Omni-Channel Measurement: Following a New Roadmap

December 5, 2018 Ginna Hall

Smartphones, laptops, smart TVs, tablets and even desktops — today’s consumers are using multiple devices, often simultaneously, to get online, search for information, shop, and more.

Consider these statistics:

  • 95% of Americans own a cellphone of some kind and 77% own a smartphone, up from just 35% in 2011.
  • Nearly 75% of U.S. adults own a desktop or laptop computer, roughly half own a tablet and around one-in-five have an e-reader.
  • 20% of U.S. adults are “smartphone-only” internet users – meaning they own a smartphone, but do not have traditional home broadband service.
  • This year, mobile internet consumption will climb to 80% of daily internet time for U.S. consumers.

These numbers show that mobile devices must play a critical role in any omni-channel marketing strategy. With a focus on the consumer rather than the channel, omni-channel marketing is about creating personalized, contextually relevant experiences that engage consumers in the right place, at the right time and with the right message in order to drive a conversion.

Caution: Speed Bumps Ahead

The growing use of mobile has driven corresponding increases in mobile advertising spend, and with it, a demand from advertisers for more accurate ROI metrics. However, measuring mobile marketing campaigns can be more challenging than other digital channels, as marketers struggle to track and target the same consumer as he or she moves across devices.

In the pre-mobile world, cookies were the most commonly used technology to collect anonymous data about a desktop user’s browsing behavior, providing a chronologically ordered list of all the marketing touchpoints experienced by individuals on their path to a conversion.

However, advertisers can’t use cookies to track mobile users in the same way they would a desktop user. And they must contend with features such as Apple's Intelligent Tracking Prevention, which blocks third-party trackers from capturing cross-site browsing data for ad targeting purposes.

Given the limited capabilities of cookies to connect a single user to a number of different devices, it can be difficult to determine, for example, if an ad seen on a smartphone impacted a purchase or other conversion that was made on another device.

Life in the Fast Lane

Fortunately, powerful technologies exists today that can enable marketers not only to track consumers as they move across multiple devices, but also provide the ability to measure the contribution of each of those disparate touchpoints to an ultimate conversion in a privacy-compliant way.

Mobile ad tech companies analyze anonymous browsing data to link multiple devices to an individual user. These solutions provide marketers with insight into how content and/or ads seen on one screen affect actions taken on the other, so marketers can better understand the effectiveness of their campaigns.

When these mobile ad solutions are combined with advanced measurement technology that takes into account cross-channel, cross-campaign and cross-tactic impact, marketers can gain insight into the true effectiveness and ROI of any combination of media, whether served on a desktop, tablet, or mobile device, and make spend decisions based on those insights.

Put Your Pedal to the Metal

In addition to understanding which tactics work best for each device, marketers can also derive insight into which stage and in which sequence those tactics should be executed. For instance, certain device types may serve better for stimulating interest at the top of the funnel, while others work better at the bottom.

For example, when it comes to online retail, many consumers use their mobile phone to research products, locate a store, and find coupons and deals, before making a purchase on their tablet or PC. With this insight, marketers can present the right content on the right device and at the time that is most likely to produce a conversion.

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

As consumers continue to interact with media across a growing number of screens, marketers equipped to address the unique measurement challenges of the multi-device world will speed ahead of competitors that have fallen behind the curve.

Learn More

To learn how to connect your best-performing marketing with the people who matter most, download our ebrief: Reaching the Consumers Who Matter Most: A Q&A with Forrester’s Susan Bidel

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