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ARTICLE

Why Cross-Device is the Best Format to Tell Branding Stories

June 13, 2017 — by John Van Antwerp

So you’ve got a cross-device solution. Or maybe you’re in the final stages of signing on a cross-device vendor. You’ve convinced yourself of the numerous benefits that cross-device advertising can bring to your lower funnel direct-response marketing. Those benefits include substantially increased reach, improved frequency management, better performance, and game-changing customer insights. But why stop there? After all, cross-device usage is a way of life, or at least — it is for your consumers.

Similarly, brands are weaved into the fabric of our lives. Branding can account for up to 30% of a company’s stock market value. It can also increase your share of voice and engagement on social, and affect the overall sentiment towards your company and products. You already know who you want to talk to (your consumers) and what you want to say (your brand message), but cross-device allows you to close the loop by unlocking ‘where’ and ‘when.’

Humans have told stories since the beginning of time to make others laugh and cry, to convey important messages, and to gain influence over others. In the past, it has been as simple as having a (human-to-human) conversation, or writing an article in the local paper, but increasingly conversations are happening in a fragmented way across multiple channels and devices.

Customers expect to be told a contiguous, coherent story in this way — just as their friends, family, and peers do. You, as well, don’t want them to experience your brand in a silo — you want to have a real conversation with them, and you want it to be a deeply involved, engaging experience.

You want to not only improve brand recall, recognition, and awareness of your company values, but blow them out of the water. Cross-device advertising allows you to connect at any time of day, while the consumer is in any setting, to tell different — relevant! — parts of your brand story, uniquely tailored to that moment.

On top of your desire to directly tell your story wherever the consumer is, you’ve already made the investment to make your company and your products available across all media — you have desktop and mobile websites, and an app. 2016 convinced you that you needed a bot on your website or social media platform, and you integrated with Alexa because frankly, it was just a lot of fun to do. But how do you let people know that all your properties exist?

Or more importantly, how do you encourage usage when the customer is already in the same context of the property you’re trying to drive them to? Don’t wait, take a guess, or make a bet that your branding will be effective enough to get them there at some point in the future — get them there today, right now, by using cross-device advertising to reach them to tell that part of your story. Leveraging the scale, performance, and efficiency of programmatic advertising, married with the power of cross-device targeting, analytics, and measurement, you can drive users directly to these properties today.

In the future, media consumption only stands to be more fragmented than it is today. With wearables, connected TV, and a vast array of Internet of things (IoT) devices on the horizon, it’s impossible to predict where, when, and how you will have the opportunity to converse with your customer — suffice to say that it will be across multiple mediums. Combine this with the inevitable technical revolution around existing physical media and customer touch-points — billboards, in-store beacons, and otherwise, and we arrive at a time when cross-device branding is not only a choice or luxury, but a necessity.