Using Desktop and Mobile Digital Advertising for Cross-Device Success

The number of mobile users engaging with brands continues to skyrocket, year after year. In 2020 alone, a 53% majority of shopping traffic came from mobile devices.

At the same time, no marketer should jump to write off desktop’s moment as being over. Considering all global e-commerce revenue as a whole, 56% of it came from desktop users who lean into the increased visual real estate, higher screen resolution, and more convenient navigation experience.

Many brands have already centered their advertising around desktop and now find themselves needing to add depth to their mobile digital advertising in order to get current with the times. This trend is being actively encouraged by major players like Google, who ha implemented mobile-first indexing and other pushes that prioritize a quick, well-designed mobile experience.

Below, we will highlight desktop advertising, mobile digital advertising, and cross-device advertising, as well as some actions you can take now to optimize your brand’s presence on each of these channels. Through our recommendations, we strive to highlight the advantages of desktop versus mobile, and what sorts of special measures you can test on each.

Every industry is different, and so everything from the exact audience breakdown by channel through the specific features to test will vary. Given that your brand likely wants to occupy a unique niche that differentiates it from competitors, and given how quickly digital marketing performance evolves, it is best to conduct strategic testing for your business. Remember, your priorities for testing and even the amount of resource spend you allocate towards testing can—and should—evolve with your business’ needs and resources, as well as any data findings you collect.

Mobile Digital Advertising: The Wunderkind

Market research across all industries continues to show that mobile digital advertising is where the most sharing happens. As a result, competition tends to focus on how each individual brand can include as close to perfectly curated or tailored content directly to users right when they engage with the brand.

There are features built into mobile that make it easier to achieve the delivery of such tailored content to captive audiences. Take, for example, the location services that most people enable on their mobile devices. With this functionality present, it is easier to implement geographic targeting that serves up customized results that are relevant to where an individual user is located. If “local” is in any way relevant to your business’ offerings, building out or souping up any associated pages and content around locations is one relatively simple way to boost your mobile presence.

Mobile advertising also shows distinct strengths for video advertising. Whereas on desktop, videos are often watched in windows alongside other tasks, on mobile the focus tends to be entirely on the media being played. Full attention allows for messaging to better reach consumers, and may make them feel more confident in their assessment of a brand and its products or services. Both this confidence as well as the particular convenience in sharing things via mobile makes it a particularly attractive advertising platform. Much of this convenience comes from how various social media platforms have designed very robust experiences on mobile apps.

Optimizing pages to load quickly and faithfully—for a seamless viewing and navigation experience—is another way to boost your mobile digital advertising. You can increase everything from visibility in search through user conversions, simply by providing a smoother user experience across mobile devices.

Desktop Experience: The OG of Digital Advertising

The desktop experience allows perhaps the most room for A/B testing, given the visual real estate at your—and your audience’s—disposal. You have the broadest range of options to test different versions of all of your site’s elements. You can test what headlines resonate best with your visitors, and then even carry this testing over into paid search or social media for further refinements. You also need to test how you broadcast this headline, including the imagery you choose to associate with it as well as generally defining what is “above the fold” on your site—which is usually first done on desktop, and then adapted to ensure it works on mobile as well.

CTAs represent a huge yet often overlooked opportunity for testing. Everything from the wording on the CTAs through the color chosen, the placement throughout pages and so forth is worth deliberate consideration. All of this testing should shed light on the needs of your target audience, and what resonates best with them.

Even if they have spent time researching and exploring brands on their mobile devices, many consumers prefer to complete their purchase on their desktop device. For some, desktop is simply what they are most comfortable with; for others, desktop offers a less cramped visual experience.

Cross-Device Success: The Holy Grail

Successful brand advertising across both desktop and mobile devices—also known as cross-device marketing—is widely considered to be best practice. Even users that tend to favor one platform over the other will still engage with both, and multiple studies have continued to show that repeated brand exposure across multiple settings drives successful messaging and, ultimately, conversions.

While it may sound straightforward, many businesses stop short of the most fundamental “first step” in cross-device success: knowing where their potential customers live. Most businesses are sitting on data, even just within their Google Analytics dashboard (no fancy apps or other tools required). What devices do users use? More importantly, how does the device breakdown vary with the different pages that users engage with? You are likely already examining the steps involved in your funnel. What pages—and user devices—are tied to each step in the funnel?

Even if you are strapped for resources, these insights can help you ensure that you are investing resources into creating better user experiences for the content, channels, and devices that your visitors are actually engaging with. Don’t spend your time preparing for possible audiences until you have devoted a significant amount of time optimizing for the audiences you do have.

Take this a step further and use heat mapping to see how users engage with elements on pages, and understand where there is room for improvement. For example, are visitors looking to click somewhere on a page where they currently cannot? If you place an important link there, you can drive traffic to your money pages. Is there critical content belonging to your brand that is currently going unseen? Once you learn about it, you find places to feature it more prominently.

You may also choose different directions for content development. Video is trendy even in SEO, but if a meaningful number of your site visitors are on mobile, now might be the time to invest more in creating meaningful video content. For desktop users, build a navigation scheme that makes sense; you can keep money pages top-of-mind for mobile users, but desktop users—with the monitor real estate to explore a bit more—could be nudged along a deeper dive into your products and services.

For every optimization idea you have, be sure to test it across both desktop and mobile experiences. We touched upon this when covering desktop advertising: while changes may be easier to test on desktop (as well as paid search and social), any selected changes should be fit for both.


Every advertiser wants to know which particular channel will be the golden ticket cure-all that their brand can ride to maximum success. The reality is that there is no single channel that guarantees success. Cross-device success requires that advertisers master both desktop and mobile advertising in ways that meet the precise needs of their target audience.

Partner with Digilant for Cross-Device Wins

If you are looking to win at omnichannel marketing, Digilant is the partner to choose. We think beyond just specific channels and in terms of the holistic brand experience. Work with us to learn what boundless advertising success across all devices really feels like.

Your Guide to a CPG Omnichannel Marketing Strategy

If you’re looking to drive measurable growth for CPG brands, you must have an effective CPG omnichannel marketing strategy. Consumers have gotten used to the notion of getting what they want and need online, but still want the same experiences they had when shopping in-store. Although things are getting somewhat back to normal, there is still an opportunity to cater to these types of customers without them losing interest in a great shopping experience from brands they love.

While some companies may have a siloed structure within their organizations and don’t have the resources or analytical know-how to integrate captured data to create a holistic, effective CPG omnichannel marketing strategy, understanding how this strategy is imperative to future success can make the difference between moving forward or being left behind.

What is Omnichannel Marketing?

Think about the brands providing a cohesive shopping experience for their customers, whether online or in-person. The same products and experiences are accessible to everyone, catering to every audience while empowering buyers. Customers are reached across a number of channels working together based on their buying cycle state.

The beauty of a CPG omnichannel marketing strategy is the granular way consumer buying patterns are identified to determine who is most likely to purchase based on the in-store or online experience.

What is an Omnichannel Strategy?

An omnichannel strategy delivers campaigns differently. It focuses on delivering content across the entire buyer’s journey, no matter where they are in the funnel. The brand is focused and strategic, providing the same voice on every platform regardless of the audience. Each channel used should build on the next, creating a strong presence of channels working together for the buyer.

Although different channels are used, traditional media should still be included. A good omnichannel strategy includes radio, OOH, digital, eBooks, brochures, flyers, packaging, and other tactics.

CPG and Omnichannel Marketing

Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) can really thrive in the omnichannel marketing space. Consumers like being engaged with brands, so the communication must be there. With so many ways to share content, brands must incorporate all these tactics into their strategy to effectively reach every audience. Making customers feel like their buying journey is tailored just for them is key. CPG has a unique opportunity to gain traction with customers by understanding and delivering optimized communications at every touchpoint.

Doing the research matters. The brand must find out who their customers are, what they are buying, how they are buying (online or in-store), are there products that are bought only online or in-store? How many channels are in their buyer’s journey before they decide to buy? This is a great opportunity for CPG companies to stand out from their competition and make a real impact in the marketplace among those customers that are interested in their brand.

With customers shopping online more, flexibility in the way the experience is presented makes a difference. Mobile devices are one of the best ways to engage customers and drive conversions, but employing a direct approach that includes operations, marketing, sales channels, and fulfillment within their CPG omnichannel marketing strategy.

CPG brands can succeed by building on this direct approach to keep up with the modern consumer by doing the following:

1. Capitalize on direct-to-consumer channels.

Companies that have started building direct-to-consumer sites are the real winners. Customers in the past year have turned to DTC to purchase items they regularly use or CPGs. In fact, 87% of consumers indicate they would purchase directly from brands online. How can this occur? Consider any channel conflict that may occur by diversifying products being sold online and in-store, don’t neglect new, emerging technology, and have the right fulfillment systems in place.

2. Use social media to promote the brand.

It’s no secret that brands must be on social media to engage with different audiences. Brands that have a DTC website are ahead of the curve but giving consumers options to purchase on social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook enhances the experience and helps build stronger connections. Using additional channels to engage and drive consumers to the DTC site helps create continuity and brand awareness. Tik Tok is one of the best platforms to do this.

3. Be transparent with inventory.

Not only do CPG brands need to focus on DTC and promoting the brand, but having what consumers want in stock makes the brand look good, increases demand because they don’t have to wait for new inventory, and helps the back office centralize fulfillment operations.

4. Have a seamless order and fulfillment process.

There are many companies that only have DTC options available to customers in certain areas. One of the reasons this is so effective is because their order, shipping, and fulfillment processes are second-to-none. Having the inventory on hand and a quick shipping process makes consumers happy and eager to spend money on that brand again.

By gathering data and gaining a deeper understanding of their customers to fully grasp their challenges, goals, and needs, CPG brands will be able to provide the best omnichannel experience. Departments within the organization must work together, restructuring how they operate to develop an integrated customer experience from every touchpoint. By working together, each department understands how they all contribute to the customer experience and can communicate from an agile marketing mindset. eCommerce is a huge part of CPG brands and will continue to grow with consumer demand. CPG brand strategies must also include voice search, an enhanced relationship with retailers, and adapt additional channels that help them stay relevant in this space.

The Value of a CPG Omnichannel Marketing Strategy

Is it really worth it to offer an omnichannel experience for consumers? Absolutely. CPG brands who understand the value of these types of experiences within their marketing strategy have a 30% higher lifetime value than the brands that don’t.

If your brand is looking to develop a CPG omnichannel marketing strategy, working with a team that understands the nuances and development process is key. The team at Digilant works with your brand to create a strategy that helps you engage, interact, and convert your audience into loyal customers. Interested in learning more? Contact us today.

Performance Marketing: Key Channel Considerations

At the start of 2021, the top priority among marketers worldwide was to generate more quality leads, according to eMarketer. This study indicates that nearly 80% of respondents are interested in growing their pool of leads and consumers, or rather, first-party data. However, a recent study by Hubspot found that 61% of marketers say generating traffic and leads is their top challenge. 

For any advertisers that find themselves in this challenging position, performance marketing may be the answer for you. Performance marketing, also known as pay-for-performance advertising, changes the game for digital advertisers. Not only does this tactic help build your 1st party CRM pool, it, in turn, also reduces your reliance on third-party data, giving you longevity in the ability to continue to build your audience. 

For those unsure what performance marketing is or how you can incorporate it into your digital advertising playbook, keep reading for a deep dive into performance marketing and key considerations for advertisers. 

What is performance marketing?

Performance marketing is a tactic within digital advertising in which the advertiser only pays when there is a measurable result, such as a click, form fill, app install, purchase, or lead generation. This form of digital advertising flips the traditional ”pay before you go” methods on their head.

Performance marketing can be used across a variety of channel, including: 

  • Display
  • Social
  • Influencer
  • Content/Blog Posts
  • Native
  • Coupon Sites
  • Loyalty Sites
  • Deal Sites
  • Email

How Does it work?

Despite the unique payment method, performance marketing uses the same creative ad formats and targeting tactics as your other digital advertising initiatives. The process simply works as follows: 

1. Develop Audience

The client identifies profiles and behaviors they want to engage. These initiate which websites to use to engage with potential customers in a cookieless environment leveraging first-party or second-party data

2. Target Audience

Using contextual, behavioral, site-specific, native site placement, list segmentation, age, gender, and state/city level geo-targeting ensures your ad is getting in front of the right audience.

3. Convert Consumers

Consumer converts on brand websites, in-app, or other publisher websites, generating quality consumers for advertisers. 

4. Validate Data

Before sending the lead to the client, a quality performance marketing agency will validate the lead. They’ll check the email, address, phone number, and monitor and filter out any fraud, profanity, and if they are already in your database.

5. Deliver

The customer information is then delivered directly to the client’s CRM, ESP, or DMP. 

EXAMPLE: Khol’s only pays for leads that sign up to receive their newsletter

3 Key Channel Considerations for Performance Marketing

As mentioned above, performance marketing is an excellent tool for advertisers looking to up their first-party data. However, this channel has additional benefits that make it an ideal solution for those first entering the digital marketing world, those looking for a different avenue, or to test a new channel. 

1. Low(er) Risk

Because you are paying for a specific action – cost per lead (CPL), for example – this automatically reduces the risk of wasted spending. For marketers on a tighter budget or needed to justify their media spend more thoroughly, performance marketing has a minimal cost of entry and requirement to invest upfront. Every dollar spent ties directly back to your KPI, yielding lower risk.  

2. ROI Focused 

Performance marketing, unsurprisingly, is highly ROI (return on investment) driven. Working with a performance marketing agency, you’ll receive ROI analysis updated in real-time, giving you access to data such as performance, conversions, and spend. Throughout your campaign, you can see what sales funnels consumers are using, how they navigate your website, and more applicable data. 

You can then use this knowledge and information to target further your existing and future campaigns, which not only helps your performance marketing campaigns but your overall digital marketing strategy. 

3. Free Branding 

In an ideal world, everyone that sees your performance marketing ad would convert. But, even with the most well-targeting, captivating ad, we know this isn’t the case. However, this leads to the third key consideration when investing in performance marketing.

Other forms of digital advertising require you to pay for impressions. With performance marketing, any person that sees your ad but doesn’t convert yields free branding. 

Performance Marketing Complements Programmatic Advertising

As alluded to above, performance marketing is not an isolated channel. Instead, it works in conjunction with your other digital advertising initiatives and helps to further your entire digital advertising strategy with the data, insights, and analytics it yields. 

If you’re running programmatic advertising campaigns, performance marketing can help:

  • Increases overall KPI of a combined initiative by using a more effective CPM approach. 
  • Balances out a multi-goal campaign. Say you are trying to grow brand awareness while also recruiting employees. Your programmatic campaign can focus on impressions and clicks, while a performance marketing campaign can complement the overall initiative by driving prospective employee leads. Both channels are used to best suit the different goals. 
  • Grow your first-party data pool so that it can be used in activation to build look-alike audiences to then use in current and future campaigns 

Preparing for the (Cookieless) Future with Performance Marketing

As more conversions emerge regarding third-party data and the cookie-deprived future, one of the best initiatives marketers can take to prepare is to build out their own first-party CRM. A great way to do so? Performance Marketing. 

Performance marketing gives advertiser’s the opportunity to attain quality leads and build their first-party data while also giving them a lower barrier of entry into the digital advertising world with the unique payment system. 

Digilant’s Performance Marketing Expertise

Digilant is a full-service digital advertising agency, which makes us your one-stop-shop for all things digital advertising: programmatic, social, search, and of course, performance marketing. We have relationships with thousands of publishers that we work on on a pay-for-performance basis, ensuring that your ads reach your audience where they already spend their time. 

On top of these beneficial partnerships, we know that advertisers feel more pressure than ever to quantify their media spend. This is why we offer 24/7 access to 100% transparent analytics dashboards, updated in real-time. These dashboards cover all your digital advertising campaigns in one place. This eases your ability to see what channels are working best and shift investments to achieve your desired KPIs better. 

When partnering with Digilant, you’ll have a team of performance marketing experts working on your behalf to ensure the best creative and tactical solutions are used for your campaigns. Whether it is a new creative ad format, uncovering a new audience, or testing a new channel, Digilant combines data-driven insights with industry expertise to ensure the best possible results. 

Interested in learning more about Digilant’s performance marketing solutions? We’re eager to talk. Contact us today!

5 Benefits of Hiring an Experienced Higher Education Marketing Agency

Higher education institutions, like many industries, have faced a challenging year. As schools switched their classes and programs to a virtual model, so did many recruitment and marketing events. Critical initiatives for attracting and retaining students, such as prospective student days, campus tours, shadowing, and in-person interviews, needed to be re-considered. Schools were quick on their feet, shifting to virtual recruitment opportunities, interacting with students online. 

But now, as the long-awaited “new normal” is quickly coming to fruition, it’s clear that many of these online initiatives were beneficial outside of the pandemic’s circumstances. And beyond virtual events, interacting and reaching students in an online manner presents excellent opportunities for schools moving forward. 

The bulk of today’s prospective students fall into the digital native generations of Gen Z and millennials who are keen to find new brands – or in this case, school and educational programs – in an online setting. They are online research wizards, social media mavens, and omnichannel shoppers, allowing schools to converse, reach, and interact with them across various digital advertising strategies. 

These online opportunities quickly made a splash with students, meaning that schools without an online digital advertising presence may soon fall behind, losing out on prospective students to their competitors. If your internal team doesn’t have the expertise or resources to implement a strategic digital marketing strategy finding a higher education marketing agency might be the best solution. Below we’ve outlined five benefits your organization will experience when deciding to outsource your digital advertising with a digital advertising partner. 

5 Benefits Higher Education Marketing Agencies Provide

1. Think Outside the Box

Higher education institutions naturally lean on the ideals of tradition and consistency to shape their messaging and marketing strategies. After all, these strong legacy ideals are what students are attracted to when applying to programs. Although the tone and messaging may provide success for the institution, traditional advertising channels and tactics may not hit the mark anymore. 

Hiring a digital marketing agency will allow an outside party to look at your marketing strategy, see what’s working well, and identify areas for opportunity and growth. Then, with a fresh set of eyes and a deep dive into your school, a digital marketing agency is poised to take your marketing efforts to the next level, with a fresh set of ideas, channels, and tactics to ensure you’re reaching the right students for your school.  

2. Implement an Omnichannel Experience

Just as consumers lean on omnichannel shopping experiences when buying their everyday goods, students also prefer an omnichannel “shopping” experience when browsing for potential schools. In 2018, a group of high school students was asked how they first contacted or made an initial inquiry about a school. Top answers included in-person college fairs, television ads, display ads, social media, and OOH ads. Clearly, there isn’t one overarching strategy that reaches students across the board.

Omnichannel Advertising strategies ensure that your school has a presence across the most critical channels that students use – search, social, OOH, CTV, display, and more. 

The benefit of hiring an experienced higher education marketing agency is that they have the subject matter and channel experts to implement the best campaigns across the different channels. Rather than using internal resources to learn the intricacies of each platform, an agency has an expert or team of experts for each channel to ensure your campaigns are optimized, compliant, and targeted.

In addition, having all your campaign under one roof gives the agency the ability to shift budgets and strategies quickly and efficiently to ensure the best use of your media budget (more on this to come).

3. Lead with Data-Driven Decisions

When making decisions about where to invest time and digital marketing budgets, many organizations rely on industry trends or where they think their audience is. When partnering with a higher education marketing agency, they’ll push you to shift this mindset to data-driven decisions. In turn, these decisions will provide a more comprehensive, successful strategy, setting your organization up for long-term success. 

Recently, we spoke with our client, Ross Pearo, the Executive Director, Strategic Planning and Marketing at the Division of Continuing Education at Harvard University, for a webinar covering the importance of data analytics. He stated that his team’s instincts about what they thought would work – drive conversions and engage their market – weren’t reflective of the data’s story. Since working with our team, Harvard DCE has shifted its mindset towards following actual data to inform their decisions. Now, knowing that data and optimization back their always-on strategies, they’re empowered and able to take strategic risks when appropriate, whether it be a new creative direction or channel. 

“We’ve found that data is the single best tool we’ve got to make good use of what budget we have.”

Ross Pearo, Executive Director, Strategic Planning and Marketing in the Division of Continuing Education at Harvard University.

4. Cost-Effective Digital Marketing

Marketers are pressed more and more to justify their media budgets – working with smaller budgets but expected to drive the same ROI. Higher education marketers are no different. The entire organization needs to feel comfortable with how marketing dollars are spent. 

When working with a digital marketing agency, you get a complete picture of your marketing strategy, how the budget is allocated to ensure the best results and return.

An experienced higher education marketing agency will provide comprehensive reports and dashboards that enable you to see this data in real-time. Rather than piecemealing reports from different vendors, freelancers, and your internal materials, you will able to see how the data-driven decisions you’ve implemented are working to not only better reach your audience but also optimize your budget.  

5. Implement a Holistic Approach

It’s essential to maintain a strategic, high-level view of how all your marketing and advertising initiatives are working together to benefit your organization. As mentioned above, working with a higher education marketing agency ensure that nothing slips through the cracks due to a lack of resources and time. 

Going back to our recent conversion with Harvard DCE, Ross summed up the benefits of higher education marketers experience when partnering with an experienced digital marketing partner: 

“Nothing works well in isolation. You have to take a holistic view of how everything is working together to achieve your goals. With a [partnership], you can see SEM, social, and display all at the same time. That way, you aren’t sacrificing one for the detriment of the other.”

Ross Pearo

Interested in learning more about how we’ve helped the Harvard team use marketing analytics to drive growth during a pandemic? Watch our on-demand webinar here

Ready to Invest in a Higher Education Marketing Agency? 

According to Checkfront, 90% of enrolled students search for, discover, and choose higher education institutions and courses online. So, if your organization doesn’t already have an online digital advertising strategy in place, the time to invest is now. 

Digilant’s Expertise in Higher Education Digital Marketing

We understand the challenges that higher education marketers face: as students grow savvier with their research and decision process, the challenge to stand out from the competition increases. Pair this with tighter budgets and high expectations from the organization, and higher education marketers need to be strategic and thoughtful with where they invest.  

The Digilant has ample experience helping higher education institutions, large and small, across various program levels. Learn more about how we helped a prestigious university drive enrollment for their professional education programs by nearly 25% here.

Our campaigns start in the hands of our planning and insights team. They dive into audience research, ensuring we have a complete picture of your audience and uncover any potential groups or audience attributes that may have overlooked in the past. From there, we use this data to inform and create a data-driven strategy across appropriate channels – programmatic, search, and social.

As mentioned above, we know transparency into data and analytics is essential for marketers. We use holistic dashboards and analytics, updated in real-time to ensure our clients have a complete picture of their digital advertising strategy throughout their campaigns. Our team strives to empower our clients to make informed decisions, backed by data to push their advertising campaigns from now to next. 

Are you interested in learning more about Digilant’s expertise in higher education digital marketing? Let’s talk.

The sophistication of cannabis advertising is going to come quick

The Pot Market Is Blazing New Trails

The marijuana space is growing considerably, as more and more states permit recreational use, but serious obstacles remain

by David Ward via ANA

With an increasing number of states moving toward legalizing recreational use of pot and publishers growing more accepting of cannabis-themed advertising, marijuana brands are headed for the mainstream. Recently, Digilant EVP of Media Operations, Shaun Gibbons spoke with David Ward regarding the shift in attitude toward marijuana consumption and how digital publishers are loosening or ending those advertising restrictions.

“Cannabis advertisers can build manual site lists of endemic publishers, but they can also get access to pre-approved PMP (private marketplace) inventory through companies like Acuity Ads. If the inventory quality is uncertain, layering on exclusion and inclusion lists and investing in PMP inventory is a great place to take back some control of where your ad creatives are running.”

Shaun Gibbons, EVP Media Operations

Read the full piece here.

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