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Why Cross-Device Targeting Matters to Your Business

Online shopping used to simply consist of turning on a computer, doing some research, and making a purchase. But internet browsing habits have changed dramatically in recent years, and consumers are now shopping and accessing content on multiple platforms.

In fact, nine out of 10 consumers move fluidly between devices when making purchases, and 65% of revenue generated online comes from purchases that are made across multiple channels.

And yet, two-thirds of customers find it frustrating when content doesn’t synchronize across their devices.

Consumers today expect a consistent experience throughout the buying process. If that experience varies too much from one platform to another, brands risk irritating the customer and losing a potential sale.

Without an effective cross-device marketing strategy in place, all that hard work done by the marketing team may be for naught.

What Is Cross-Device Targeting?

Cross-device targeting is the practice of delivering consistent messaging to your audience across multiple touchpoints, including phones, laptops, desktops, tablets and televisions. Targeting users broadly across all platforms allows you to expand your reach and improve your conversion rates.

Imagine a customer is scrolling through Twitter and sees an ad for a new car. Although that customer may not be ready to buy just yet, his lease is ending in six months, so the ad sticks in the back of his mind. A few weeks later, he opens his laptop and does a quick search for new cars. He sees the car he first saw in the Twitter ad, and eventually he ends up on a local dealership’s website, browses through inventory, and makes a note of cars he’s interested in. A month later, he stops in for a test drive.

This scenario used to be a marketer’s worst nightmare. Since the consumer never actually clicked on the ad, it would be nearly impossible to properly calculate what impact the ad had on the eventual purchase. Cross-device attribution allows a marketer to see a customer’s entire buying journey – from the ad he originally saw on Twitter to browsing inventory on the dealership’s website.

Different Devices, Different Purpose

These days it seems no one uses a single device to do anything anymore. For example, you may start searching for flights on your mobile device, but once you’ve found the perfect flight, you switch to your laptop to complete the transaction.

This underscores the fact that consumers use several different devices on a daily basis, and they use each device differently.

Doing some casual online browsing or looking for a fast answer? Pull out your smart phone. Consumers use their phones all throughout the day, but especially during times when they’re waiting around such as on the train, in a doctor’s office or at the coffee shop.

On the other hand, people are more likely to pull out their laptop at the end of the day or when they’re about to make a major purchase decision.

And while consumers still spend time watching TV, it’s often done passively while focusing on other tasks like browsing social media or making a purchase on their laptop.

Luckily, advertising platforms have adapted and made it easier to reach consumers in the moment. Tools such as Google AdWords allow you to reach a user in nearly any digital environment, including phones, laptops, desktops, tablets and even their TVs.

By paying attention to your customer’s total universe of online behavior, you’ll gain a more solid understanding of their true buying journey. And once they make a purchase, you’ll be able to more accurately allocate all of the moments where micro-conversions occurred. With insights like these, you’ll be able to develop more impactful and effective campaigns and provide the seamless experiences your customers crave.

Have you optimized your cross-device marketing strategy? We’d love to hear your story!

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