Reaching The Modern Family: Cross-Device Advertising Is A Must


In the late 20th century, advertisers had a clear target: Mom, Dad, and their 2.3 kids, all basking in the warm glow of the living room television set. But just as the makeup of the modern family has changed dramatically, so has its media habits.

Peer in the front window of most households today, and you’re likely to see every family member on a different device, often juggling more than one at a time. In fact, recent reports showed that nearly 90 percent of households in the United States have at least three Internet-connected devices, a percentage that will only grow as consumers worldwide adopt new connected technologies and devices.

The proliferation of connected devices – each convenient in its own way based on modality – is reshaping the consumer decision journey and impacting how consumers experience the world around them.

Not surprisingly, the team here at Bing Ads has found that households engaged with multiple devices during the course of a single day are more receptive to advertising, punching above their weight relative to their share of total clicks and queries.

For marketers, this means one thing: You’re missing out if you aren’t already deploying a cross-device search strategy to capture users as they move between devices.

A Receptive Audience

While households actively engaging across all three device types (PC, smartphone and tablet) in a single day or session within a single household residence represent a single-digit percentage of the Bing Ads marketplace, they are highly engaged with –and receptive to — advertising, disproportionately delivering 15 percent of total click volume.

Based on our sample, common household device pairs break down as follows:

SEL common households 1

What we see in the above chart, for example, is that of the 100% of tablet households, 43% of them also utilize a PC and 19% utilize a smartphone device during a common day or session within the household.

Based on our analysis, over 40 percent of mobile households also use PCs, and those households contribute nearly 70 percent of mobile household’s overall click volume.

SEL common households 2

Of PC households, 10 percent also use mobile in the same session, which contributes to 25 percent of PC household click volume.

SEL common households 3

We’ve also found very little time difference in searches between devices. This likely means that customers are moving quickly between devices, not really distinguishing between them and letting the modality of each device fit their current active state during the course of the day. Of note, we found that 45 percent of PC searches followed by mobile happen within just an hour.

SEL common households 4

Keep The Consumer In Mind, Not The Device

When all is said and done, consumers today are using multiple devices in their homes, often jumping from one device to another within minutes. And the number of devices in those households is only going to grow as new devices and form factors are introduced (eyewear, watches, bands, etc.).

Savvy advertisers still abide by the age-old wisdom: keep the consumer at the center of your advertising planning, not the device. By adopting a cross-device strategy, you will reach your customers where they are, and on whatever screen. And that’s a sure path to advertising success.

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