Everyone has heard the stats – 85 percent of Americans own cell phones, 45 percent of those own smartphones, and 25 percent have a tablet1. With the last census marking the current US population at more than 505 million adults2 – this means that approximately 429 million people in the US own cell phones. That is a large potential market that is not being fully leveraged by advertisers.

Fortunately, mobile and digital advertising will soon offer more bang for the buck. As Mashable reports, technology is now being tested that enables advertising to follow the user from device to device. And it’s targeted, which as we all know, means your ad finds the consumer that is further along in the decision-making process rather than falling on deaf ears, or eyes as the case may be.

Drawbridge, a tech company founded in 2010 by Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan, is working on a solution to that murky swamp of a problem area lying between effective advertising on multiple devices and user privacy. Drawbridge uses requested cookie data from various devices or apps and a proprietary algorithm to establish any association among the data. The technology does not directly track user location or activity but instead looks at “relatively benign information, such as the browser client, the site accessed, and a time stamp.”3 As Sivaramakrishnan explains, this is about the behavior of the user, not invading privacy.

Though there is hesitation in the tech community to endorse this technology as truly anonymous or privacy protective, the Drawbridge technology is a start towards meeting consumers where they are, with targeted, relevant advertising.

Actions Taken:

  • 95% of smartphone users look for local information
  • 77% have contacted a business after seeing an ad
  • 44% actually purchased something

Ad Recall:

  • 45% notice mobile banner or graphic ads on their mobile devices
  • 43% notice ads on the sites they’re visiting


Joanna Brenner. “Pew Internet: Mobile.” Mngr. Cornelia Carter-Sykes. 4 December 2012. Pew Internet. 7 December 2012. http://pewinternet.org/Commentary/2012/February/Pew-Internet-Mobile.aspx
Lindsay M. Howden and Julie A. Meyer, “Age and Sex Composition: 2010.” May 2011. US Census Bureau. 7 December 2012. http://www.census.gov/
MIT Technology Review, “Ads Will Soon Follow You From One Device to the Next.” Ed. Lance Ulanoff. 7 December 2012. Mashable. 7 December 2012. http://mashable.com/2012/12/07/ads-follow-devices/#
4 Google Ipsos – “Think Insights”April 2011