When it comes to finding and talking to your target audience, advertisers have many options at their disposal that they know and trust. Brands now have the knowledge to successfully reach and engage consumers through multiple media formats, including television, billboards, web browsers, etc.
But as time spent on mobile rises, they should consider adding apps into their media portfolio. For one, Americans now spend more time using their mobile devices than watching television. And apps account for 90% of all time spent using smartphones.
With apps being such a part of everyday life, all brands need to reach out to consumers in-app and know how they can extend their audiences onto mobile. In the context of a multichannel strategy, it’s becoming increasingly crucial for brands to reach people within mobile apps. This is why many companies are adopting a mobile-first approach and beginning to utilize privacy-first, identity-based universal IDs for multichannel marketing. The IDs will help to unlock mobile as a channel, which was earlier blocked.
Understanding the Current Identity Ecosystem
While many leading brands are already advertising in-app to some extent, they are hampered in their efforts to make the most of this channel due to a disconnect between the identity solutions used in-app versus what is available in other digital channels, namely browsers.
Browser-based advertising has been around for much longer, so many leading brands are already familiar with its pluses and minuses. And for a long time, audience targeting in browsers was based on cookies, mostly third-party cookies but also first-party cookies sometimes too.
In contrast, the core identifying feature on the mobile side has long been the mobile advertising ID or the mobile device ID.
Of course, these are not the only identification options available both within browsers and apps. But they are the most prevalent.
The problem arises when advertisers try to look at all of their digital advertising efforts from a more cohesive lens. Third-party cookies don’t always align with mobile IDs, inhibiting a brand’s ability to see how someone is both using the web (on desktops, laptops and/or mobile devices) and how someone is using different mobile apps. It’s quite difficult to implement a multichannel marketing strategy when you can’t track someone from one digital environment to another one.
As a result of this disconnect, too many brands end up choosing sides. And what ends up winning out are the options they know the best (oftentimes browsers). This is a shame, as it means that many brands are forsaking the reach and scale of apps just in the name of expediency.
How to Bridge the Gaps and Extend Your Audiences
Don’t leave apps on the chopping block. Instead, adopt an identification tool capable of helping you understand audience behavior both the in browser and in the app. With third-party cookies fading away and with time spent in-app rising, brands must be able to understand and identify the right audiences regardless of the device they’re using or how they’re accessing media. This is the only way to develop the holistic knowledge that’s key to successful multichannel marketing.
Just make sure to adopt an omnichannel identification solution that keeps privacy top of mind. Between GDPR, CCPA and other legal frameworks in the works, privacy is key for both consumers and lawmakers. So long as the chosen identity solution is anonymized, not only can brands have a cohesive multichannel advertising strategy, but they can also ensure that consumer privacy preferences are noted across all types of media.
And being able to extend existing audience segments beyond browsers and legacy media is key for future success, especially as new outlets emerge. In the near future, as connected TV continues to grow apace, brands should want to get ahead of this nascent trend and be able to track their audiences here too, in addition to in mobile apps and on browsers.
Multichannel marketing is the future, and apps are a key part of any omnichannel plan. Just be sure your audience identification solution can keep up.