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The differences between multi-device marketing and cross-device marketing



If you work in digital marketing, you've probably heard of multi-device and cross-device. Both terms involve using multiple digital marketing channels to attract customers, which can make them difficult to distinguish when you're not an expert. However, they are different terms and there are reasons why you might choose one over the other.


In this article, discover the difference between multi-device marketing and cross-device marketing!


Multi-device marketing: an approach focused on individual media channels


Multi-device marketing is an approach that focuses on using different digital marketing channels to reach consumers on their preferred devices. It focuses on creating campaigns specific to each channel, such as TV ads, online ads, emails or SMS messages.

The main goal of multi-device marketing is to reach consumers effectively on each channel, using the unique characteristics of each device to tailor the message.


The benefits of cross-device marketing lie in its ability to optimize the performance of your advertising campaigns on specific media channels, leveraging their unique functionality and characteristics. For example, a business may choose to run a television ad to reach a large audience, then supplement that campaign with online ads targeted to computers and/or smartphones.


However, multi-device marketing has its limits. Focusing on individual media channels can lack consistency and continuity in the consumer's brand experience as they move from one device to another. This can lead to loss of engagement and a fragmented user experience.


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Cross-device marketing: a user-centered approach


Unlike multi-device marketing, cross-device marketing takes a more holistic approach by focusing on the user rather than individual media channels. It aims to track and understand the user journey across different devices, bringing data together to deliver a consistent and personalized customer experience.


Cross-device marketing uses technologies such as cookies, device identifiers and user profiles to link data from different devices used by the same user. This allows you to get a more complete picture of the user's spending habits and preferences, allowing them to deliver more relevant and personalized messages.


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What are the advantages of a cross-device marketing strategy in 2023?


The key advantage of cross-device marketing is its ability to provide a smooth and consistent user experience, regardless of the device used. For example, a user can start browsing a product on their mobile phone and then continue on their desktop computer without losing their search data. Ads and recommendations can be tailored based on user behavior across devices, providing a seamless, personalized customer experience.


By precisely targeting users on multiple devices, you can improve your prospecting, branding, retargeting activities and optimize the performance of your advertising campaigns according to your objectives.


A cross-device marketing strategy (or omnichannel strategy) can:


  • Increase the coverage of your advertising campaign: cross-device allows you to cover all devices used by your prospects for more engagement and visibility.


  • Optimize your advertising budget: By precisely tracing the journey of your prospects and the various devices they used, cross-device marketing allows you to better manage your advertising budget.


  • Personalize the user experience: With cross-device, your ability to tell a story through a sequence of ads over a period of time is enhanced because you are able to track prospects across their different devices and ensure that they see the advertising campaign in its entirety.


  • Fight against Ad Fatigue: by being exposed to the same advertisement, your prospects can develop a negative feeling towards you. Thanks to cross-device, manage the frequency of your ads to maximize their visibility and conversion rate.


Multi-device vs cross-device: what are the differences?


The main difference between multi-device and cross-device is the central point of your digital marketing strategy. Cross-device involves using all available media channels and is customer-centric, while multi-device involves using more than one channel and is product or service-centric.


An omnichannel strategy allows customers to easily access information from any channel, all connected to each other. For example, if a customer visits your Facebook page, they should see it presented in a similar visual style to your website and newsletter.


Cross-device supports the belief that customers value brand consistency, and encourages the following outcomes:


  • Customers see that you pay attention to small details.

  • They can trust your business because it is consistent.

  • They become loyal to a company they trust.


Multi-device vs. cross-device: how to choose?


At first glance, choosing an omnichannel strategy that emphasizes consistent branding and a seamless user experience may seem natural. But it is not that simple ! Businesses of all types and sizes have successfully adopted both approaches, the key is to make the right choice based on your business needs.


Cross-device marketing can be a good option if you are short on resources and cannot invest in a complete cross-device strategy. Multi-device offers flexibility by allowing each channel to operate autonomously.


Cross-device remains ideal if you want a smoother user experience and better customer loyalty.


The differences between multi-device marketing and cross-device marketing: what to remember


Although multi-device marketing and cross-device marketing share a common goal of reaching consumers across multiple devices, they differ in their approach.


  • Cross-device marketing focuses on individual media channels and optimizing the performance of your advertising campaigns on each device. It can be effective in reaching specific audiences on particular media channels.

  • Cross-device marketing adopts a user-centric omnichannel strategy to deliver a consistent and personalized customer experience across different devices.


By integrating the two approaches strategically, you can create powerful campaigns that engage consumers holistically and consistently across all their devices.


Need advice or support to develop your business?


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