Living in a multiscreen world

90% of all media interactions are screen-based and consumers balance their time between smartphones, tablets, PCs and televisions—often concurrently—to achieve their goals.1

Context drives device choice as consumers move seamlessly between devices throughout the day. Understanding and tracking this multi screen behavior is imperative for brands to reach their customers across marketing channels when it matters most.

Using technology to support our goals

Computers keep us productive, and 24% of our daily interactions occur on a desktop device. Smartphones keep us connected. 38% of daily media interactions occur on a smartphone. Tablets keep us entertained. 9% of media interactions occur on tablet devices. Only 10% of media interactions occur on non-screen mediums such as radio and print.1

When it comes to multiscreening, there are two common modes: sequential usage and simultaneous usage. Sequential usage is when a consumer moves from one device to another at a different time to accomplish a task, while simultaneous usage involves using more than one device simultaneously for either a related or unrelated activity. Most sequential usage involves TV plus another device.

The prevalence of sequential usage makes it imperative that brands enable customers to save their progress, interact and share experiences between devices. Here are some ways consumers are using technology across channels:

  • Saved shopping carts, signed-in experiences or the ability to email information to oneself help keep consumers engaged, regardless of device used.
  • During simultaneous usage, content viewed on one device can trigger specific behavior on the other. This means brands should not limit their conversion goals and calls to action to the device where the first point of contact was made.
  • Most of the time when TV is watched, another screen is also being used. These instances present the opportunity to convey your message and inspire action. A brand’s TV strategy should be closely aligned and integrated with the marketing strategies for digital devices.

Tracking consumers across marketing channels

As your consumers are using a wide variety of devices simultaneously or sequentially, how do you create the perfect experience that allows you to put the right information in front of the right person, at the right time?

  1. Rally the troops and rewire your organization to think about customers first—not advertising channels. At Hearts & Science, we refer to this approach as a single view. This mental shift in marketing resource allocation will ensure your customers are not abandoned when they pass between discovery, interest and action and interact with different departments in your organization. Nobody wants to see a shopping cart abandonment ad after they’ve successfully completed a transaction.
  2. Set measurable goals across the entire customer journey from awareness through to purchase. Know your key metrics and implement a central database (customer data platform) to store this information. The team at Hearts & Science leverages Omni to track multiscreen activities and behaviors to deliver mass personalization at scale.
  3. Be the customer. View the interaction with your product and brand from the consumer’s lens. Customer journey mapping and attribution reporting is your best friend here.
  4. Start small, but think big. Start tracking the customer journey for a specific product or one of your personas. Prove the end-to-end model at a small scale, then expand from there.
  5. Test and refine. The beautiful thing about omnichannel tracking is that it’s measurable and in real time. Continuous optimization based on shifting consumer behaviors is imperative for refining ad campaigns, placing content and improving the customer experience.

You’re already tracking cross-channel marketing, so the gap to omnichannel multi-device tracking is not as far of a stretch as you might think. Thinking like the customer is what generates lifetime value. Marketing from the customer lens will ensure you’re engaging your prospects across all touch points to create positive interactions and a positive customer experience.

Most importantly, you’ll be building the foundation for sustainable revenue growth. To learn more about reaching and tracking consumers in a mobile world, check out our Forces of Change article The Unreachables.


  1. Think with Google.