American Marketer


3 tips to develop a cross-device marketing and measurement strategy

December 9, 2015

Aman Khanna is client partner at Visual IQ Aman Khanna is client partner at Visual IQ


By Aman Khanna

Consumers are rapidly going mobile, but advertisers are not. Studies show that even though the majority of digital media is now consumed on mobile devices, less than 10.8 percent of media dollars are allocated toward mobile advertising.

The hesitation from marketers to invest in this area is likely due to challenges that they have experienced in tracking, measuring and activating their media on mobile devices.

The good news is that there are ways to measure cross-device marketing effectively so that marketers can make media investment decisions with confidence.

Here are three tips to consider when developing a cross-device marketing and measurement strategy.

Recognize the imperfections of cross-device mapping
With the proliferation of devices used by consumers, marketers often struggle to track and target the same consumer as that person moves across multiple devices. This problem is confounded given the limited capabilities of cookies to connect a single user to a number of different devices.

While there are many viable solutions out there to help solve these problems, there is no perfect solution for cross-device mapping. No vendor will be able to identify all your prospects and customers across every device used.

When selecting a cross-device mapping partner, look for a vendor that is able to connect marketing touch points across multiple, disparate devices to create a more complete view of each individual’s entire stack of marketing touch points.

By de-duplicating unique users and maximizing the accuracy of your marketing touch points, you will not only get a more complete view of media impact but the insight needed to implement a more effective media buying strategy.

Upgrade your measurement approach
Though most marketers have come to recognize the fallacies of the last-click measurement, this inaccurate and arbitrary methodology still reigns king in most organizations.

Yet, increased investments in mobile advertising make it even more critical to adopt an advanced measurement approach, especially for understanding media impact across multiple devices.

Measuring any media in a silo has limited potential, and the same goes for cross-device measurement.

By integrating a cross-device mapping solution with an advanced marketing attribution platform that takes into account cross-channel, cross-campaign and cross-tactic impact, marketers can gain insight into the true effectiveness and ROI of any combination of media, whether served on a desktop, tablet or mobile device.

Moreover, marketers can also gain insight into the sequence in which tactics should be executed.

For instance, certain device types may be better at stimulating interest at the top of the funnel, while others work better at driving response at the bottom of the funnel.

With this insight, marketers can present the right ads, on the right device, and at the time that is most likely to produce a conversion.

Cut out cookie bombing
The mobile space, much like the rest of media-buying world, is becoming increasingly programmatic.

The emergence of mobile demand-side platforms (DSPs) has created competition with other DSPs/networks, which are all fighting for their share of conversion credit and revenue.

This increased competition has led to practices such as cookie bombing, where a DSP attempts to serve the last ad prior to a conversion to get the full credit for a sale, even if it had no effect on the consumer’s final decision to convert.

For marketers, this practice leads to a misrepresentation of performance results, as well as incomplete and inaccurate information on which to base optimization decisions.

Advanced marketing attribution helps marketers combat cookie bombing by assigning fractional conversion credit to every touch point and touch point dimension – device type, placement, size and creative – according to its effect on a consumer’s purchase or conversion decision.

By understanding the true effect that every mobile touch point and dimension has on conversions, marketers can filter out underperforming publishers and placements for a cookie bomb–proof understanding of effectiveness.

Armed with this insight, marketers can allocate their mobile advertising budgets in the most effective way.

CONSUMERS WILL continue only to interact with media across a growing number of screens going forward.

By following these three strategies, marketers will not only be equipped to address the unique measurement challenges of a multi-device world, but will also have a distinct advantage over those competitors that have fallen behind.

Aman Khanna is client partner at Visual IQ, Needham, MA. Reach him at