Last year I wrote about how congruence is the secret to advertising success and in this article I’m going to take it one step further due to some recent mobile device trends.  In that article I argued that many advertisers suffer from Campaign Tunnel Vision, which occurs when you focus too much time and effort on just one piece of the sales funnel at the expense of all the other key areas.

mobile devices

For example, it’s easy to get caught up optimizing different areas of your campaign in isolation, without taking a step back and measuring the effects on your entire sales funnel.  That’s Campaign Tunnel Vision.  The fact is, you can “optimize” bids, ads, and landing pages separately, but fail to increase your overall sales conversion rates.  Now, that’s what we call spinning your wheels!

The solution to this problem is congruence.  You must have a consistent message from the keywords and webpages you’re targeting, all the way through the ads, landing pages, offers, and even in-bound phone call scripts.  Any inconsistencies are like the chutes in the children’s game, Chutes and Ladders, that will throw your prospects out of the sales funnel and likely to your competitors.

According to a recent study by Google, we now have a new chute to watch out for…


Your Prospects Now Use Multiple Devices

In Google’s analysis of multi-device behavior, they found 90% of the 1,611 responders said they use multiple devices to complete an online task.  That could be switching from desktop to a smartphone or maybe a tablet over to a laptop.  Personally, I can remember several times when I looked for a nearby store on my laptop and then moved to my smartphone to find the exact directions en-route.  Another likely scenario is when you find something cool on your phone, but then you switch over to your desktop to do more research to ultimately make the purchase.

I’m sure you get the point… your prospects are using more than one device to find products and services.  Here’s another interesting fact from the study:  98% of those responders completed the task in the same day. Can you see now how your advertising campaign has a new chute where prospects are sliding out of the sales funnel?

Well if it’s not clear yet, then this final fact will certainly tie it all together.  The Google study found that consumers rely on search to move between devices.  So when your prospect finds you on a desktop, then she will then most likely go to Google to try to find you on her mobile phone or tablet, or vice versa.


Congruence Across Devices Is Now Critical

There are two key takeaways from this research.  First, you now need to target all devices in your search advertising campaigns so you actually show up when your prospects switch from one device to the other.  Otherwise, you’re going to lose sales when prospects simply can’t find you on the “other device.”

Second, you now need to ensure your sales messages are congruent across devices!  What happens if your prospect finds your ad on her desktop and then moves over to her mobile phone?  Does the same ad with the same offer show up?  Is it even possible to redeem the offer on your mobile friendly website?  Do you even have a mobile site that your prospect will be able to navigate with her thumbs?

All those questions now need to be answered in our new multi-device world.  It’s not enough to optimize your campaign for desktops and mobile devices separately.  That’s what I call Device Tunnel Vision :)