Dealing With The Dizzying Device Dilemma

It’s challenging enough that consumers visit multiple sites when they plan and book travel so that a marketer has to wade through the data and figure out the patterns that make it more productive to target and retarget. But now that there are seismic device shifts as more time is spent on mobile and tablets, marketers have to figure out what they’re doing on what device — and put it all together.

Are Traasdahl says that help is here. He is founder and CEO of Tapad, a marketing technology company that anonymously ties multiple devices to a single user without ever looking at personally identifiable information. As a result, brands can deliver relevant advertising campaigns to a single user across all of their devices. 

The technology is over my head but I’m told that something called the Tapad Device Graph “is the first piece of technology to connect multiple devices to a single consumer, all in a privacy safe way.” They may be first, and I’m sure there will be others, but the point is that this could be a huge boon to marketers. 



Think how confusing it is now. A customer starts researching a trip on a laptop using three different internet browsers — showing up as five different users. At the same time the shopper moves among these devices so the advertiser has to restart the ad campaign over and over with the shopper not getting relevant messages. 

Being able to assemble data from all these devices and browsers can be incredibly valuable if, as always, someone is smart enough to use the data property. 

Tapad cites the example of one hotel brand that enlisted its services. The company used a site retargeting strategy to build an audience of users that visited the company’s website, and then leveraged Tapad’s Device Graph to extend reach to that audience on their mobile and table devices. 

The campaign was optimized by doing things like analyzing cross-device pathing (love those techie words) data to identify certain paths to conversation that exhibited higher conversion rates, and then controlled the sequencing of impressions to drive up the overall conversion rate (e.g., exposing users to branded media on mobile, then tablet, followed by messaging on the desktop. 

Tapad claims a near 300% lift in the conversion rate between consumers exposed to media on one device and those exposed to media on two devices.

As does much new technology, this sounds great — almost magical. The proof will be in the execution. What is undeniably true is that marketers will continue to have to play catch-up with consumers as they merrily change their behavior in their unrelenting search for the best information and the best deal. 

Companies like Tapad promise to keep marketers at least in the race with consumers, but it will always be up to marketers to figure out which technologies are really working and try to have an idea of what’s coming next.

1 comment about "Dealing With The Dizzying Device Dilemma".
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  1. Peter Ilberg from Peter Ilberg, March 16, 2015 at 7:19 p.m.

    The biggest value is when you tie Device Graphing to your DMP, where you can extend your desktop audience behaviors to cross platform devices (mobile, OTT, addressable TV, etc.).

    This can leveraged into provide signals for sequential messaging, frequency capping, eliminating duplicated users, customized products and personalized content, amongst several other applications.

    The piece that gets very interesting regardless of vertical is when you incorporate factors like view-ability and OCR/ VCE validated audience models.

    In complete transparency, I work for Lotame and we do this at scale for multiple Fortune 1000 companies, regardless of vertical - this is all accomplished without any PII. Lotame is the only pure-play DMP that has a cross-device solution built into the core platform, supported by over 25 third-party data sources and is directly plugged into over 30 different programmatic platforms, with over 1BN connected devices.

    The combination tied to machine learning and proprietary algorithms, we can auto optimize an audience model to drive KPI performance well above 3X.

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