For that, Ringling Bros. turned to digital marketing agency Mogo Interactive and cross-device metrics from Google, which finally tossed its hat into the cross-device ring when it added a cross-channel measurement solution into DoubleClick in July.
Mogo ran limited preliminary tests using the cross-device measurement tool to confirm what the brand suspected: Mobile played a major role in driving the ultimate conversion.
Google’s solution is powered by a core of deterministic data, people who have signed into Google accounts on various devices, which it uses as seed data to train its algorithm. Google combines that data with online conversion data accessed through its search ad business, as well as other signals like conversion type, landing page, device used and location to make a connection between touchpoints.
Mogo doubled down on mobile and developed a media plan for Ringling Bros. that included mobile display banners, in-page and in-stream video and both branded and nonbranded search, using geofencing to reach moms and families in the locations they typically visit as a group, including malls and family-friendly chain stores and restaurants.
Having proved the path to purchase, Ringling Bros. also saw a 262% uptick in cross-device conversions and a 30% increase in ticket sales, with a return on ad spend for the campaign of 1,132%.
“We knew all along that people were using multiple devices, but before this we could really say for sure,” Gomez said. “It was all based on intuition.”
The success of the Ringling Bros. campaign, which ran from June through September, is causing Feld to step back and rethink its digital strategy for the other brands in its portfolio, including events like Disney on Ice, Marvel Universe Live and monster truck tour Monster Jam.
It’s a mental and budgetary shift that’s starting to happen across the board. By 2017, eMarketer predicts that digital ad spending will reach 38.4% of total ad spend, finally nudging its way several percentage points beyond TV at 35.8%. Nestled within digital, mobile is set to represent 63.4% of overall digital ad spend this year.
“This was a test we ran with Ringling Bros., but it’s something we’re going to be testing with all of our consumer brands going forward,” Gomez said. “You hear a lot of companies out there talking about a mobile-first approach, but it really is essential for us. In fact, our business now doesn’t really work without it.”