TAIPEI: Asia's marketers should not let the "mobile-first" mantra blind them to the fact that PCs remains an important screen for the region's users, who are quite likely to react differently to ads shown on different screen sizes.

The latest Cross Screen User Behavior Report from Appier, a company applying artificial intelligence (AI) to cross-screen technology, analysed over 850bn campaign data points from Appier-run campaigns across 11 markets in Asia, from the second half of 2015.

This found that interacting with three or more devices is the norm for Asia's multi-device users and that PCs generate over 50% as much usage as smartphones.

Appier reported that these consumers were "using all of their screens in complex, interconnected ways based on convenience, habit and preference" and that usage varied on any given day based on factors ranging from the time of day or day of the week to gender and market.

As regards advertising, the study observed that, across the region, more than one third (38%) of cross-screen users interacted completely differently with ads across different screens, while slightly fewer (32%) interacted in the same manner regardless of the device being used.

The remaining 30% fell somewhere in between, sharing some ad browsing habits across screens, but not all of them.

Drilling down into individual markets revealed significant variations to this picture. Thus, cross-screen users in Vietnam (62%) were far more likely to exhibit completely different behaviours across screens.

Those in Taiwan (51%), Malaysia (49%) and Singapore (48%) were also well above the regional average in this respect.

The reverse was true for consumers in Hong Kong, where 73% responded the same way across all screens, Japan (64%), and, to a lesser extent, Indonesia (41%). 

Regardless of these nuances, cross-screen is no longer optional, Appier advised, as its data showed that cross-screen campaigns on average outperformed multi-device campaigns by 26%, as measured by conversion rate.

The gap was significantly greater when compared to single-screen campaigns, with cross-screen outperforming PC-only by a factor of 4.16 and tablet-only by 16.7 times; the difference with a smartphone-only campaign was rather less, at just 0.8 times.

Data sourced from Appier; additional content by Warc staff