Why Multiscreen Marketing Matters

May 15, 2015

If your mobile marketing strategy relies largely on creating a great mobile-friendly experience for your visitors, chances are, you’re missing a critical component: targeting multiscreen usage.  After all, statistics show that as  many as 90% of internet users use multiple screens throughout the day, often simultaneously. Reaching these users with a targeted message tailored to the multiscreen experience is crucial in ensuring that you’re reaching your visitors in the right way at the right point in the sales funnel.

To use multiscreen marketing effectively, you’ll need to understand how and when your customers are reaching your site using various devices. For instance, a customer may be watching TV while surfing the web on their phone. If a commercial for one of your products catches their attention, they may turn to their phone to find out more information.  Once they’ve decided to buy, they might switch to their tablet or PC for more in-depth research or to complete the transaction.

To capitalize on this, you’ll not only need to create a cohesive and consistent marketing message across multiple platforms, you’ll also need to help your visitor stay in step with what they’ve already done.  If a visitor needs to start at the top of the sales funnel every time they switch devices, you’re introducing multiple opportunities for them to lose interest and abandon their purchase.

Recognize Your Customers

In order to effectively target and guide your customers across multiple devices, you’ll need a way to recognize them each time they visit your site, regardless of the device they’re currently using. With the right approach, you can keep the visitor on a clear path towards conversion, reducing the risk that they’ll change their minds or look elsewhere.

There are two common approaches to tracking visitors across multiple devices: deterministic and probabilistic.  Deterministic approaches include allowing users to log in; this is the most straightforward and definitive way to clearly identify who a visitor is and track what they’ve already done. The drawback to this approach is that users are often reluctant to create an account or log in until they’ve reached a crucial point in their decision making.  Visitors will expect to be able to find the information they need to make a decision without having to sign in.

Probabilistic methods use statistical analysis to create a reasonable best guess as to a user’s identity. Information used can include IP addresses, location, and usage behaviors to try to pinpoint and identify a particular user across devices.  The approach is not foolproof, of course, but it can certainly help bridge the gap between no data and definitive data. Even if you’re using a deterministic system, you’ll likely want to implement a probabilistic strategy as well to cover those users who have not created an account or who have not yet logged in.

Keeping  Them on Track

Once you’ve started tracking your customers across devices, you can start analyzing the role each kind of device plays in the sales process.  There’s no blanket solution to this – the patterns can vary wildly based on your market, your industry, and even the time of day. Software solutions are available that allow you to collect data about your visitors, which devices they use to access your site, and at which points they switch over to other  devices. By digging through this data, you may be able to identify clear patterns that can help you streamline the process and encourage conversions. For instance, if the data shows that users typically use their mobile devices to research your brand, but switch to their PCs to complete the sale, you can focus on ensuring that influential information is well optimized for the mobile experience.

Conversely, you can use this insight to try to understand why people are switching in the first place. Using the same example, if your data shows that users consistently switch to PCs before making the sale, it may point to a weakness in the mobile experience during the checkout process.  Fine tuning your checkout to create a better mobile experience may result in less switching, and fewer opportunities for abandoned transactions.

Of course, in the era of constant connectivity, multiscreen usage will always exist, no matter how optimized your site may be.  In the end, the best strategy will be to create an excellent user experience for multiple devices while creating a logical pathway for those times that users do decide to switch.

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