Cross-Screen Myth — What is the Real Cross-Screen Targeting?

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From traditional media platform like newspaper and television, to personal computers and tablets, to portable mobile wearables, people are surrounded by an ever-growing number of devices and media channels.

While some may argue that today’s marketing is easier than it was yesterday, with digital social media creating an outlet for possible viral, guerrilla marketing, the reality is that most things don’t just go viral. Less than 0.5% of YouTube video ever get more than 1M views (and 60%+ of all videos don’t even get 1,000 views!)[1], who is it to say that viral marketing is easier and the right approach in this day and age?

In fact, what’s more important for marketers in this multi-era generation is the continuation of storytelling across all screens and channels.

If you’re thinking, “Sure, I’ve allocated some budget to tablet only campaigns and I’ve created mobile friendly landing pages – I’m all set!”, well, you’re close, but not quite there yet. Instead of allocating budget based on device type and figuring out performances across devices, what’s more important is identifying the right users and delivering to them their preferred content, regardless of what screen or device they’re looking at.

Don’t just follow the devices, focus on the users.

What’s Non Cross-Screen Targeting?
Traditional digital advertising buying lacks the ability to differentiate user targeting and that often leads to two major problems:

  • Wastes valuable marketing dollars on users who might not be interesting in your ads.
  • Delivers poor user experiences for users receiving irrelevant ads repeatedly.

You may think that you have a cross-screen marketing strategy, but without the right technology, you are actually just dividing up your marketing budget and running a few different device-specific campaigns instead of one holistic cross-screen targeting campaign. Without a comprehensive cross-screen targeting campaign, you miss out on important insights on user behavior patterns across devices, you end up delivering ads repeatedly to users who may not be interested in your ad or miss out on relevant users on the right device.

Non-Cross Screen Targeting = Ineffective ROI

The True Cross-Screen Targeting
Real Cross-Screen targeting focuses not only on delivering right content to the right devices, but also the right users. The technology behind Cross-Screen targeting, leveraging AI technology and big data analytics, is extremely complex. If done well, Cross-Screen targeting should be able to:

  • Identify devices owned by target users.
  • Collect user behavior data across their different devices.
  • Deliver appropriate ads based on user’s behavior patterns on different devices.

What will happen when Cross-Screen targeting works? Here’s an example.

You are browsing an online shoe store with your smartphone. You are very interested in buying a pair and in fact you are filling out the checkout form when the internet suddenly drops off. Real Cross-Screen targeting can recognize and record user behaviors while identifying all devices owned by the users and delivering them right ads at the right time to the right devices. A few hours later, you received an ad with a discount coupon for that same pair of shoes on your tablet, you complete the purchase in minutes. You will never miss out on another beautiful pair of shoes again.

At the end of the day, Cross-Screen targeting creates value for both users and advertisers, resulting in stronger advertising ROI and happier consumers.

Want to learn more about Appier’s Cross-Screen targeting technology? Contact us today!


[1] Professor P.J. Lamberson. Kellogg School of Management

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