Even the best platforms demonstrate limits when it comes to identifying and addressing one target audience on one device, let alone reaching the same user across multiple platforms, according to Forrester Research Analysts.
Forrester Analyst Joanna O'Connell lists the biggest challenges in the report, "Solving The Cross-Platform Targeting Riddle": identifying an individual consumer, reaching that consumer across an increasing number of devices and platforms, and partnering with vendors to build an infrastructure around traditional targeting mechanisms.
O'Connell uses the word "perpetually" to describe connected consumers -- pretty scary stuff when you stop to think about it. And she's correct. I never turn off my phone. I don't for personal reasons. In the U.S., by the end of 2012, 42% of online adults met the Forrester definition of PCCs, up from 38% in late 2011.
Globally, Forrester predicts by the end of 2013, close to half of online adults will become PCC, which opens an opportunity for marketers to address consumers any time, anywhere. At the same time this continual connection posses challenges, she tell us. It creates the need for data-driven interactions.
The report also analyzes cookie-based targeting. After 15 years, the little piece of code in a computer's browser is finally showing signs of strain. While there's not a clear winner in this category, O'Connell tells us about three options for targeting: cookie, person, and inference.
While cookie-based targeting can lay claim to being the oldest, person-based takes the honor of the most accurate. O'Connell refers to inference-based targeting as the latest option to watch. Inference relies on statistics for one or more parameters to make a strong guess about a unique user through device, cookie, and browser characteristics. She points to BlueCava and Drawbridge as two companies offering this service.
Decisions backed by data will prove more profitable than those that are not. Marketers leading the deployments will support strategies with a data management platform, take advantage of publishers' direct control of first-party data, and work with third-party data providers to gain a mix of ephemeral and persistent signals.