Consumers receive and digest content across a dizzying array of platforms. In a given day, consumers have the opportunity to engage with traditional print and broadcast media, desktop computers and mobile apps, satellite radio and television, online videos, and more. How does programmatic advertising fit in to advertisers’ efforts to reach their audiences across these disparate platforms offered by different vendors?
Cross-Platform Marketing vs. Cross-Channel Marketing
Cross-platform marketing refers to marketing that is tailored to the types of devices that consumers use to receive and digest content. Good examples of platforms with which consumers engage include laptops, tablets, smartphones, cable or satellite television services, print media, and radio.
Cross-channel marketing refers to marketing that accounts for and translates across the multiple content-delivery options on these devices. Examples of these channels include websites, social media pages, apps, email, streaming video, print products, and radio and television shows.
Segment Your Research
When researching customers and potential buyers, it’s critical for brands to analyze both consumer demographic information and their target consumer’s use of content platforms and channels.
A marketing firm might know that it has two or more different target audiences based on buyer demographics. However, businesses must reach these target audiences by using multiple media platforms. For example, a business that caters to men might need to create and send one type of marketing message across smartphones and tablets to reach its younger customers while creating different messages for laptop viewing in order to reach older customers.
Think about Timing
Even though consumers tend to have their own preferred platform for consuming content, that doesn’t mean that they’ve always got access to the platform of their choice. Instead, consumers tend to use multiple platforms depending on context, time of day, and the activities that they are engaged in. For instance, people look at their cellphones during dinner, engage with computers while at work, listen to satellite radio in the car, and use tablets while rooting for their kids at a soccer game.
As a marketer, you need to anticipate and respond to this use of multiple platforms across varied contexts. In essence, you and your team should think carefully about how to serve content across multiple platforms to maximize consumer engagement and exposure. AT&T created their #RoadTripATT content campaign with the increased mobility of their customers during the vacation-heavy summer months in mind. AT&T had its customers engaged across multiple social media channels, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
In addition to thinking about how to serve your content, you must also think about when it will be read or heard. Sending your message across multiple platforms and channels for maximum penetration and repetition is one of the best practices in this regard.
Learn the Technologies
Someone on your content team must understand best practices of content creation for computers, tablets, and mobile devices. They must also understand who is most likely to use each type of device and who among your potential customers are likely to use more than one platform. In addition to mastering the use of content platforms, you must have team members who understand which audiences use which content channels. The platform and channel experts on your content team must be able to communicate what they know to the media planners and buyers, writers, editors, graphic artists, tech teams, and freelancers who work alongside you.
Tailor Your Content
Understanding who is using what media devices and how these technologies work is not enough. You must also have a good grasp on how consumers use technology to consume content and how to create the most effective messages for each channel. To enhance these goals, consider holding a monthly educational session for all members of your content team to discuss your customers and to present research on how, where, and with what tools they are consuming your content.
Expand Your Discussions with Programmatic Ad Sellers
When you work with programmatic ad sellers, talking about audiences is only the beginning. You must also discuss platforms. This will help you to better gauge your numbers, to create better media plans, and to develop media buys with better ROIs. Good media planning looks for programmatic platforms that specialize in one type of media channel, as well as for programmatic ad sellers that deliver to audiences across multiple channels.