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Five tips for cross-platform advertising success

By Michelle Manafy

June 6, 2014 | 4 min read

Recent research from ZenithOptimedia predicts that global advertising spend will increase its growth from 3.9 per cent in 2013 to 5.5 per cent in 2014 – reaching $537 billion by the end of the year – and then rise 5.8 per cent in 2015 and 6.1 per cent in 2015.

Michelle Manafy

While these are promising signs of growth, the opportunity is spread across ever-more devices, with mobile growing six times faster than the internet and online video advertising growing 23 per cent a year, according to Zenith.

In fact, comScore’s latest research found that US digital media consumers constitute the “multi-platform majority. And, as digital platforms continue to emerge, media fragmentation will only accelerate, creating the defining marketing challenge of this era".

While certainly a challenge, cross-platform campaigns drive real results. eMarketer’s analysis of research comparing viewers exposed to promotions across TV and digital channels found that “the data makes a good case for the effectiveness of cross-channel campaigns”.

So the top line is that advertising has returned to pre-recession spend levels. Delivering value to the bottom line, however, relies on a cross-platform ecosystem that requires a strategic approach in order to extract the maximum value of today’s marketing spend.

Here are five tips to help media ad execs partner with marketers to make the most of cross-platform advertising:

1. Understand your audience and how different segments consume content on various platforms

While there is industry research that provides a general picture of content consumption trends, demonstrating a customer’s-eye view of behaviour elevates the discussions your sales team can have with marketers and illustrates the unique opportunities you can build for them to reach their targets through your content.

2. Help your clients understand how to deliver marketing messages in formats optimised for each platform

Certainly, it might seem most efficient to take great creative and splash it across every screen. However, the most effective ads are optimised for each delivery channel. Mobile ads should be brief, personal and interactive whereas desktop ads can be longer and more immersive. Consider whether sequential programs, which follow consumers across devices, or second-screen-simultaneous experiences will be most effective, given the audience being addressed.

3. Multiple platforms does not mean multiple messages

While this may seem to contradict the previous point, the most effective cross-platform campaigns are those that build upon each other across platforms — and do not conflict with each other. Consistent reinforcement of messaging, design and or other aspects of the campaign – appropriately delivered – builds brand awareness and drives action throughout the sales funnel.

4. Integrate your sales teams, in spirit, if not literally

A culture of collaboration goes a long way here and truly integrated teams that understand the full value chain will offer the best chance of success. This may require breaking down sales silos (consider market-based rather than media-based structures) and addressing your commission structure across platforms.

5. Invest in improving measurement

Be it through an industry organisation, partnership with an established measurement firm or by creating your own solution (based upon subscriber login or proprietary tracking mechanisms), cross-platform measurement is critical for demonstrating cross platform ad-sales success.

Michelle Manafy is editorial director of the Online Publishers Association

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