From smartphones to wearables, the increase in digital device adoption offers advertisers a great opportunity to reach consumers in real time wherever they are. However, as the channels for marketing opportunity open up, so to do the issues surrounding cross channel targeting and measurement. Calculating ROI can be difficult across the variety of digital channels out there and without the proper strategy in place, marketers run the risk of wasting dollars.
According to research from Experian, 89 percent of marketers lack a single customer view. Forty-three percent of those challenged attribute the problem to bad data, while 39 percent say that siloed departments are the cause of the problem and another 37 percent claim the issue stems from an inability to link different technologies. No matter what the cause, it’s clear that by not synergizing data across all channels, many marketers fail to optimize their budgets and get the most out of their marketing mix.
These hurdles are not insurmountable, but do require some savvy work to overcome. Below is a list of tips designed to help marketers improve measurement in a cross-device world.
- Rethink your metrics. Many marketers are caught up thinking about conversion rates and click through rates (CTR), but you should look beyond these to find more immediate metrics. For instance, metrics including viewability and time spent looking at creative can serve as a fairly good indicator of media quality, even if you can’t tie the impression to an offline sale. A consumer that spent 10 or 15 seconds with the creative is a lot more likely to be influenced than someone who scrolls past the ad. According to research from Chartbeat, consumers who read an ad for 10 seconds were about 30 percent more likely to recall the ad’s brand than those who looked at the ad for only 5 seconds.
- Target and measure users across devices. More often than not, marketing budgets are extremely siloed and different teams within the marketing department are too focused on their own KPIs to accomplish the company’s big picture goals. For example, one group might be running a desktop display campaign without knowing what the mobile video team is doing. The mobile team may be targeting a user on their phone without realizing that the same user has already converted by seeing the same creative on a desktop. In fact, the department might even be confused as to why the consumer isn’t converting after showing intent and seeing a number of impressions on mobile. This issue needs to be addressed right away to achieve better measurement in a cross device world.
- Implement household targeting. This approach allows you to recognize a user and their Wi-Fi and IP addresses in order to measure all of the devices in one household. Marketers can use Device IDs on top of this data to help identify a behavioral segment across devices. For example, you might know that a user is loyal to Nike and this data can be overlaid on the user’s desktop and mobile devices in order to deliver a more targeted experience. From a statistics perspective, you have to ensure that you are targeting and measuring users across all of the devices that they own. This is the only way to have insightful things pop out at you while analyzing data.
- Invest in a brand lift study. This third-party input will help measure brand recall and in-store sales. While many marketers forgo this route because of the upfront cost, this approach can be more cost efficient for marketers dealing with medium- to large-sized budgets. Spending $30,000 upfront might seem like a lot, but you are getting excellent data to optimize and scale your spend in the right places. This can end up being more affordable than the trial and error of testing a campaign in many places and not really knowing what is working. A brand lift study will essentially allow you to have a more closed feedback loop and see the results of what you are doing. These tests allow you to see what is working best so that you can replicate those strategies instead of running varied tests on your own.
- Utilize location to bridge offline data. This data is worth considering to help improve your cross channel measurement. Offline metrics are hard to measure, but there are ways to connect your online advertising to determine how it affects your in-store sales. For instance, a chain retailer might have locations all over the country, but they can only run test campaigns digitally in one specific location. This data is then mapped back to in-store sales in this location to help close the feedback loop.
Rewiring your marketing department by integrating channels, and rethinking how and what you measure, will help you to achieve success in a cross-device world.
*A co-founder of engage:BDR, Inc., Ted Dhanik serves as Chief Executive Officer overseeing strategic marketing, sales and business development, client relationship management, and content acquisition.
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