The Astonishing Reality of Cross-Device Attribution

Katherine Buchholz Product Marketing Manager, DialogTech

Raise your hand if you’re targeting consumers across devices. Now keep it raised if you understand the cross-device behavior of your customers and can actually track it. (It’s okay if your hand didn’t stay raised.)

Impressive strides have been made in recent years to target consumers across the various devices they use. The need to do this has been largely driven by mobile’s integral role in our daily lives. And now this past year marketers have become more aware of the necessity for cross-device attribution.

Here’s the eye-opening reality of cross-device attribution:

  1. Cross-device is a high priority for marketers.
  2. Marketers are investing more in data-driven marketing.
  3. Cross-device marketing is a top data-driven tactic for marketers.
  4. Yet marketers still struggle with cross-device attribution.

Cross-Device Is a High Priority for Marketers

In a 2016 study by Econsultancy, 74% of marketers said matching customers across multiple devices was one of their top priorities. Marketers have recognized a new reality: consumers have a winding path to purchase and it spans many devices and channels. And they’re consciously making cross-device marketing a priority.

Digital Priorities vs. Capabilities

The First Step: Acknowledging that your customers’ behavior has fundamentally shifted. Most marketers know that mobile has changed the game, and many are recognizing that they must begin matching customers across their devices of choice.

Marketers Are Investing More in Data-Driven Marketing

So, you’ve recognized a need to match customers across multiple devices to begin cross-device marketing. What’s next? Shifting your investment in data-driven marketing. In 2016, investments in data-driven marketing were expected to continually grow quarter-over-quarter. Nearly 43% of marketers said their spending would “increase significantly” or “increase somewhat” (up from 37% earlier in 2016).


The Martech Reality: With heavier focus on data-driven marketing comes a greater need for not only the right martech tools, but also the ability to integrate these tools and enable them to work together. Only then will you progress toward a more holistic view of your customers.

Cross-Device Marketing Is a Top Data-Driven Tactic for Marketers

Both cross-device and cross-channel are becoming top tactics used by B2B marketers. They’re gathering data, and are beginning to use that data to target the channels and devices their customers use every day. And while just over 50% take advantage of cross-device right now, even more marketers say they’ll employ the tactic in 2017.


What Marketers Need Next: Multi-channel attribution will be critical (but only 32% of marketers currently use it!), especially as more marketing drives call conversions. Marketers can no longer afford to overlook online-to-offline channel attribution.

Yet Marketers Still Struggle With Cross-Device Attribution

So, yes, marketers need cross-device attribution, but they still struggle with their ability to implement it. This is especially concerning when compared side-by-side to the digital priorities we highlighted above. There’s hope in sight for marketers: strategies exist to help you demystify your omni-channel analytics.

The Missing Piece: Making the online-to-offline connection is critical. Call attribution is a technology you can integrate with your existing martech stack to capture offline call conversions and round out your multi-channel attribution.

Prioritizing cross-device attribution is the first step businesses must take. Then, understanding each of these realities helps marketers when forming their own strategies and evaluating new technologies to add to their martech stack.

For a better understanding of the new omni-channel customer journey, and the role offline call conversions play, download our eBook, Calls and the New Customer Journey: How Marketers Drive Revenue by Mastering the Call Channel.