Digital media has forever changed the customer’s buying journey.
In 2016, people don’t just watch commercials and read magazines. They see ads on their laptops, mobile phones, digital billboards, and everywhere else they get content. Millennials, in particular, are likely to interact with brands across multiple channels in every location imaginable.
That’s why brands can’t stick to one medium. Consumers never sit still for long, and everywhere they go, their digital devices follow. On average, adults spend nine hours per day in front of screens, six of those hours at home.
It’s official: People spend more time with screens than they do with sleep.
The math isn’t difficult: Brands today have massive digital audiences. But can they reach audiences and gain recognition or will they just turn them off and lose their attention?” The answer is, “Yes, they can reach them!” — but with a catch.
Creating a cohesive cross-channel experience involves multiple moving parts. The tools and technology exist to turn this vision into reality, but no single platform can yet connect the dots between all channels, formats, and creative units. As marketers, we’re best served taking the strategic view.
Focus on the following tactics to make your strategy as effective as possible. Then, find a capable programmatic partner who can help you create a comprehensive cross-channel strategy.
1. Deploy Data
Digital advertising moves quickly — almost as quickly as audiences consume it. Data proficiency translates to success in the age of programmatic media buying. To get the most from your data, analyze it thoroughly and use it to create new, effective methods of reaching a wider audience.
Companies that use data better than their competitors have distinct advantages when it comes to acquiring and retaining customers. To become one of those companies, find the right blend of technologies. Then, make use of both first- and third-party data to identify the people with whom your message is most likely to resonate.
And ensure it’s not siloed off. Another team may manage your first-party data, and it will likely have distinctive ideas about who can leverage the data and how. Delivering a consistent experience across devices will prove challenging when information isn’t distributed among teams. Without good data, your advertising efforts will fall on deaf ears — or, worse, the wrong ears.
2. Customize Content
Ad tech providers have been interested in algorithms behind ad targeting for some time, emphasizing that effectiveness and scale determine results, but the art of advertising is just as important. If you have great technology and uninspiring ads, everyone might see them, but no one will respond to them.
Technology is meant to amplify advertising’s value, not subdue it. As the brand story changes across gadgets, outlets, screens, formats, and sizes, creative directors and brand executives must own it.
Use your data to give your creative ads bigger impact. Change what your audience sees on the basis of factors like location, online behavior, language, and even weather. Take the whole package; look at it comprehensively; then, build a creative strategy to funnel customers toward your company.
3. Align KPIs With Business Results
Digital is the most quantifiable medium, and key performance indicators differ by channel and format. Make sure your KPIs are tailored to your needs and help guide you toward specific goals like enhancing market share with a particular demographic year over year.
Metrics like click-through and ad delivery statistics may tell you something about your customers, but don’t stop there. Did your ad lead to an actual sale? What was the value of that sale? Do different sets of ads result in different sales frequencies? Did the campaign result make up for the expense it took to make it in the first place? Arrange your KPIs so you can answer questions like these and reveal a clearer, more quantitative depiction of your business objectives.
Cross-channel solutions take both time and resources. Most businesses don’t have everything they need to create effective solutions, especially in the beginning. To make things easier on yourself, partner with a business that can guide you on building the right qualities — good data, robust creativity, meaningful KPIs — and help you create the cross-channel advertising strategy your business needs.