Marketers are increasingly aware that basing their strategies on last-click conversions is like going backwards into the dinosaur ages. The theory behind last-click was nice and simple: the ad that was clicked most recently must have driven the purchase or any other business KPI being measured. However, savvy marketers know that is only half the picture: it’s not just the last click that drove to success.
Consumers are interacting with brands in a myriad of ways – via multiple ads, non-paid media and using multiple devices to engage, fill out a lead form and complete a sales process. In this day and age, we live in a world where it takes multiple touch points and brand exposures in several devices to somehow convert a prospect online or even drive the consumer to the high-street shop to close the cycle. A world where multi-channel and omni-channel are integral marketing concepts. Solely focusing on that last click and disregarding the importance of incorporating mobile in your strategy will result in the loss of golden opportunities to grow your brand’s business.
Last-click – Why doesn’t it show the real picture?
Brands and advertisers are under constant pressure to maximize their revenue while managing tight budgets. In order to overcome this obstacle, they need to know which channels are working best and clearly understand the role of mobile in the customers’ decision-making process as part as a comprehensive data-driven strategy.
But first, let us have a look at the world of last-click conversions, which many marketers monitor to improve their strategy. The common tracking technologies frequently report isolated events. For instance, marketers would see that somebody has made a purchase on a desktop computer, and somebody has made a purchase on a tablet.
These two conversions on two devices would accurately illustrate the buying reality, only if the following requirements are fulfilled: these purchases were made by two separate individuals, and they have interacted with your brand only once – that is while purchasing. However, as you can imagine, the reality is a completely different one.
The truth is each conversion is a result of complex user behaviour. Users today can communicate with your brand theoretically anytime and anywhere – at home, at work, as well as on the go, especially with different devices. Studies have shown more than 60% of online adults in the US and UK use at least two devices every day, and more than 20% use three. Furthermore, more than 40% of online adults begin an activity on one device and finish on another. In fact, depending on the market segment, some users tend to use their mobile devices for research and convert on desktops, while others tend to do it the other way round.
Using cross-device tracking to understand customers
As customers are interacting with brands numerous times before purchasing or converting in any way, customer journeys have grown more complex than ever and focusing on conversions is not enough. This is where cross device tracking comes in.
Cross-device tracking is a technology that identifies the user behind the different devices, by assigning a unique user ID to his various touch points and conversions. This means that the user, who is interacting with your brand on his mobile on the way home and makes his purchase on his tablet later in the evening, will be identified as one and the same.
As the user behaviour with your brand could theoretically be endless before making a purchase or converting in any other way, the right cross-device tracking technology is crucial in portraying the full picture of your customer. In particular, it will allow you to monitor the non-conversion touch points and brand interactions, which help them answer to the following questions:
- What are the most recurrent interaction patterns between my customers and my brand?
- How are my customers converting with my brand?
- What role does mobile play for my brand?
- What changes does my marketing strategy need?
These will help to identify and assign the right KPIs to their campaigns. Ultimately, with this information, marketers will be able to increase better customer interactions, as well as improve their marketing and business strategy.
Customers today are constantly connected and they are using different and ever more devices such as tablets and smartphones, in addition to desktops. Because of the complex customer journeys, it is vital for marketers to turn away from conversion-based analyses, as they do not depict the reality of the user-brand interactions.
With cross-device tracking, marketers are able to study how customers are behaving from the initial contact to the final purchase or any other conversion. By focusing on their customers and their behaviour, marketers can develop their next marketing strategy based on what is most important for their customers, whilst finding them in the right place, at the right time, and impacting them with the right message. Ultimately, this means that they will be able build a longer-lasting relationship with their customers, optimize marketing resources and enhance their marketing ROIs.