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eMarketer Webinar: Cross-Device Targeting—The Challenges and Near-Term Possibilities


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Cross-device ad targeting is in high demand from brands and agencies hoping to improve conversations across a growing number of screens. But as popular as it is, cross-device targeting is still in its infancy, facing a number of obstacles on its path to maturity including privacy concerns and lack of a universal device identification method. Topics in this webinar include: What are the biggest challenges associated with cross-device targeting today? What are the two main methodologies currently used to identify individuals across devices? What does the near-term future of cross-device targeting look like?

Published in: Marketing

eMarketer Webinar: Cross-Device Targeting—The Challenges and Near-Term Possibilities

  1. 1. © 2015 eMarketer Inc. Made possible by Cross-Device Targeting: The Challenges and Near-Term Possibilities Lauren T. Fisher Analyst January 15, 2015
  2. 2. © 2015 eMarketer Inc. Agenda:  The current state of cross-device targeting  Obstacles hindering cross-device targeting  The two main approaches to device identification  The near-term future
  3. 3. © 2015 eMarketer Inc. The Current State of Cross-Device Targeting
  4. 4. © 2015 eMarketer Inc. What do we mean when we say, “cross-device targeting”?  A coordinated, strategic approach to identifying and messaging individuals across multiple digital screens
  5. 5. © 2015 eMarketer Inc. Cross-device ad targeting was a hot topic for advertisers in 2014
  6. 6. © 2015 eMarketer Inc. Cross-device will continue to gain momentum as US adults’ time and attention grow on and across multiple screens
  7. 7. © 2015 eMarketer Inc. The desktop remains the dominant screen for researching and buying products— even among smartphone owners—but other screens are gaining
  8. 8. © 2015 eMarketer Inc. In fact, advertisers should expect consumers to take a cross-device approach to fulfilling their purchasing goals
  9. 9. © 2015 eMarketer Inc. Today, a good portion of publishers say they offer cross-device advertising packages
  10. 10. © 2015 eMarketer Inc. But not all platforms and providers currently live up to the true definition of “cross-device” “ There’s lack of clarity around [device identification] offerings. … You might see the word ‘multidevice’ used. Oftentimes, those people are allowing advertisers to buy on mobile and buy on desktop, but what they’re not doing is stitching that data together. If the data remains fragmented, it’s not really cross-device.” —Ben Manning, director of product management at Quantcast
  11. 11. © 2015 eMarketer Inc. The bottom line: cross-device targeting is still in its infancy
  12. 12. © 2015 eMarketer Inc. Obstacles Hindering Cross-Device Targeting
  13. 13. © 2015 eMarketer Inc. Taking an omniscreen approach isn’t easy; it requires multiple pieces to fit together
  14. 14. © 2015 eMarketer Inc. Marketers have long relied on cookies to track and target individuals across the digital web
  15. 15. © 2015 eMarketer Inc. But as the digital universe expands beyond just web activity, the cookie is no longer effective
  16. 16. © 2015 eMarketer Inc. Today, there is no universal tracking alternative, creating significant cross-device challenges
  17. 17. © 2015 eMarketer Inc. Addressing this challenge requires an entirely new toolset—and mindset “Cross-device is the most important topic in digital advertising right now. It’s a big, fundamental shift to go from talking about devices and optimizing, targeting and attributing against devices to talking about people. It literally changes every aspect of your marketing efforts.” —Chad Gallagher, global director of mobile for AOL
  18. 18. © 2015 eMarketer Inc. Key Takeaways:  To stay effective, companies must consider each screen  True cross-device campaigns require coordination when it comes to identifying and reaching consumers. But such coordination poses significant challenges today, given the lack of a universal method of identifying individuals across screens  Overcoming this obstacle will require the industry to take an identity-based—not device-based—approach to tracking and targeting individuals
  19. 19. © 2015 eMarketer Inc. An Identity-Based Approach: The Two Main Methods of Device Identification
  20. 20. © 2015 eMarketer Inc. Companies today use one of two identifying methods:  Deterministic identification  Probabilistic identification
  21. 21. © 2015 eMarketer Inc. Deterministic Identification  How it works: Relies on known-user information to recognize, with near-certain confidence, an individual on each of his or her internet-connected devices.  Examples of data used: Anonymized login data, CRM-level data, email address or customer ID.  Companies taking a deterministic approach: Facebook, Google, AOL,, The Weather Company, eBay, etc.
  22. 22. © 2015 eMarketer Inc. Probabilistic Identification  How it works: Uses a mix of publicly available ad-serving data to assess the statistical probability that a specific device belongs to a particular individual.  Examples of data used: IP address, browser version, operating system data, device type, browsing behavior, content consumption patterns, location-based data and time of day.
  23. 23. © 2015 eMarketer Inc. Both approaches come with advantages and trade-offs advertisers must consider:  Deterministic: – Near-perfect accuracy – Relatively transparent in matching methodology – ID method and data limited to specific publishing environment – Might lack in scale  Probabilistic: – Varying degrees of accuracy (50% to 90%+) – Matching algorithms deemed proprietary – General practice that can be applied to any property or campaign – Greater scale
  24. 24. © 2015 eMarketer Inc. Today’s reality: Advertisers typically use a combination of the two “ Even the deterministic IDs won’t be as complete as we’d want them to be. So you’ll always have to augment with some probabilistic approaches. —Yosha Ulrich-Sturmat, vice president of product marketing at Neustar
  25. 25. © 2015 eMarketer Inc. How much advertisers rely on one vs. the other will depend on a variety of factors:  Breadth of CRM or first-party data  Campaign objectives  Typical media-buying portfolio
  26. 26. © 2015 eMarketer Inc. Such methods solve for identity, but still don’t deliver a holistic, universal view of an individual “ Identity-based advertising at scale is really the Holy Grail. To know that we are actually reaching and engaging the consumer that we intend to target with our advertising as opposed to sort of guessing … that is really the Holy Grail of marketing.” —Natalie Bokenham, vice president and managing director of digital at UM
  27. 27. © 2015 eMarketer Inc. Key Takeaways:  Device identification is the first step on the path to coordinated cross-device targeting  Today, advertisers rely on both probabilistic and deterministic methods of pairing individuals’ identities to their devices  Though both solve for user identity, lack of a universal approach leaves advertisers with fragmented cross-device targeting efforts
  28. 28. © 2015 eMarketer Inc. The Near-Term Future
  29. 29. © 2015 eMarketer Inc. The near-term future for cross-device success will largely be shaped by:  Discussions surrounding a new, identity-based universal identifier to replace the cookie  Demand for greater standardization of identification approaches and methodologies  Data privacy discussions
  30. 30. © 2015 eMarketer Inc. Data is the key to coordinated cross-device targeting, and advertisers want to be the ones in charge of coordinating those efforts “ What we see today is not the long- term solution. Marketers don't want … every single publisher having a proprietary way to do cross-device. They want the ability to activate and leverage their own data in a consistent way across any media channels they might use. ” —Surag Patel, vice president of global product management and marketing at AdTruth
  31. 31. © 2015 eMarketer Inc. But is a universal identifier on the horizon?  Advancers: – Advertiser demand – Industry movement from the 4A’s Media Leadership Council and IAB – Privacy concerns  Inhibitors: – Competition among ID providers – Disagreement over which methodology to use – Privacy concerns
  32. 32. © 2015 eMarketer Inc. In the short term, expect to see greater standardization, especially to probabilistic:  Greater transparency around probabilistic data collection and usage to determine ID matches  Third-party validation of reported match rates  Publisher push to incorporate deterministic methods when possible
  33. 33. © 2015 eMarketer Inc. Also expect both consumer and company privacy concerns to influence data collection and usage
  34. 34. © 2015 eMarketer Inc. Key Takeaways:  Cross-device targeting is in high demand as consumers diversify their digital media consumption, but it is still a new, evolving tactic  Before advertisers can do anything cross-device, they first need to match devices back to a single individual  Deterministic and probabilistic approaches match identities to devices, but neither is foolproof nor 100% scalable  2015 will be an important year for advancements in cross-device targeting, but solutions are unlikely to be fully realized, thanks to outstanding questions surrounding the creation of a universal identifier and data privacy.
  35. 35. 35
  36. 36. © 2015 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. What drives relevance? Variables Behavior Traits
  37. 37. 37 environment variables IP address Country of origin Time zone Device type Operating system Browser type Screen resolution site behavior variables Customer / Prospect New/return visitor Previous visit patterns Previous Product interests – top level Previous Product interests – low level Searches Previous online purchases Previous Campaign exposure Previous Campaign responses offline variables CRM Call center Ticket sales 3rd-party data temporal variables Time of day Day of week Recency Frequency referrer variables Referring domain Campaign ID Affiliate PPC Natural search Direct/bookmark Social graph/login
  38. 38. 38 Personalize in real-time through automated decisions. Test content & optimize offers against revenue goals. Target visitors across devices leveraging combination of data & marketer insights. ADOBE® TARGET—Test, target & personalize for greater revenue impact. Optimize critical interactions for stronger engagement, higher conversion rates.
  39. 39. © 2015 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. Connect with us to learn more  Find out more about Adobe Target at:  Follow us on twitter: @AdobeTarget   +1.800.309.9301 Download the 2014 Adobe Digital Optimization Survey Results:
  40. 40. © 2015 eMarketer Inc. Learn more about digital marketing with an eMarketer corporate subscription Around 200 eMarketer reports are published each year. Here are some recent reports you may be interested in: Q&A Session Made possible by You will receive an email tomorrow with a link to view the deck and webinar recording. To learn more: 800-405-0844 or Lauren T. Fisher Cross-Device Targeting: The Challenges and Near-Term Possibilities  Cross-Device Targeting: Success Hinges on Device Identification Methods  Omnichannel Trends 2015: Mobile is the New Retail Hub  Key Digital Trends for 2015: What’s in Store—and Not in Store—For the Coming Year  Cross-Platform Attribution: A Status Report on Overcoming Select Attribution Challenges