New technologies are helping brands tie their interactions with consumers to individuals, not just devices. Customer profiles grow and evolve with each customer interaction, allowing brands to automate their conversations with these individuals through programmatic advertising across devices.
Today, consumers expect direct connections with brands across touchpoints, and do not react well if the messages they receive are inconsistent. Yet few marketers think they have an adequate single view of customers or prospects across all devices and channels.
Brands have plenty of first party data but it’s often disconnected. Machine learning can tie this data together to identify which of the billions of devices are being used by individual consumers. This helps brands understand how consumer engagement and actions can be attributed to different messages in different contexts and at different times.
Facebook, Google, Apple and a handful of other platforms have come up with proprietary cross-device solutions. Facebook has between 800 million and 1 billion users logged in across several devices, while Google and Apple have their own mobile operating systems. Google is moving away from cookies and using logged-in data to track and market to users.
Consumers crave open communication and transparency from brands, and often view this type of marketing as a ‘sneak attack’, causing damage to brand affinity rather than increasing purchase intent. It is important that consumers can choose the data that they share with brands, which in turn should specify the information they want from consumers up front, helping avoid data overload, and fostering consumer trust. Consumers are more likely to grant permission to access their information if it helps provide a better, more relevant user experience.
What does this mean for brands?
Cross-device communication can provide real and visible value to the consumer. The key for brands is getting to their customers and, through the trail of clues they leave when they visit stores and websites, to learn how their behaviour tracks from one connected format to another. Different devices offer different opportunities for creative design and audience engagement. Experimenting, testing and optimising creative is essential to maximise effectiveness. Providing consistent stories to individuals across different devices and properly attributing the resulting consumer sales or actions will help to drive ROI.
Written by Evelyne Rose at Zenith Media