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Direct Response Marketing

Committee Corner: Cross-Device Marketing Drives Direct Response Conversion

1 Jul, 2017 By: Lori H. Zeller Response

It does not astonish that Google and Facebook control 85 percent of online ad growth. Nor is it shocking that internet ad spend will surpass TV spend in the near future. This information, according to Mary Meeker’s 2017 Internet Trends Report, intuitively throws caution to the wind as it applies to “cross-device marketing.” Three big takeaways from this “bible” for digital marketers are:

  1. Smartphone sales and internet penetration growth are slowing.
  2. It’s not really a “shift to mobile” as much as “the addition of mobile,” since desktop usage hasn’t declined much while mobile usage has skyrocketed to more than three hours per day, per person in the U.S.
  3. There’s still more time spent on mobile than ad spend, indicating forthcoming windfalls for mobile ad platforms.

During the past few years, we’ve seen what is perceived as mobile usage eclipse desktop. But these trends show that while desktop usage has not reduced, increased mobile use is instead layered on top making overall internet usage higher. This trend will continue: not only are more people researching products from their smartphones, they are making online purchases more readily.

Which begs the question, “Do consumers browse by smartphone but purchase on desktop?” Although desktop purchase power peaks during “work hours,” the use of smartphones to buy a product or service has increased 41 percent. At the same time, according to Statista, tablet purchases are down 18 percent in the share of digital device users in the United States who used multiple devices in the path to purchase in fourth-quarter 2016.

As these trends continue, mobile and tablet are likely to morph into a single category. Mobile screens are becoming larger and more crisp in color and resolution.

The key to earning a mobile consumer purchase is being able to reach the consumer, making sure that the user experience is easy, including such technology as “smart auto-fill.” For any device, it is crucial to track how long a user visits a site, which key page visits are needed to trigger a sale, which are poor converting pages, etc. All of these metrics paint a picture of the perfect path a user should take.

Once that’s been identified, the site can be optimized to guide the user down that path and avoid potential problems. All said, capturing the micro-moment of purchase for repeatable results also helps relay the data necessary to maintain brand response and customer loyalty.

There is no question that artificial intelligence (AI) is an emerging advancement in attribution tracking technology, with analytic platforms and programmatic delivery systems leveraging AI to predict consumer behavior. Agencies are now expected to follow media delivery and interpret a clear path to product selection with transaction completion for their brands.

That being said, disruption cannot be ignored. Consumer purchasing power is dependent on a strong call-to-action. However, disruption occurs when a consumer decides to buy a product or service on one device but finishes the transaction on another.

Disruption in this case is defined as channel relevance and the shift from content to people. Marketers need to be able to identify where the transaction starts and finishes. With this information, the ability to follow a segmented ecosystem for cross-device consumer movement will support how marketing and advertising spend is appropriated. By understanding “when” the consumer has made the mental decision to purchase, “how” they have gathered all the facts they need, and “what” payment method they will use to order a product or service, marketers can increase revenue exponentially.

For some products, that’s as soon as the user visits a landing page or website. For others, it could take a number of visits. The transaction, however, must never end. Once the customer has received the product, the marketer must remain engaged with the individual for retargeting purposes.

Data capture can become skewed easily when trying to measure attribution, but the bottom line is that the consumer journey continues to be transient and there is not a hard-and-fast rule to follow. Marketers need to know their existing, as well as potential, customers and be able to create and duplicate the funnel for purchase. Since every campaign is going to be different — with most consumers being served different information — smart marketing will only succeed with strategies that provide and deliver the impulse to buy while on any device. Consumers are relying on many devices to access information. The time has come to target the person — not the device. ■ 

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