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The Power of Cross-Device: Advertiser Sees 95% Sales Lift

A proliferation of channels, devices and formats means that marketers need to shift their strategies for reaching audiences with consistent messages across the customer journey. It’s a challenging marketing environment and one that will remain so for those who don’t use data and insights to guide their efforts. The case of a financial advertiser we work with is a good example of what a brand can achieve when it focuses less on the channel and more on the target audience.

Smart digital advertisers know the power of A/B testing and its potential to reveal the impact of their ads with a cross-device approach or reaching the same person on multiple devices. Our study of work with the financial advertiser revealed that sales action rates practically doubled when consumers engaged with both display and video ads across more than one device.

The metrics, a rare look at lift in a cross device and multi-channel context, show users experiencing display and video ads across their devices — the display banner on a laptop, for example, and the video on their smartphone or tablet — drove a 95.5% sales rate lift for a major financial advertiser.

By comparison, when consumers in the study engaged with display ads on mobile devices only, the lift in the single-device experience was only 35.5%. Similarly, when serving the impression to consumers as only video, the lift topped off at 35.2%. Meanwhile, display-only impressions generated a comparably smaller 17.9% lift.

The takeaway is clear: the sales action lift of consumers exposed to display banners and video ads on multiple devices was dramatically higher than any other form or combination of served impression.

Deeper Look: Inside the Cross-Device Study

For our advertiser, sales action rates came close to doubling across the course of the A/B test. Other findings included: 

  • Most of the consumers (95%) saw desktop display and/or video impressions related to the advertiser’s services.
  • However, 5% of the users in the study saw a public service announcement instead of the desktop display and/or video ad.
  • The study then focused on resulting sales actions as they happened across two devices. Did consumers see ads on only a single device, served through a single channel only? Or did they see desktop display and video, or various combinations on a single device? 

When users saw both a desktop display and video impression (across both devices), they were nearly twice as likely to convert than the control group. That's about five times the lift of display-only users, and about three times the lift that video-only could generate.

Proof Point: Cross-Device Tracking is Powerful

What’s also key is that the data our advertiser captured would have gone unnoticed without cross-device tracking methods and technology in place. The results are a remarkable — and empirical — illustration of the power of cross-device attribution. 

With cross-device as an established part of marketing campaigns, advertisers in the omnichannel ecosystem are uniquely situated: they can both do it — that is, track impressions across multiple iterations of consumer hardware and screens — and then they can show it. They can provide real-world data that substantiate how a campaign actually engages its intended audience.

Cross-device attribution is deeply intertwined with the future of digital advertising, but, as the results in our advertiser’s study show, the boost to sales actions is already underway. For cross-device campaigns, the proof point for advertisers is available now.

Maxwell Knight

VP, Marketing Science Services