Agencies Need To Do A Better Job Of Integrating Cross-Device Targeting

Brands need to leverage deterministic and probabilistic models to do cross-device targeting. Cross-device targeting solutions yield data and insights that can enable brands to understand which channels to place their media dollars in, according to Ian Johnson, EVP, managing director for global products at Cadreon, the data solutions unit of IPG MediaBrands.

Johnson addressed programmatic experts at MediaPost’s Programmatic Insider Summit in Lake Tahoe during the keynote: “Improving The Customer Experience: Leveraging Data for Cross-Device Strategies.” A self-described engineer by nature and a geek by training, Johnson said that by deploying cross-device strategies, data sets become richer and programmatic solutions can further improve the consumer experience by consistently reaching the right audience with the right message, regardless of the device that audience is using. 

Johnson said that if media planners and campaign managers can stop thinking in “media and device silos, we can start to truly leverage the power of data to identify who, when, and where to deliver a brand’s messaging across all screens as part of a holistic strategy for audience engagement.”

Cadreon’s Unity is a tech platform that consolidates audience insights, targeting, and  campaign management. From this information, the agency can build cross-platform intelligence and then apply insights from that intelligence to each device and media channel. The goal, Johnson said, is to shorten the amount of time from insights to action for brands.

Johnson made the observation that if you go inside any agency, you find a lot of people with the word “mobile” on their business cards. “But the key insight for us is that mobile is part of a journey.” He pointed to a campaign for an automotive client where conversions took place on desktops, but much of the discovery was on mobile devices during working hours. But for a consumer packaged goods client, the scenario was in reverse: Consumers learned about a new program on mobile while in-store via a micro-site.

Johnson called out agencies for continuing to use analytics tools that rely on last-click attribution. “It’s wrong and there are plenty of good deterministic attribution solutions,” he said.

There are deterministic solutions and probabilistic solutions for cross-device analytics. He said that Facebook, Google, and now Verizon/AOL/Yahoo offer deterministic solutions whereby if you log in to multiple devices, they can tie the device and cookie ID back to the consumer’s account. You only have to be logged in once for them to get information. However, Johnson said the deterministic providers don’t talk about the fact that they don’t have 100% reach. But their deterministic data can inform probabilistic models.

Another challenge: Facebook, Google, and Verizon are limited with respect to the personally identifiable information they can expose. Cadreon works with Tapad and Drawbridge as well.  

Johnson cited data that shows that 67% of people access content through multiple devices. And surprisingly, only 13% of Millennials only use mobile devices -- i.e., they use many more. One of out of five waking minutes, a Millennial is on a smartphone. And 90% of people switch screens to actually complete a task. Per Google data via DoubleClick, consumers use at least two to three devices for a transaction. And 65% of people start on a smartphone and of that percentage, 61% then go to a computer to finalize a transaction or purchase, and 4% finalize on a tablet.

The bottom line: Consumers want to access content and make transactions anywhere, anytime, and on any device.

A key takeaway, according to Johnson, is that agencies need to do cross-device targeting and planning and it’s not happening because of fear, uncertainty, and doubt, and a siloed mentality at agencies. “Agency people are geared toward TV panel data—they’re used to that. With cross-device, it’s about ‘how do I connect someone’s smartphone to their laptop, and to their tablet?’”

Furthermore, agencies need to educate and get organizational buy-in on cross-device solutions and analytics. “Make sure cross-device works and that everyone knows how to do attribution,” Johnson said. Next, Cadreon is working on cross-screen solutions and how to bring TV into the equation.


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