The Oracle Data Cloud blog highlights the latest data-driven insights and trends in digital marketing and ad tech.

Fragmentation and frustration: How to rise above the noise

“Consumers spend 12 hours with media per day on average.

Millennials check their phones about ten times per hour,” said Geoff Ramsey, Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer, eMarketer at the organization's 2016 Attention! Conference

“And 85 percent of internet users surf the web while watching TV.”

While marketers understand the urgency of targeting across devices in an increasingly fragmented world, one thing is for sure: for many, it’s easier said than done.

With more devices (and more distractions) for consumers than ever before, the concept of cross-device is becoming top of mind for the industry as a whole.

The many touchpoints throughout a customer’s day, from seeing an ad on their mobile phone, to watching TV after work, to checking Facebook and scrolling to a sponsored product video – these touchpoints are key as consumers travel through today’s non-linear buyer’s journey.

Campaigns can now span across several screens or touchpoints at the same time, connecting with consumers throughout the buying process.

It’s clear that our data-driven world shows no signs of slowing down – data has opened many doors for marketers that we would never have dreamed possible years ago.

But as the industry moves toward increased data-gathering, it becomes critical for marketers to see what data is and isn’t valuable.

“Marketers should continue to be mindful of how we integrate relevant data, as opposed to noise,” explained Lauren Fisher, Senior Analyst, eMarketer to Oracle.

“Data management and data hygiene practices should be in place when data-gathering, as well as investing in a solution that organizes all of that data into a clear story that marketers can learn from,” said Fisher.

“A real person, in addition to the use of any machine-made tools, should be interpreting this data to understand what works and what doesn’t.”

It’s important to note that the theory of cross-device targeting is simple and direct (marketers want to target consumers where they are, delivering a consistent message that will drive results).

However, according to a recent study from eMarketer, understanding consumer behavior across devices continues to be one of the biggest challenges for marketers in 2016.

From tailoring messages by channel to accurately to understanding their customers over time, campaign priorities are clear – while many times, the execution is not.

With the race to gather as much data as possible across touchpoints, consumer-first focus is key to break away from the pack. “With targeting capabilities getting better and better – the question should not only be, ‘can we reach our consumers everywhere and anywhere?’” said Fisher.

“Ultimately, as we’ve seen with ad-blocking, consumers are getting frustrated with how good these capabilities are becoming.”

In other words, it’s not only marketers who are feeling the strain – customers too are effected by the increase in connected devices. The answer?

According to Fisher, staying customer-focused can be the glue that holds our fragmented journey together. By not just focusing on the capabilities of what marketers can do with targeting, but what marketers should do, it may just make the difference between brand-loyal and turned off.

The power of data, harnessed with precision and combined with a customer-first mindset, can fight back the frustration of fragmentation – for both marketers and consumers alike.

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Image: Peshkova/Shutterstock

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