Video Essentials

Adobe: How to Reach Fragmented Online Customers Across Devices

“The goals of advertising haven’t changed, it’s just now we do it,” said Tim Waddell, director of product marketing for Adobe.

Waddell spoke at today’s Adobe Summit conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, explaining his company’s concept of people-based marketing. The goals are the same, he said, but new technology helps marketers accomplish their goals more effectively.


Tim Waddell, director of product marketing for Adobe

Marketers still need to find an audience, learn what they want, and reach them with the right message. “Where do I most efficiently reach the highest concentration of these users?” Waddell asked.

With today’s online consumers dividing their attention among multiple devices, delivering a relevant message is just as critical as ever, “Its just become a lot more challenging.” Waddell noted that 40 percent of the people who start a journey on one device finish it on another. That’s today’s fragmented consumer landscape.

The challenge for marketers is to adapt and change to fit this new world. Target the devices, but understand that it’s the people behind those devices that you really need to reach. Marketers need to know what the customer journey looks like nowadays: What search did prospective customers make? What pages did they view? And are brands spending their budgets in the right places?

Yesterday at Adobe Summit, Adobe announced its device coop, an opt-in program where retailers can contribute their own customer identification data and get enriched data from other retailers in return. So while a retailer might only know a customer’s ID on one device, the coop would help them identify that same customer on multiple devices. That allows them to target customers, and makes ad frequency capping and sequential advertising possible.

It’s crucial that privacy be part of this cooperative program, Waddell stressed. The system helps marketers move from device-centric targeting to person-centric targeting. It also helps marketers get a better understanding of the costs needed to acquire new customers.

“What this gets us is this connected set of experiences and devices,” Waddell said.

Half of today’s online consumers use search to quickly find what they want, but the other half go through multiple touch points. Those multiple touch-point conversions ultimately deliver more value, Waddell said. Cross-device targeting lets brands optimize their messages and improve attribution.

Using the Super Bowl as an example, Waddell said that in 2014 a 30-second spot cost $4.5 million, and delivered an average CPM of $40. But carve out a specific demo and that cost climbs into the hundreds per customer—plus, there’s an ad frequency of one. If brands go in a different direction, they can reach 112 million potential customers for the same budget, delivering multiple messages.

“The Super bowl is cool….but there’s so much stuff you could do,” Waddell said.


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