, February 26

Great article. Targeting off household is proven to be a key strategy for many verticals. Household targeting, like what we do at 4INFO for mobile, benefits also by given the client a way to measure actual Return on Ad Spend (ROAS).