DoubleClick by GoogleDoubleClick by Google


Published June 2015

In her latest annual Internet Trends report, Mary Meeker announced that people are now spending more time on mobile phones than on all other devices combined. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to us as consumers. It’s simply the way we live now. But for many advertisers and publishers, Mary’s report is a wakeup call. With consumers interacting with content in a substantially different way than they were even a year ago, there are new challenges to meet and new opportunities to seize.  

We’re more likely to check for our phones before leaving home than we are our wallets or keys.

Google consumer surveys, April 2015

To help our customers make the most of these exciting changes, we spent the last year studying how mobile is reshaping the consumer journey. We’ve identified three key behaviors that characterize today’s consumer.

Behavior #1 - We follow non-linear journeys

As consumers, when we want to know or find something, we grab the closest device. And while this behavior is truly cross-device, 51% percent of the time, the closest device is a mobile device.

Behavior #2 - We are loyal to the moment, not the brand

While we’re spending more time online overall, our online sessions are shortening (by 18% in the last year). We expect instant gratification online--whoever solves my needs first or best, wins.

Behavior #3 - We expect you to know our intent and context

We expect to find relevant information, based on what we like, who we are, and where we’re located in that moment. People are twice as likely to be influenced by targeted digital ads, and four times more likely to be influenced by targeted mobile ads (sociomantic, 2013).

82% of smartphone users consult their phone while in a store.

Consumer moments Google/Ipsos

What does all this mean for advertisers and publishers? The way we use devices may have changed, but your goals haven’t. You still need to reach your consumers with your content, engage them with relevant info, and measure the resulting impact. How do you accomplish this?

Reach people when they need you, where they already spend their time.

There are moments when people want exactly what you have to offer, whether it’s an item to be purchased or content to be discovered. And thanks to today's multi-screen world, for the first time you have the ability to reach them precisely in these moments.

Hearst, for example, has started using Snapchat’s Discover feature to get content in front millennials, one of the company’s key goals. The articles disappear after 24 hours--this is Snapchat after all--but because the content lives where Hearst’s target audience spends a lot of time, the impact is significant, even in one short day.

Engage people with content that’s relevant to their context and their intent.

Mobile devices provide a much richer, more granular set of data about location, environment, and intent. Marketers and publishers can use these signals to provide contextually relevant content and experiences for consumers.

When the Google media team wanted to increase awareness of the Google App, they created a campaign that made Google Now functionality an integral part of the experience. Drawing on 23 pieces of dynamic content, from five different APIs, ads used a user’s location and context to display relevant information like the weather forecast or attractions to visit. The campaign drove a 9-point increase in awareness among Android users, doubled the expansion rate, and increased interaction by 50% compared to Doubleclick benchmarks.

Consumer interest in “near me” search has double in past year.

Consumer moments Google/Ipsos

Measure people’s journeys across devices.

Consumers' non-linear pathways can make accurate measurement a challenge. Only by aggregating all touchpoints to construct a unified view can you understand how your customers are interacting with your content across screens.

We can see the power of cross-device conversion metrics through the experiences of some of Google's AdWords customers. These new metrics have fundamentally changed the way they look at attribution for their campaigns. For example, Vivint, a home security company, was able to connect engagement on one device with conversions on another. This led to the discovery that mobile display ads were actually driving 23% more conversions than same-device metrics indicated. By adding these additional conversions into their CPA calculations, Vivint saw they actually had a 19% lower CPA than they had thought, and they were able to re-evaluate their investment accordingly.

At DoubleClick, we’ll continue to study the effects of mobile on consumer behavior to ensure our customers have the tools they need for today’s digital world. Mobile may add complexity to the consumer journey, but for those who heed the call, the opportunity will be far, far greater. By using technology to embrace these new consumer behaviors, you can make them work for you in the moments that matter.