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Multi-Device Usage and the Implications on Online-Marketing


Multi-Device Usage and the Implications on Online-Marketing

Cross-device testing is a crucial key success factor in our multi-device-landscaped world for improving the effectiveness of our online businesses. Maybe its beneficial impact is often a bit underrated, and that is why we already wrote about multi-device usage and the resulting importance of cross-device testing in one of our latest blog-posts about e-commerce. Today we want to highlight the topic with regards to its relevance for online marketing.

Fragmented Device Landscape – an Obstacle for Online Marketing Campaigns

If you break it down to the essence, online marketing campaigns mainly consist of the three components: image, text, and call-to-action. I know, most marketers will now feel this is a misrepresentation of their daily work. Of course, online marketing is way more than just creating appealing graphics with image, text, and CTA. Based on the big picture, marketers need to go through endless analyses and conversion rate optimization cycles, while always keeping in mind their 360° marketing strategy with a storytelling approach fitting across all devices in the best case. But if we are looking at the visible result of a campaign it is these three components that remain.
The perfect arrangement and layout of these components is the set screw to optimize a campaign’s KPIs like click-through-rate, conversion-rate and bounce-rate. Often through executing one A/B-test after another (see our latest blog post about conversion rate optimization, if you are interested in learning how you can optimize more efficiently).

Ok, so image, text, CTA and A/B-Testing sounds like a plan that is easy to tackle. But let me tell you something: this is easier said than done. As the term multi-device usage already implies, customers tend to consume ads on many different devices. The hundreds of different screen sizes, operations systems, and email providers make it anything but easy to secure that the marketing campaigns work as intended for every customer on his or her device and that conversation rate optimization tests really show valid results.

Differences in Mobile and Desktop Marketing

Campaigns need to differ depending on the used device. The different user behavior of using a smartphone compared to a desktop is only one reason. The most obvious factor is the screen size. It is not only done by simply shrinking a graphic to the smartphone sizes to optimize for mobile. Moreover, the whole layout needs to be adapted depending on the device the campaign is received. Here are some best practices on how to change the three components image, text and CTA when creating multi-device campaigns:

The right amount of text content for a desktop campaign is in nearly all cases too much for smartphone campaigns. You can’t expect the targeted person to scroll and consume longer than a couple of seconds. Ensure that the layout of your campaign is simple, understandable, and easy to grasp for the consumer.

It is all about the right format. When running a cross-platform marketing strategy, a common issue is that images get chosen in formats that do not match the best practices for their destination. For mobile, images cropped to portrait-aspect ratio often perform better whereas landscape-aspect ratio is the go-to format for desktop campaigns. It is often overlooked to optimize for the specific target destination although it can have sizable effects on ROI.

For desktop campaigns, we often use more CTA’s because we want to offer the consumer a variety of choices, be it a newsletter-subscription, a link to a specific landing page or of course the “Buy”-Button. For mobile CTAs should be applied with caution. Less is more is the credo here, and you should try to showcase only one actionable item at a time. Two or more CTAs side by side will overload the frame, and their effectiveness will be diluted.

Device Cloud for Multi-Device Testing of Online Marketing Campaigns

The stated best practices are a good first step. However, they only cover general differences between mobile and desktop marketing and still don’t help much when it comes to handling the sheer never-ending flow of different and new device sizes that are accompanied with the increase in cross-device usage.

If you really want to have an overview on how your campaigns look on the different desktop, tablet and smartphone versions you need a testing platform to test all the combinations of operating systems, devices, browser versions and email providers without buying hundreds of different real devices. The Testbirds Device Cloud gives access to this device world in a digital manner. It is possible to test on 2.5 million virtual combinations of devices, operating systems, and browsers, as well as real devices all around the world in the Global Real Device Network.

Let’s meet at Dmexco

I have two good news for you: 1) If you want to learn more about how we can help you improve your online marketing KPIs, we can talk about this at the dmexco on 11th and 12th of September in Cologne. 2) If you don’t have a dmexco ticket, you can win one in our raffle by simply booking a meeting with us. What are you waiting for, click the button and we will see each other at dmexco!

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About the author

Birds flying high, you know how I feel… whenever Regina is not working in the marketing-team  for Testbirds, you can find her singing with her Jazz-Trio .



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Testbirds specialises in the testing of software such as apps, websites and Internet of Things applications by using innovative technologies and solutions. Under the slogan, “Testing Reality”, the company offers various testing methods to its clients looking to optimise the user-friendliness and functionality of their digital products. With over 250,000 registered testers located in 193 countries, Testbirds is one of the world’s leading crowdtesting providers. In addition, the IT service provider utilises cloud based technologies to support customers in the optimisation of their digital products. The combination of the two testing methods delivers a unique and extensive portfolio that takes the quality of software to the next level. Testbirds was founded in 2011 by Philipp Benkler, Georg Hansbauer and Markus Steinhauser. Today, the company has over 100 employees. Other than its headquarters in Munich, there are now offices in Amsterdam, London and Stockholm, franchises in Hungary and Russia and sales partners in Italy.

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