LONDON: Cross-device digital advertising has driven a significant uplift in store visits to Asda, the Walmart-owned UK supermarket chain.

Cross-device advertising was paired with location-based data to ascertain which of those people exposed to ads had actually entered a store: the supermarket claimed a 59% uplift among those who had seen an ad across three devices compared to those who had seen an ad on just one device.

At the same time, people exposed to one ad were 248% more likely to visit a store than those who did not see any ads.

Nadia Callaghan, digital media manager at Asda, explained to Marketing that the trials had been aimed at establishing which frequency and device mix was most effective in delivering consistent footfall.

"The reason we decided to do this now is because we know cross-device usage is growing, so we wanted to understand this trend and how cross-device targeting can be used to increase the effectiveness of our campaigns," she said.

It's also the case that Asda has been stepping up its digital content over the past year, as Chris Chalmers, senior director/digital marketing, media & CRM, outlined at the recent Digital Content Marketing Summit.

He charted the rapid development from posting of owl-shaped pancakes on social media at the start of the year to recruiting a US film director to shoot a video promoting Star Wars merchandise on sale in its stores at Christmas.

At the end of it he was able to report that the role of digital content is now much clearer, including amplification, engagement, generating net positive sentiment and showing a commercial return.

Chalmers also identified several areas as being important, including native, video, TV commercials, music, hashtags (for starting conversations and making content discoverable), talent (used in the right way) and PR (the lines between PR and content are blurring).

Data sourced from Marketing; additional content by Warc staff