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Published October 2015

Consumers use their mobile devices to find answers to their needs in the moment - but sometimes they don’t complete the transaction immediately. Here’s an example: let’s say someone is reading reviews of new skis on her phone and clicks on a display ad that takes her to a ski shop’s website. Later, when she gets home, she pulls up the shop’s site on her computer to buy the downhill skis she’s been eyeing. This is an example of a cross-device conversion from a mobile display ad that you can now measure.

We introduced cross-device conversion metrics in DoubleClick to help advertisers get a more complete view of the consumer journey by connecting the dots between channels and devices - and it’s working. Cadreon is just one of the many partners who have improved their view of the consumer journey by using cross-device conversion metrics in DoubleClick. These insights have helped Cadreon to realize that their clients’ campaigns have a significantly better ROI than they were previously measuring, which has surfaced a number of new opportunities.

When we started using cross-device conversion metrics, we saw a 15% lift in measured conversions for some campaigns. Similarly, the eCPA impact was 13%, which was substantial. As expected, on smartphones we were able to measure 22% more conversions. These results showed us how powerful smartphones can be in producing actions, even if they happen on another device.

Krish Sailam, Senior PM of Mobile, Cadreon

Here are four best practices to make the most of cross-device conversion metrics:

1. Organize around customers, not channels

You don't have desktop customers and mobile customers -- you just have customers, who interact with your brand across all of their devices. To achieve the greatest success with your campaigns, make your advertising strategy integrated with unified budgets, unified teams and common success metrics across desktop and mobile, web and app. This way, you’ll gain a single view of the customer journey.

2. Improve channel performance based on real impact across devices

When making budget allocation decisions, consider channel performance across devices. For example, if a channel is contributing to a significant number of cross-device conversions, it could mean that you have the opportunity to generate even more conversions by increasing the budget or bids. If you don’t look at channel results across devices, you’ll be introducing a systematic bias against mobile which will be hard to change.

3. Identify the most common device paths

Cross-device conversion metrics might tell you that your customers are frequently engaging with your brand on tablet and then converting on desktop, but you should bring all of your knowledge of the customer and buying experience to ask and understand why. For example, if the purchase cycle for your products is long, find out what your customers are trying to achieve on each device: are they getting inspired? are they comparing different options? or are they actually buying your product? Combine cross-device data with all of the other context you have about your customers and business to see the full picture.

4. Improve consumer experience across all devices

Monitoring cross-device conversion trends can help you identify broken user experiences. For example, if after launching a new mobile website there is a sudden increase in cross-device conversions, it could mean that consumers are frustrated by the experience and are abandoning purchases on mobile in favor of buying on the desktop. This could indicate that the user experience on mobile should be improved.

Cross-device conversion metrics are about a lot more than assigning additional conversions to your campaigns and assuming you’re meeting consumers’ needs across screens. Different devices are more than just different environments for delivering the same message -- they’re ways to reach customers in fundamentally different ways. You need a reliable way to connect all of those different devices -- and metrics that won’t hide the differences, but help you to understand them.


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