The Cross-Device Conundrums Of 2016

With people using something like four to six devices through the course of one day, it's hard for marketers to track the user experience. 

Omar Tawakol, GVP and GM, Oracle Data Cloud, Oracle, said fragmentation is getting worse, not better. "There’s no way for you to accurately attribute anything," he said. "You’ve got to tie this stuff together. it’s essential to what we do."

Tawakol was part of "Cross-Device 2016," at AdExchanger's Industry Preview Wednesday. The panel, moderated by Martin Kihn, Gartner's research director, set out to determine the challenges and opportunities as marketers try to reach customers on their many different devices.

Of course, attribution is a key issue -- and it's not all bad news. 

Jennifer Lum, co-founder and CSO, Adelphic, explained why this future is bright: “Cross-device is so exciting because we’re approaching a point when we’re starting to paint a full picture of consumers' waking day,” Lum said. “You can leverage that data to decide how and when you want to engage with consumers.” To get to that future, Tawakol said, the market has to get smarter about accuracy without forcing the wrong behavior on vendors, embracing an integrated data science approach.



Nitin Bhutani, VP-marketing, LendingTree, is hopeful about cross-device, too. He said that maybe two years down the line, we could be using one main device (in lieu of a separate phone and laptop), and all our data might be stored in the cloud. In an ideal world, Facebook and Google would share their data with marketers looking to track customers' digital and physical purchase journeys. 

Lum added by emailed comment that if Facebook and Google (two players with scale, reach and verified registration data) were to be cross-device enablers instead of keeping their data walled in, they could possibly make more targeting data available to third-party platforms, with the ultimate benefit an increase in programmatic media sales.

And there's always the option of asking for user data, which certainly helps connect the dots. Matt Asay, VP-mobile, Adobe, said asking for data should be looked at through the prism of "What is the customer going to experience with that brand?"

"The only reason [customers] are going to give you their data is if they trust you, and you’re giving them something in return," he added. 

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