How Much Am I Wasting Without Cross-device Frequency Capping?

Brands Can Reduce Wasted Spending with Better Frequency Capping

Marketers building cross-device campaigns are struggling to avoid wasting thousand or even tens of thousands of dollars on unneeded impressions.

Marketers want to get their messages to consumers as they move among screens, but they must do so at the right level of reach and frequency for maximum effect and minimum irritation of their target audience.

“In the new multi-screen landscape, advertisers need to be able to engage a consumer across desktop, mobile and tablets seamlessly,” John Sherrod, Founder and President/COO of BlueCava, told Econsultancy.

The average household today has four to five Internet-connected devices. Without cross-device frequency capping, the same individual is incorrectly identified as a unique user as he or she switches devices to consume media and research products.

While in-browser frequency capping may be effective on computers, mobile is another story. Browsers often don’t allow persistent cookies, and less than 20% of smartphone and tablet use is on web browsers, according to comScore.

“Eighty-four percent of what flows through [a smartphone] goes through an app,” Drew Panayiotou, President & CEO, BBDO-ATL at Omnicom, said at the Industry Preview conference run by AdExchanger in January 2015 in New York.

A recent BlueCava study of U.S. consumers illustrates how much marketers may be overspending on duplicate impressions.

During a six-week brand campaign for a financial product, advertising messages were seen at double the desired frequency per household when compared to cookie frequency capping methods used on desktops and laptops.

Even after conversion events, the households continued to see an average of 60 unnecessary impressions each — 30% of them as much as 30 days after the conversion!

For a targeted campaign — say, a premium cross-device mobile-centric campaign with an average $5 CPM (cost per mille) — the spillage adds up to five figures over just a few weeks.

For a major CPG (consumer packaged goods) brand, which can spend billions of dollars annually on digital, alone, the lost revenue could equal tens of millions of dollars in a year.

As marketers move to cross-device campaigns in a fragmented media landscape, they will need to find ways to target individuals, rather than simply screens.

“If you can’t identify and track an individual, then you can’t even begin to think about the hints that bring efficiency to targeting, like message sequencing, ad creative or frequency capping,” eMarketer’s Lauren T. Fisher said in a recent webinar.

Analytics and Marketing: What the Data Tells Us

To succeed in marketing and advertising, it’s no longer enough to just know marketing and advertising. You also have to be a data analyst, otherwise you miss out on all the insights you can gain from the proliferation of online data. Here’s how analytics can help your marketing efforts drive success:

Changes in Analytics

If you still think of analytics as tracking visits and page loads, think again. It’s much more than that. Take Google Analytics. In October 2012, Google released a re-imagined product called Universal Analytics. This has now replaced Google Analytics for new users, and Google is encouraging existing users to migrate. Universal Analytics is a huge step forward for marketers because of the enhanced capability at tracking the following:

  • Audience demographics, which now go way beyond age and gender to include interests you can match to market segments
  • User behavior
  • Mobile user behavior, ranging from technology use to page load speed

One of the biggest changes was the ability to track a single customer across multiple platforms and devices, even offline. It’s something other analytics providers are also doing.

Predicting Customer Behavior

But the real strength of analytics is not just in mapping what your customers and prospects already do; it’s about using that same data to figure out what they will do next so you can market to them effectively. This is called predictive analytics and it’s a significant trend in marketing. Last year, Forbes dubbed 2014 the year of digital marketing analytics, and analytics remains an important strategic focus for 2015, says Marketing Land.

To get the most from analytics, you need to make all your data play nicely together, integrating it in different ways to gain additional insight. cites an example of linking analytics and CRM data to fine-tune marketing strategies and predict when certain customers are likely to make buying decisions. What’s even better is that much of this data crunching can be done in real time, so your marketing team can make informed decisions about next actions.

Measuring What Matters

But with so much data around, how do you decide what is going to be helpful? Neil Patel of KISSMetrics says you should measure what matters: Focus on the data that will actually move your marketing forward. As the Forbes article points out, it’s about figuring out who is taking action, what is making them take that action, and then using that data to predict future actions by other like customers. It’s a bit like looking into a crystal ball, though far more reliable.

One area that most marketers need to improve in is the data they have about mobile users. This is crucial as people increasingly use smartphones and tablets to research products and services, and complete purchases. As Manish Ahuja, VP Data Solutions, commented “The days of being restricted to valuable user data on a desktop browser cookie are past us. With consumer & household level cross screen associations by BlueCava, one can extend data on a desktop cookie confidently to other mobile devices. Also, mobile as a platform continues to remain segregated between web browser and app, so leveraging technology platforms ,like BlueCava’s Audience Association Graph, is critical to bridge between them and utilize mobile towards a more holistic marketing approach” important to know:

  • Which devices your ads were viewed on
  • How your audience researched your product or service
  • What information they were looking for
  • What their conversion path was

Overall, using analytics should help ensure the data you collect from the web, social media, CRM software and other solutions works for you by providing more information on who your customers are and predicting how they will behave. The better you use this data, the more likely you are to enjoy customer satisfaction and sales growth.

Wearable Devices: The New Big Opportunity for Digital Advertising

By Manish Ahuja

I held out for a year, telling myself I didn’t need yet another device, but I just couldn’t resist getting a smartwatch. So I got myself a Moto360, and I love it. The two things that excite me the most about it are the device’s copycat faces of luxury watches and the fact that I don’t have to take my phone out of my coat in 10 degree New York weather.

Continue reading

Protecting Consumer Privacy

By Andres Corrada

Privacy standards are evolving in the ad tech industry, and BlueCava has launched many efforts in this area. Those include our adherence to IAB industry standards such as “opt out” for consumer screens. But there is another side to privacy that is seldom discussed but deserves attention – building a data processing system with built-in consumer anonymity. In this post, we will discuss the science behind one such effort by BlueCava as exemplified by a recent U.S. Patent application (United States 14/492,332).

Continue reading

The New Mobile Display Ecosystem

The rapid pace of today’s digital advertising environment has given birth to new methods of identifying and reaching consumers along their path to purchase. With this movement in multi-screen and mobile methodology comes limitations, innovation, and new systems of monetization.

BlueCava COO & Co-Founder, John Sherrod, was recently interviewed and featured in an Econsultancy report that details today’s mobile landscape. Published earlier this month, Chris O’Hara’s ‘The New Mobile Display Ecosystem’ explores the current state of mobile advertising and provides great insight into where the industry is headed, with input from multiple leading technology companies.

Continue reading

The BlueCava Executive Interview Series: Gilt By Association

Salesforce/ExactTarget just released their 2014 CMO report, Bridging The Digital Divide. An excerpt:

“To get the most from their data and analytics experts, CMOs should make additional investments in the tools that support their real-time (RT) customer-facing efforts. Real-time digital marketing techniques that sense customer behavior and respond are becoming the standard in 1:1 communication, shortening the lag time between a customer action and a perfectly timed and targeted brand response. Real-time efforts have replaced segment-centric batch-and-blast marketing, giving customers exactly what they want, when and where they want it. This type of marketing requires continual optimization and real-time attention.”

Continue reading

Science Project

Data ScienceBy now, everyone in the advertising universe is familiar with “Big Data.” If used wisely, it fuels device-driven acquisition campaigns to produce high returns with minimal media spend, and optimizes consumer engagement. But any marketer can scan a dashboard or spreadsheet and glean meaningful audience intelligence with a snap of the finger, right?

Mmm, not so much. Big Data is still in its infancy, and creating head-scratching problems for many. Especially when utilized for cross-screen purposes. So who are the individuals that are vetting and deciphering this data? Well, the Data Scientist is one key player.

Continue reading

What’s In A Name?

How Cross-Screen Fits In

The way that consumers are using connected devices to purchase products, access information and communicate with each other has created many challenges for the digital advertiser to address. And challenges = opportunities. Connecting the dots between consumers and their many devices and bringing successful campaign measurement along with it is the mandate of today’s cross-screen marketer. But where does this type of analytics technology fall within the current provider silos?

Continue reading

From Seattle to Sochi, Sports Fans Are Super-Screening

SochiLess than a week after the Super Bowl, the Winter Olympics take the world stage, where top athletes represent their respective nations in a number of challenges, all to claim titles, medals and accompanying brand sponsorships. Among the anticipated outcomes: Shaun White winning the Half-Pipe, Canada taking the Hockey gold. The games are historically one of the most popular and anticipated events on U.S. television;  2012’s Summer Games viewership nearly doubled this year’s Super Bowl’s 111 million.  Let’s take a look at some of the previous Olympics’ overall ratings (throughout the 16/17-day event):

Summer Games, London, 2012 – 220 Million*
Winter Games, Vancouver, 2010 – 190 Million*
Summer Games, Beijing, 2008 – 211 Million*
Winter Games, Torino, 2006 – 187 Million*

Continue reading

Mobile Device Growth: Opportunity and Challenge

2013 was a huge year for the mobile device in the US. 25.4% growth was seen across the board for tablets, smartphones, desktops and notebooks (NDP Group). Through November, sales of tablets accounted for a massive percentage of personal computing device purchases, up to 22%, further solidifying the transition from desktops and notebooks.

Continue reading