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We know that consumers today are moving seamlessly across devices and individuals already own an average of 3.64 connected devices. With so many devices and movement between them, it’s no wonder marketers’ view and understanding of the consumer’s journey is fractured.

Complex Consumer Journey

Let’s start with a typical consumer journey. Say Cassie the Consumer is in the market for a new television. Cassie starts doing some initial research on her mobile phone today, visiting various manufacturers’ sites while she’s commuting to work. She tries to decide which brands she likes from her consideration set. Cassie also sees a display ad from her favorite electronics retailer’s website indicating there’s a sale on TVs while she’s browsing her favorite news app. She finishes reading her article, then stops by the retailer’s store to check out prices.

Later in the day, Cassie hops onto the CNET app to check professional reviews on the various TV options she’s favored. She also scans a number of electronics blogs to see what they have to say. After mulling over her choices for a few days, one evening she returns to her favorite retailer’s website and purchases a new TV.

Marketers Often Make Incorrect Assumptions

Maurice the Marketer handles marketing for our big electronics retailer. Without a clear understanding of Cassie’s cross-device purchase journey, Maurice ends up making a few errors:

  • He continues to retarget Cassie on her mobile device, hoping she will convert. Oops, she already did! That adds up to a lot of wasted effort and media spend.
  • Maurice notices consumers like Cassie browsing and researching on their mobile devices, but not converting and incorrectly assumes the in-app display campaign that may have brought Cassie to the store was ineffective. What Maurice does not realize is that consumers, like Cassie, are transitioning to a different device to make their purchases a few days later.
  • Maurice manages a fairly successful blogger outreach program. Maurice isn’t able to see that Cassie had used her tablet to visit some of the blogs that are part of his influencer program. As a result, Maurice incorrectly concludes that the program is not having much impact.
  • Maurice incorrectly assumes customers like Cassie are mostly arriving organically to his site to buy, and that paid media is having little impact on conversions.

Maurice the Marketer could do better, of course. Informed by the right cross-device identity, Maurice is more likely to reach higher quality conclusions and make better decisions.

Of course, it can be challenging to get a handle on the consumer’s cross-device identity. But it’s more imperative than ever for marketers to figure out how to track the impact of their marketing and media investments across those devices. The need will only increase: Gartner projects there will be 20.8 billion connected devices by 2020, up from 8 billion in 2017.

That’s a lot of connected devices for marketers to keep track of and according to eConsultancy, only a fifth of those devices collect mobile data in their attempt to understand the customer journey.

Embrace And Understand The Cross-Device Challenge

At Impact Radius, we recognized the importance of understanding consumer identity across devices, and embraced the cross-device challenge early on. For a few years, marketers have had the benefit of leveraging our powerful device graph, built via our IR Consortium in order to understand:

  • How partners, influencers, and affiliates help shape our clients’ performance marketing programs through Partner Manager, regardless of device.
  • How marketers’ media investments reach their clients along the customer journey across all their devices through Media Manager.

Impact Radius’ longstanding partnership with TapAd has been instrumental in augmenting our device graph, particularly in devices and environments that rely more on probabilistic, rather than deterministic identity tracking. With the TapAd integration, our Partner Manager and Media Manager clients enjoy more precise insights around their partners and customer journeys, fueled by one of the most comprehensive device graphs in the industry. To learn more about it, download the case study here

Our ongoing partnership with TapAd enables marketers to get a clear picture of their customer’s journey across all their paid, earned, and owned touchpoints for both impression-based and performance-based advertising programs. Marketers win because they can now make smarter media investment decisions, achieve a higher-level understanding of their consumers, and reach more accurate conclusions when they leverage the Impact Radius + TapAd partnership.

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