If You Are Not All In For Multi-Screen… Good Luck!

steinberg-twc-sell-siderThe Sell-Sider” is a column written by the sell-side of the digital media community.

Today’s column is written by Jeremy Steinberg, SVP, Digital Ad Sales at The Weather Company.  

I started writing this post from my iPad. I finished it on my iPhone. Then I wordsmithed it on my MacBook. And I did it all while watching TV. It was easy, seamless, and I expected it to be that way. I am your modern media consumer and I am not alone in my behavior. This is the future of media consumption and the future is now. And if you are in the media business and you are not all in for multi-screen…good luck!

Screens are everywhere in my life. I have a tablet and phone with me at all times. I add a third screen, my computer, to the mix at work. Then I add a TV screen to my screen portfolio when I am home at night. It is almost impossible for me to escape a screen.

And there are millions more like me, presenting a massive opportunity for media companies to help marketers create cross-platform messages. But this is not news to you. Many publishers and marketers I talk to about multi-screen know that this is a big opportunity. They just don’t know how to deal with it. The reason is that this brave new world of screens is fraught with obstacles:

There are measurement issues.
Tracking campaigns in a seamless manner is just not possible using the standards to which we are accustomed. If we focused on the really important metrics like engagement we would not have this issue. But our collective dependence on CTR metrics and lack of proper attribution tracking makes it challenging to say the least.

There are creative issues. Clients do not want to build all the necessary creative to run a multi-screen campaign.

There are technology and cost issues. Platforms don’t easily talk to each other. Reporting and optimization can be challenging. Manually linking them together gets costly.

There is the human element. We are all too busy and distracted.

So what the heck do you do?  How can you be successful in this new world?

The short answer: Make sure you have your you-know-what together. Lack of focus will destroy any chance you have to generate revenue from multi-screen. Consumers expect the very best of everything everywhere and so do marketers. Just saying you have products on every platform will not get you the desired outcome. You need to be “all in for multi-screen.”

That means streamlining both content and advertising experiences across screens – and simplifying ad processes.

User experience. Your products need to be built for each specific screen while flowing seamlessly to products on other screens. Content needs to reach all screens as well. User authentication needs to be turn-key.

Ad experience.  Ad tech has to be streamlined. Forget about the “bells & whistles” available for every screen. Have something that works seamlessly and gets the job done. This will make it easy on your clients because it will make it easy on your sales and operations teams. Ad executions have to be scalable. Salespeople have to get religion. And sponsorship opportunities need to be better packaged. If your sales team and products are not “all in” you will not get out of the starting gate.

Once you get “all in” for multi-screen internally, you will need to change your go-to-market strategy so your clients know that you have put multi-screen at your core. Remember, you cannot just say you are multi-screen. You have to prove it. And proving it isn’t easy. You have to prove that all your products work seamlessly together. You have to prove that your audience is “all in” as well. You have to prove that the platforms are effective vehicles for marketing. And you have to prove that there is something distinctive that cannot be replicated by a competitor.

No matter how hard this may be for you and your company, remember that consumers are already living the multi-screen dream. Your clients want to get here. You need to help them.

Follow Jeremy Steinberg (@jeremysteinberg) and AdExchanger (@adexchanger) on Twitter.

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