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I would bet $100 That You Watch TV With Your Tablet/Phone In Hand

3 MINUTE READ | May 12, 2015

I would bet $100 That You Watch TV With Your Tablet/Phone In Hand

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Madelyn Fraser

Madelyn Fraser has written this article. More details coming soon.


Many advertisers are continuing to look at “last click” attribution as the end all be all of effective advertising. With the importance of reaching users across multiple screens increasing, brands that use this last click model will struggle with seeing the value of looking at multi-touch attribution.

Think about it, when you are sitting at home watching TV, I would bet $100 that you are on the couch with your iPad or phone in your hand surfing social media sites or shopping. Just last night, I was watching my favorite show, Game of Thrones, and I was super into it, but I was simultaneously shopping for new shoes on my iPad while looking at new apartments on my phone. We live in a world where we are constantly on the move, and we don’t tackle just one task at a time anymore. We are doers, and doers don’t ever sit still, which is why it’s so important to reach us on every screen.

Below are some stats and facts about the importance of multi-touch attribution and cross device targeting:

  • 44% of consumers use smart phones in the discovery phase ₁

  • High value purchases are made on bigger screens like desktops and tablets

  • Consumers switch screens 27 times per hour ₂

  • 2 out of 10 consumers use a 2nd device in some capacity while watching TV (That’s me!) ₃

  • A recent study done by Tapad notes that when users are exposed to 2 devices, they require 55% fewer exposures to drive a conversion and 76% fewer exposures to drive a conversion when they have exposure to 3 devices.

  • Types of cross device targeting:

    • Deterministic – using log in data. An example of this is when you are logged into your Gmail account on your desktop, mobile phone and tablet device, you are known to be one person.

      • This model has high accuracy but low scale

    • Probabilistic – using behavioral patterns to determine each user.

      • This model has high scale and lower accuracy

    • Challenges:

      • Mobile devices have cookie-less environments

      • Finding a unified viewer – knowing you are reaching the same person on all of their screens

        • Safari doesn’t allow 3rd party cookies

        • Some users do not opt in to identifiers for in-app tracking on mobile devices

While many people are still trying to figure out cross device, the first step to this is looking at multi-touch attribution. If you are looking at last touch, search will always dominate. However, most people need to be reminded of a brand in order to keep it top of mind to search for. This is where display and social media comes into play. These two tactics allow for a multi touch attribution and holistic view.

₁ Forrester Research Commissioned by Tapad (4/20/2014)

₂ Time Inc. (2013)

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₃ Microsoft Advertising (2013)