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Is cross-device advertising a must?

When you consider today’s modern family, plugged in to multiple devices throughout the day, it begs the question, is a cross-device advertising plan a must? We think you are missing out if you aren’t using one.

This might make me sound old, but when I was a kid advertising was so much easier. Families often all sat down together in front of the TV at night. The yellow pages were a one stop shop for finding a business if you needed it. People would listen to the radio on the way to work and unless you were in a large metro area, there were limited choices for stations.

Now? Pretty much everything I outlined above is gone or radically changed. Targeting today’s modern family, similar to the hit sitcom, is a challenge.

The Modern Family

So what is different about today’s modern family? In the first place statistics show that about 90% of households in the United States have three or more internet-connected devices. That number should easily rise as technology costs drop and the advancement of mobile devices makes them harder to do without.

Typically most households have a variety of devices such as a desktop/laptop, smart phone and tablet. Statistics have shown that households that engage with multiple devices during a day are more receptive to advertising and end up with a higher share of clicks and queries compared to households that engage with a single device.

What this shows us is that has households have moved away from the desktop computer as their sole link to the internet, they have become a more receptive consumer audience. While the PC is still used, a lot in some household, there are also primarily tablet groups and primarily mobile groups out there that prefer to use one device but also are quite willing to use another.

Inside the Numbers

A recent report from the fine people at Bing has provided specific insight into the online habits of the modern family. From their numbers we see that tablet households (households defined as having a tablet as primary device) and mobile households also use PC’s over 40 percent of the time. For the mobile set, over 65 percent of overall click volume comes from the PC.

An interesting note however, is that a PC household typically has 10 percent of users using a mobile device in the same session and that contributes to 25 percent of that households total click volume.

There was also very little time difference found in searches between devices. This makes it seem that customers move quickly between devices, not really using any one particular device for any specific need. Rather the device itself is what fits their needs based on activities during the course of the day. For example, Bing found that 45 percent of PC searches followed by a mobile search happen within an hour. When you think about it, it makes sense. Why wouldn’t someone surf online at home with a PC and then continue search efforts with a smart phone while taking the train to work?

It’s all about the customer

When you consider today’s modern family, what we have learned from reviewing the numbers is that it is all about the consumer, not the device. The family unit is using multiple devices at home for regular intervals to accomplish everything from watching shows, shopping, homework, social media or just surfing.

It is fully expected that the number of devices in a household, and type, will increase over the next few years as things like Smartwatches and glasses become more prevalent and prices continue to stay low on tables.

So what does this mean to the savvy advertiser? The bottom line is that you need to focus on the consumer as the center of your advertising plan. Targeting just the PC niche or just the mobile group means you are advertising to the device and not the consumer. Cross-device advertising means delivering the right ad, to the right user, across all devices for a more effective campaign. That is why a cross-device advertising plan is a must in today’s world to reach the modern family and achieve a successful result.




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