Commentary

The Affluent Mobile Story Is Told Across Multiple Devices

Over the past several years, mobile has evolved from an optional marketing channel to a crucial piece of any campaign. This necessitates a greater understanding of consumers’ connections as they move from desktop to, and increasingly across, multiple mobile devices. 

This is especially important when reaching affluent audiences because these consumers often have multiple devices and are carrying at least one with them at all times. Marketers need systems that tie all of these devices to the same consumer profile, and then think about how they want to use the available signals and data sources to message their audience across these devices. 

With such great demand, there are obviously many companies entering the market offering cross-device solutions. But it’s important to remember that the affluent are different from average consumers. Many solutions that exist today offer household-level targeting, but affluent households may have a higher likelihood of owning several devices that may never be shared by multiple people. Children likely have their own smartphones, depending on age, while parents have their own phones and probably their own individual tablets, potentially even owning one phone or tablet for work and another for personal use. When pursuing an omnichannel approach, it’s important to not only understand which device the consumer is on but, perhaps more importantly, that you’re reaching the same consumer across various devices.

If we continue using this hypothetical household, let’s say that there are four individual users, and 10 devices, with three of those belonging to the father and three to the mother. That solves the issue of matching a user to a device, but the next step is determining which of these users fit within the campaign’s target audience segments. This requires the brand to work with outside data sources that can identify mobile consumers who likely meet certain financial thresholds, or who have already accumulated certain levels of wealth. For brands targeting the affluent, this is hugely important. Just like with offline marketing efforts, or digital desktop ads, the consumer served the mobile ad should be qualified — otherwise, much of the campaign spend and effort to link the multiple devices is for naught. 

Once devices are linked and users are matched to qualified segments, brands can then get creative with delivering a message across multiple devices, taking into account different screen sizes, functionalities, and the time of day. For instance, an affluent consumer may use their mobile phone first thing in the morning, a laptop during the day, a work tablet on their evening commute, and a personal tablet before going to bed at night. A campaign that links one single anonymous user to those four devices could tell a sequential story over the course of several days, using display, video and in-app ads.

Better yet, if the brand uses location data to understand where each device is at any point, it could tailor the messaging to better appeal to the consumers’ mindset depending on where they are in their day. Additionally, a brand can adjust the messaging to deliver different ads to different audience segments, further ensuring that the end consumer is seeing an ad that appeals to their interests, works on their device, and fits their current economic status.

As mobile usage grows, pairing a deeper level of understanding of consumers with cross-device storytelling will only grow greater in importance. Brands want to work effectively with companies that can help match device IDs in a privacy-sensitive fashion, linking consumers across devices without revealing any personally identifiable information. When brands can successfully do this at scale, and tailor the message for delivery across devices to appropriate audience segments, they’ll be better prepared to succeed in a mobile-centric media landscape.

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