How to Market Across Multiple Devices

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Brand marketers reveal how to reach shoppers wherever they are—no matter which device.

These days, there really isn't just one path to purchase. The reason for that is simple: digital devices.

Tablets, smartphones, laptops—all enable shoppers to receive marketing messages on different platforms and at different times. And each provides a different path that's unique.

“It's about creating an experience that's specific to that person, time, and device,” said Chris Robison, direct business general manager at Poppin, an office supplies and furniture company. Robison was part of a spirited panel at Tapad's Unify Tech conference in New York last Thursday, entitled “The Evolution of Content in a Cross-Device World.” Hosted by former New York Times advertising reporter Stuart Elliot, Robison and other panelists shared how marketers—no matter which industry—can navigate the cross-device journey of customers. “Lots of times it's the same individuals who we're dealing with,” Robison said. “It's just people in different personas at different times—consumers versus businesses.”

But how do marketers cater to each device and persona? “Data helps with that,” Robison said. Mark Howard, chief revenue officer at Forbes, echoed that same sentiment. “We really have to take the data and know what we're offering [to advertisers and readers],” he said. “Data is the work that goes into the optimized experiences—for the devices and the audiences.” Howard says that it's data that allows marketers to move across devices with their customers: “Data allows you to rethink how you approach things.”

Robert Spratlen, VP of digital media, data and audience at Viacom, says his company certainly knows how to produce content for varying devices. But Spratlen says that for marketers at Viacom, it's more about how and where people are consuming content. “Then figure out the right timing for each product,” he said. “Don't care about device. Care about reaching at the perfect timing.” He says that once you've figured out timing, “you'll develop the perfect mix and strategy for and across all devices.”

Howard gave this staunch advice: “[In cross-device campaigns] understand that your audience behaves different. How they come to you is different. It affects how you build an audience and the business that comes along with it.”

Certainly strong advice that most every modern marketer should heed.


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