Cross Device Marketing – An Essential Piece of the Future of Advertising

There are sophisticated tracking programs that allow advertisers to understand consumer behavior on home computers – but smartphones and tablets are another matter.

Understanding mobile users’ online activity can give them key insights into how consumers shop online and how online media buyers can leverage this behavior. This growing area, and the consumer needs it gives rise to, is being met by a few innovative companies that are trying to connect the cross-screen identities of users.

Cross-platform activity and marketing is aimed at solving one of the biggest problems with mobile advertising. Targeting people on smartphones is harder than targeting them on their home computers, and more people are spending time with on their smart devices.

On computers, the targeting is done with cookies, or small software programs installed into the web browser based on a user’s activity. However, this same technology doesn’t work with mobile devices. This makes it harder to deliver timely ads, which can decrease both relevancy and conversion rates.

U.S. mobile ads grew to $4.1 billion dollars last year – which was up from $1.5 billion in 2011. This is a lot of money at stake for advertisers, and still only 2.4% of all U.S. ad spending in total.

  • Expedia’s mobile ad technology Drawbridge is attempting to bridge the gap. It relies on a triangulation method to connect a person’s mobile activity with their desktop activity. This way, the user can be shown relevant mobile ads based on their behavior on their desktop computers.
  • Apple also introduced tools that can help developers anonymously track their users and Facebook makes it possible to send ads to people across devices – no matter where they may be logging in.
  • Google is testing out a program to let advertisers tailor ad bids by multiple locations and times of the week within one campaign – which may allow them to reach out to mobile users directly.

With advanced targeting on mobile devices, online media can reach more potential consumers  no matter what device people are searching on.

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