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With more mobile devices than humans and over one billion people participating in social networks, today's customers are more networked and better informed than ever.
As smartphones and tablets become more ingrained into day-to-day lives, a growing amount of consumers expect to interact with brands across multiple screens simultaneously. A whopping 90% of consumers are moving between multiple screens in the same day, creating tremendous opportunity for companies to set themselves apart from the competition with multi-device marketing. Many marketers are already experimenting, but the challenge is to create a cost-effective, unified campaign that works for each individual platform.

Creating that cost-effective, unified campaign doesn't just mean giving customers a consistent message across any platform. It means engaging customers across multiple channels with unique experiences, relevant offers, and personalized incentives—and doing so across the complete customer engagement lifecycle, from initial discovery through post-sale engagement and support.

Here are five ways marketers can engage prospects through the buyer's journey.

1. Be part of the conversation

If a consumer is researching your product or service on Twitter, Facebook, or blogs from his or her mobile device, you need to listen and, if appropriate, engage in the conversation with valuable insight that responds to questions and guides the consumer's buying decision. If a prospect wants to order your product or request your service online, you need to be prepared to capture that order with a simplified and seamless process. If a consumer wants to pick up part of that order at a local retail outlet and have the rest drop-shipped to his or her home or office, you need to support that, too.

2. Use analytics for insight across platforms

Huge data volumes across platforms can make getting the customer intelligence companies need to deliver one-to-one marketing difficult. By adopting analytics solutions, you can turn Big Data into real-time insights and get a complete view of a customer's needs, preferences, and behavior on any device.

3. Personalize every interaction

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image of Tim Minahan

Tim Minahan is CMO of SAP Cloud.

LinkedIn: Tim Minahan

Twitter: @timinahan