It's A Multi-Multi-Multi-Multi-Device World

Where does the time go? It seems just like yesterday I was busy optimizing my newborn’s blog. Next week, she’s off to kindergarten!

And it seems like just yesterday I was catching a buzz at the Search Insider Summit. This week, I got a call from programming chair Laurie Sullivan about starting to plan for the next one!

While talking with Laurie about major industry themes to wrap the event around, we kept coming back to the implications for marketers living in a multi-device world.

When Google announced enhanced campaigns (btw, have you ever misspelled it enchanced campaigns and then thought, “Yeah, that’s kinda right?”), it threw down the gauntlet.

Mobile is not a device. It’s not a channel. It’s not a strategy. It’s a given.

Gone are the days of thinking about mobile separately from desktop, with tablets somewhere in the middle. It’s time to take a holistic approach to multi-device marketing.

The first step is to stop thinking about devices and start thinking about your customers.

Who are you trying to reach? When and where are you trying to reach them? What do you want them to do? More importantly, what do they need? And why do they need you?

Then think about how to answer these questions based on the various devices these people are using. And, remember, they’re using them all, so it’s not an either/or proposition. Multi-device marketing must be the default, just as it is in enhanced campaigns.

To help with the recalibration process, let’s look back at the top 20 buzzwords from the last SIS and see how they fit into the multi-device marketing construct.

1. Big Data – as devices get smaller, data gets bigger. As such, the opportunity to leverage big data is, well, huge.

2. Search – consumers search because they want to find something, not because they have a device in their hands. Think of how people’s needs change as their state of mind changes. Then think about how various devices serve as different apertures to present your solution.

3. Mobile – no longer relevant. Remove this phrase from your vocabulary.  If you need to talk about a particular mobile device, use phone or tablet.

4. Social – sophisticated marketers are finding Facebook Advertising Performance on par with paid search. And, as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networks begin to open up more mobile ad inventory, cross-device social optimization is more important than ever.

5. Google – we already know what the Big G thinks about multi-device marketing, and that they’re in the privileged position of moving the market.

6. Enhanced campaigns – this is how they move it, move it.

7. Product-listing ads – here’s another ad format that must be considered as part of a multi-device strategy. Bear in mind, though, that direct conversions are more likely from desktop and tablet than phone, so think of effective ways to incorporate reviews and other content that can be effective for people who are showrooming.

8. Yahoo – Marissa Mayer’s recent acquisition spree? Yeah, it’s all about making sure Yahoo is well represented across devices.

9. Tracking – connecting devices so that marketers can deliver 1:1 messaging across them all ain’t easy -- but some folks are out there building bridges.

10. Attribution – OK, so you’re tracking people across devices now -- but how do you apportion credit to each marketing touchpoint along the path to conversion? Hint: it’s dynamic.

11. Scale – there are serious workflow implications for creating and managing multi-device marketing programs. Look for technology platforms that are built to scale.

12. Apps – Windows 8 brings apps to the desktop, giving Microsoft diehards a true cross-device buffet.

13. Content – two words: responsive design.

14. Amazon – each person who downloads the Amazon shopping app takes away precious commercial queries from general search engines. A true multi-device marketing strategy for brands and retailers must incorporate the Amazons and eBays of the world.

15. Facebook 41% of Facebook’s ad revenue now comes from devices other than desktop. That’s no chump change.

16. Branding – inherent in the multi-device marketing construct is the idea that not every interaction will result in a conversion. As such, most engagements between brands and consumers will result in some form of branding. The key is quantifying the impact of said branding and allocating budgets accordingly.

17. Local – it should be fairly obvious that local intent should be inferred differently according to device use -- but remember that this isn’t all about phones. Many store locator queries originate on the desktop.

18. Twitter – all Twitter ad formats are available across all devices, so you can tweet from your seat, wherever it may be!   

19. Privacy – yeah, about that tracking thing I mentioned earlier… not always a good idea.  

20. Ad-E – even the DataPop Ad Genius Robot knows that sometimes you just have to unplug and reset

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3 comments about "It's A Multi-Multi-Multi-Multi-Device World ".
  1. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited , August 21, 2013 at 10:49 a.m.
    21. My, my, grandma, what big devices you have ! ...Better to see you my dear. The granny market is growing and so are the phone screens. If you can't see it, you can't _____.
  2. Bryson Meunier from Resolution Media , August 21, 2013 at 11:58 a.m.
    Couldn't agree more that many devices are now the norm, my friend. Late last year Google research indicated that 90% of consumers use multiple screens sequentially. However, I don't agree that mobile is irrelevant because of this or that responsive design is always the best way to create content given this reality. What I've seen many times is that the ability of people to access content on the go creates queries and content categories that didn't exist when Internet access was more stationary. What's more, mobility has rendered certain desktop content unusable (e.g. Flash games, printable coupons), and this often isn't taken into account when content is made adaptive or "responsive". Unfortunately responsive web design or adaptive content can't address the user in context, and often falls short compared to an experience that fully meets a searcher's needs.
  3. Aaron Goldman from Kenshoo , August 21, 2013 at 1:10 p.m.
    Paula - beat it? :) Bryson - I hear you my man. My point re: mobile was just that the world itself is too nebulous, so we shouldn't use it. Most people consider tablets to be "mobile" devices but they have many usage characteristics of desktops/laptops/computers so it's not effective to paint them with a broad mobile swath. Re: responsive design, point taken. It's not the end-all, be-all and marketers should consider all the variables you pointed out when determining what/how to deliver content. Thx for keeping me on my toes! :)