This post was written by Dave Reed, Managing Director, EMEA, at MediaMath
In a busy multichannel environment, brands are fighting to gain the attention of consumers who move seamlessly from device to device and from digital channels to bricks-and-mortar outlets. The customer journey doesn’t begin at the point they reach the store or arrive on a website; instead, they often unconsciously interact with a brand on a long and winding path prior to this point, meaning the journey starts earlier than the marketer thinks.
This complex behavior means that marketers need to engage consumers across these channels in ways that are convenient and natural for them. This includes offering online incentives that accompany an in-store purchase – driving consumers to a brick-and-mortar outlet – or allowing in-store consumers to browse an online catalog to encourage them to discover and purchase more products. The multichannel environment offers, in a way that has never before been possible, a synergy between online and offline interactions so that brands can deliver a truly seamless experience regardless of channel, device or environment.
But while multichannel presents many marketing opportunities, it also creates challenges when it comes to identifying the channel responsible for a sale. With this in mind, how can marketers assess and weight their multichannel campaigns to optimize sales?
Activating marketing opportunities along the path to purchase can, due to its complexity, only be achieved through a combination of programmatic buying and attribution. This approach helps resolve the issue of integrating digital channels with offline data, creating a more holistic viewpoint of the customer’s journey to purchase, and helping marketers apply and optimize targeted brand strategies at all consumer touchpoints – a feat that is beyond human ability.
To further benefit from this approach, marketers can use their first-party data – ideally layered with third-party data – with analytics to better understand the best-performing channel to convert the consumer to a customer. Further analysis of converters to identify “look-alike” customers within their data sets will also identify potential future customers. Empowered with this technology, marketers can then deliver the insights required to grow and optimize their multichannel programs.
This multichannel marketing activity can only be made possible through the ability to track consumers across channels and devices, which is currently another complex challenge for marketers. The cookie – which is viewed as the traditional go-to method of identification – is increasingly considered an outmoded form of technology, but there is no one approach that can effectively replace it. To have seamless cross-device targeting, marketers now require an approach that includes targeting, attribution, analytics and more in their marketing campaigns, while ensuring results can be integrated into their media execution that lets real-time decision-making occur.
The good news is there are now dynamic solutions available in the marketplace that enable cookieless targeting, as well as cross-device targeting including mobile-to-mobile, PC-to-PC and PC-to-mobile. Google, Apple and Microsoft have provided their own targeting solutions, as have publishers, SSPs and exchanges, along with third-party providers.
We have also developed a technology solution, ConnectedID, which links MediaMath’s own cookieless and cross-device targeting solutions with those of almost any other party including media companies, publishers and advertisers, resolving the current issues that inhibit brand storytelling across multiple connected devices. With these new technologies in place, marketers can enjoy truly effective mapping across client or partner IDs and devices, enabling the targeting of audiences and attribution of actions across channels.
There is no sign that consumers are slowing in their adoption of multichannel media consumption. Marketers that embrace these new opportunities stand to gain significant brand marketing opportunities with consumers.