Recently, Google released a report on cross-platform consumer behavior. The report is a deep-dive into the browsing habits of multi-screen device users in an attempt to understand how they use multiple screens to complete daily tasks. Presented in the form of an infographic with a uniquely Google touch, the report is a quick, informative read. The facts and figures it presents make it clear that search is going to be a major player in the future of multi-platform marketing. Going forward, marketers who are able to integrate mobile and display will be able to capitalize on their digital campaigns.
The Power of Search
Search has become the ultimate digital signal of purchaser intent. As search has evolved to serve as a multi-screen purchase engine, it has become apparent that marketers can capitalize on the efficiencies search has created. This report provides several examples of how you can engage with consumers across the multiple channels they use daily.
According to the report, smartphones are the most common starting place for online activities with 65% of online shopping starting on the phone and then moving to another platform. The report also finds that 51% of online shoppers search again on the second device, showing that consumers rely on search instead of navigating directly to the desired page even when moving between devices. These two findings make a strong argument for the effectiveness of PPC search marketing and search retargeting which allows for advertisers to show display ads based on the search queries their potential customers make.
The Future of Display Advertising
These staggering statistics also point to the emerging market of mobile advertising. Though mobile advertising is still in its infancy, it has seen encouraging growth in recent months. Improvements in mobile browsers, device screen size and resolution, and ease of access to mobile ad service providers have led to a growth that suggests a digital advertising ecosystem dominated by mobile in coming years.
The smartphones, tablets and laptop PCs that have become digital extensions of their users also lend enormous value to television advertising. As the study points out, 22% of mobile searches are prompted by TV. This is extremely important to online retailers and the agencies that represent them. Very rarely is a product mentioned, worn, or promoted on a television program without knowledge or paid sponsorship of the companies who produce those products. With a little extra time and effort put into audience targeting to core demographics, advertisers can coordinate their digital and mobile campaigns with their appearances on TV, greatly increasing the likelihood of a sale sparked by those appearances.
Capitalizing on Offline Product Placements, Online
Heres an example of how this might work: an online shopper sits down to their favorite show: Gossip Girl. Gossip Girl is chock full of product placements, making it a marketers dream jumping off point for a digital advertising campaign. It is very easy to assume that the viewer, at one point, will be tempted to search for the hot new pair of shoes that our protagonist is wearing on his/her mobile phone. It is also likely that our viewer will open up his/her laptop or tablet and consider the purchase a little more seriously.
At this point, there are a lot of options for marketers to increase the value of this simple product placement. With dynamic retargeting, they can continue to show advertisements to this webpage-viewer with a customized product carousel showing the viewer products similar to the one they fancied. As previously stated, they can advertise to the viewer off of the search query that got them there in the first place. If their knowledge of their target demographic is good enough, they can advertise to their viewer even before an action is made online through the use of robust data segments provided by their digital advertising service provider.
Cross-Platform Data as a Marketing Tool
The possibilities realized by cross-platform consumer behavior are limitless. As I read through the report, I constantly found my thoughts sidetracked by another use-case where a marketer could follow their customers journey and strengthen a purchasing pipeline with a strategy tailored to this data. While not all of these customer journeys are identical, they provide insights to help marketers understand the prototypical journey; creating a great starting point for any digital campaign. As we move more and more into the multi-screen browsing world, digital advertising strategies will grow in ways that we previously could not even begin to predict.