Cross-Screen Or Bust

I wrote about the ad tech industry’s push toward “omni” just one week ago, and new research from Forrester highlights why the trend is so prevalent.

The research firm says 71% of consumers react negatively to inconsistencies in brand experiences across devices, with 10% saying they stop interacting with the brand altogether because of these inconsistencies.

It seems to be cross-screen, cross-device, multiplatform -- whatever you want to call it -- or bust.

There will always be room for niche tech providers, but it becomes clearer with each new report that consumers have a heightened awareness of their multi-device habits, and their expectations are beginning to rise as a result.

The Forrester research was commissioned by Tapad, a marketing tech firm that helps brands run cross-device campaigns. Forrester surveyed 1,500 U.S. consumers who have used a device to discover a product, which means all respondents were inherently tech-savvy to some degree. That doesn't change the fact that nearly 75% said they would react negatively if the brand experience differed between mobile devices and computers.

However, that figure is more representative of a consumer's desire to see consistency in branding regardless of device than a consumer's desire to be known across all devices. In fact, just 21% of respondents said they expect sites to “know them across devices” once the consumer has shown interest in a product.

There is something to be said for having your cake and eating it too. Advertisers are looking to personalize ads, and consumers seem to connect with personalization. At the same time, consumers want to protect their privacy, but they expect -- or even demand -- brands to be consistent across all devices.

So when you look more closely, it becomes a jumbled mess of consumers' privacy concerns, desires and expectations mixed with advertising's tech, data and expectations. But on the surface, at least, it's clear that cross-screening is beginning to emerge -- even if we don't yet know exactly how it will all come together.

"Multiple devices" image from Shutterstock.

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