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If You’re Not Marketing to a Multi-Screen World, You’re Wasting Money

Lucas Cobb

Google’s recent shift in search algorithms has shined a light on the importance of responsive web design. But just having a responsive website that works well across all devices isn’t enough. We’re well past the tipping point of cross-device usage among travel customers in all phases of travel product research, planning, buying and experiencing. And not just in the U.S., but globally. This means that all phases and components of your marketing program should be geared to this new reality.

Our 2015 Portrait of American Travelers® study – which will be released this spring – tells us that 35% of American travelers now access the Internet from a laptop, tablet, and smartphone. And of those with tablets and phones, 47% say they “have taken the place of my laptop computer.” This means 19% of all travelers have moved on from their laptop. In fact, 38% of tablet owners cite their tablet as their preferred device for making travel bookings.

Recent research from Comscore and Expedia Media Solutions supports this and illuminates it further. Three of four UK based travelers own all three devices. Thirty-six percent of tablet owners have booked travel via their device in the prior six months, and 16% have done so via their smartphone. (Travel decisions in a multi-screen world – UK Market comscore and Expedia Media Solutions)

If we step back a bit, up the proverbial marketing funnel, and dig into interactions with advertising, both studies found significant instances where ‘clicks’ on ads were intentional. 21% of UK travelers and 19% of US travelers have clicked on tablet-based advertising. Thirteen percent of UK and 18% of US travelers have done the same via their smartphone. These percentages are well above those of traditional digital interactions.

All of these statistics point to critical market behavioral shifts that your marketing and ecommerce platforms should be focused upon. This means having a properly structured responsive website experience, segmented search campaigns, mobile responsive email templates, cross-platform media schedules, and consistent social promotion…just to get caught up.

To take it to the next level, you'll need the right partners crunching your customer interaction data to assist with identifying users between their devices. Such identification facilitates the creation of a personalized messaging strategy that connects with known users directly and infers their spot in the ‘funnel’ regardless of device. Such knowledge empowers us to reduce waste in our integrated programs and ultimately drive more quality engagements and higher conversion rates.

Isn’t it sweet irony as a marketer to know that 82% of device owners in the US note that “these devices have made my life easier”?

I’d hazard to guess the same number of marketers would lean the other way.

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