What Retailers Get Wrong About Cross-Device Marketing

March 14, 2017 — By Tech.Co

Multi-device channels are the new frontier of digital marketing. In 2014, eConsultancy reported that over 40 percent of all consumers are multi-device users. That figure has risen sharply in recent years, so retailers must know how to engage with their customers on multiple devices to meet their growth projections and retain brand loyalty.

Unfortunately, cross-device marketing is a new concept that many retailers struggle to master. Here are some common mistakes that hold them back:

Neglecting to Customize Your Strategy

Brick-and-mortar retailers face a unique challenge with multi-device marketing. They must communicate with customers in different settings, as well as on different devices.

You may first engage with customers at home. You may have a great system for interacting with them on their home desktop device. However, that approach may not work as well when you try to connect with them in the store.

You need to remember that customers have different goals when they actually visit your place of business. In addition to adapting your marketing strategy to the device they are using at the time, you must also improvise for customers that have come to your store. You must account for their immediate mindset as a potential buyer. Once a customer visits your store, they probably are only concerned about finding what they are looking for. Your multi-device marketing strategy must include a system for finding what they need.

You must also account for their level of patience and stress tolerance. When customers visit your store, they are often trying to monitor their children, deal with commotion from nearby strangers and be home in time for dinner. Their attention is split and they can be stressed, so you need to make sure information is timely and concise.

Companies like Kroger have invested heavily in mobile marketing solutions to improve their in-store marketing strategy.

Using the Same Creatives Across All Platforms

Every marketer understands the importance of using creatives that resonate with their users. They have invested in high-quality illustrations and copywriting experts since the early days of direct mail advertising.

One of the great things about the internet is that you can easily track engagement and conversions. However, you can’t assume that a creative that performs well on a desktop marketing channel will work with mobile users. Arthur Muldoon, the CEO of Accordant Media emphasizes the importance of testing creatives on every channel:

“Different devices offer different opportunities for creative design and audience engagement,” Muldoon said. “Don’t expect a single creative to do the job across all devices. Experiment, test and optimize creative.”

Not Tracking Engagement Across Devices

Monitoring users across different devices is one of the biggest challenges marketers face. It may be difficult to track their behavior perfectly, but you must make an effort.

In September, Mike Sands discussed the marketers that tried promoting their brands through the Olympics. They reached customers across multiple devices, but didn’t adequately track them on each channel. About a third of brands didn’t retain any data on their mobile users at all. Sands points out that these brands had no idea whether their Olympics marketing budgets were used effectively.

You need to track users across all marketing channels. It’s also important to do everything that you can to identify each user so you can monitor their engagement with your brand. Encouraging them to create an account or submit information via social media makes it easier to track engagement.

Failing to Communicate a Consistent Message

Retailers need to follow different marketing strategies to reach customers on different devices. For example, they often need to use much more concise messages for mobile users, because users tend to be more impatient while using mobile devices. Also, mobile users tend to have a more impatient mindset than people using desktop devices.

While the images and copy may differ across channels, it’s important to keep the general branding message the same.

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