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.

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