Remember the days of one screen, one activity? Those days are long gone, and have given way to a more fast-paced, dynamic user experience. Today’s digital habits can be summarized as a blend of simultaneous and sequential movements from one screen to another, from smartphone to TV to tablet to PC. Multiscreening has quickly pervaded our everyday lives to become the norm, and it’s not so much a skill as it is an instinctive behavior.
Perhaps this scenario sounds familiar: on your commute to work, you pause to open an email announcing the latest, cutting-edge connected coffeemaker. As both a coffee and smart home aficionado, your interest is piqued, so you tap through to the product page and quickly scan the details. But before you know it, you’re on the move again, headed towards the office, where you’re slammed with your usual phone calls, meetings, and putting together presentations. In the midst of the work day, you find a moment or two to revisit the coffeemaker product page — only this time, you’re browsing on your work computer. You take a deeper dive into the specs, feeling more and more ready to hit the purchase button…but then your boss swings by to pick your brain, so you minimize the product page out of sight.
By the time you’re ready to head home, you’ve had that coffeemaker on your mind all day and you’re definitely ready to pull the purchase trigger. You reopen the product page on your phone, and this time you notice a special discount for ordering through the company’s mobile app. With a few swipes and a couple of satisfying taps, your new coffeemaker is on its way. This is just one simplified example among the countless day-to-day interactions we make with our screens. It demonstrates pretty clearly, however, just how quickly and effortlessly we move between devices, gathering both similar and new bits of information as each device drives an experience unique to its platform.
Facebook recently collaborated with GfK to gather some intriguing statistics about device use in the UK. They found that more than 60% of online adults use at least two devices every day, and 40% of all online adults start an activity on one device and finish it on another. While this data seems incredibly useful for marketers, the reality is that cross-device targeting is still in its nascence. Only 53% of marketing partners offer a fully integrated cross-device feature, and brands are finding it especially challenging to track audiences across their devices. This is particularly important for scenarios like our coffeemaker example, as users begin their e-Commerce journey on one device but ultimately continue and complete it on at least one more.
With the right tools and strategy, brands can take advantage of a huge opportunity to better understand the customer journey, and leverage this information to enhance their marketing effectiveness. In order to initiate relevant, impactful conversations with your customer, you need to map the customer journey and extract cross-device data at the level of the individual user. This means gathering comprehensive, granular information about user intent across all channels and devices, and not simply looking at fragments of data. Which screen is your customer using, and when? What are his or her engagement habits, and how do they differ across screens? This type of information will enable you to deliver smart, relevant recommendations at the right time.
Once you have this data, you need to drive actions that echo throughout your entire marketing stack. This is about scaling your insights to create personalized actions on a large scale, starting with lower-cost channels like push notifications on mobile apps and browsers and email marketing. From here, you could target users who are less responsive to these methods for more engaging paid approaches. The point is to select the most active, effective channels, which are unique to each user, and tailor your tactics accordingly.
Online shoppers are constantly evolving and this trend is reflected in the way they respond to your marketing messages. More and more users are open to personalized marketing engagements as they feel it helps them find relevant products and shop more effectively. A seamless cross-channel experience would truly delight your customers and help you engage, convert and grow loyal customers and eventually sales. Your customers are leaving behind a trail of intent signals across different touch points: Are you reading these signs yet?
Chetan Kulkarni is the co-founder and CEO at Vizury, a premier big data marketing company. He co-founded Vizury in 2008 after realising the opportunity to bring together the power of data, technology and marketing. Kulkarni’s leadership, industry insight and product expertise have strengthened Vizury’s culture of innovation, expanded its product portfolio and global reach. Prior to co-founding Vizury, he was a part of the Business Value Group in Trilogy Inc. where he worked with Fortune 500 companies to establish business value from Trilogy’s solutions. Earlier, he worked in Philips’ research and development arm. He holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management Lucknow, India and a Bachelors of Engineering in Computer Science from National Institute of Technology, Surathkal, India.