Multi-screen viewers are here. It’s not about market segmentation, niche marketing, or mass advertising anymore. More people are multi-tasking across different devices. Hardly anyone is faithful to one device. It’s the age of multi-screens, divided attention, and multi-channels.
Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) conducted a nationwide research to determine how multi-screen (TV, computers, mobile phones, and others) ownership are affecting consumer behavior. The results are surprisingly advantageous to advertisers and marketers but only if you know how to analyze the numbers.
Multi-Screen Viewers and Their Devices
A little over 52% of America owns and uses two devices simultaneously. A little over 60% owns and uses at least three devices and 65% owns and uses four devices.
Expectedly, those who are 18 to 44 years of age are the ones (74%) who are most likely to be using 4 screens: tablets, mobile phones, TV and computers. They are also the ones who are most active in all the screens they are using. In fact, 47% of them respond (vote, purchase, click links, etc.) to contents they see and 81% of them will use the web to know more about what they are watching on TV.
However, it doesn’t mean that those who are 45 years old and up are being left behind. They are less likely to own tablets but they are just as likely to respond to campaigns that tie traditional media with digital media.
Surprisingly, 72% say they are not happy with the tablet and mobile apps, mobile versions of different websites, and other mobile contents but all of them admit that they will continue to access web on their mobile phones and tablets. In fact, 28% said they downloaded contents on their mobile phones and tablets connected to something they have seen on traditional media, while 47% have used their mobile phones and tablets interchangeably to access same contents or sites.
Majority of the respondents who don’t own tablets and phones said they don’t own one because they can’t afford one but all of them said they will buy one when the prices fall.
Is Traditional Media Over?
It’s a cumulative process. The ownership and use of TV haven’t dropped significantly despite the obvious increase of other digital media ownership. This means TV’s influence on consumer behavior has not disappeared.
Despite claims to contrary, almost all respondents still turn to TV to watch their shows. They only use their computers to download contents that are not shown on TV anymore. Whenever possible, they still watch shows on their TV screens.
None of them express desire to ditch their TV sets. They (56%) only wish for all these devices to support each other. This entails being able to access their contents on any device, anytime they wish.
Does This Mean We are Talking With a Distracted Audience?
It really depends on how you look at it.
For one, 75% of the respondents said they are most likely to search immediately online about a product, show, celebrity, or other contents they see on TV that interest them. However, it is also this 75% that said they turn away from their TV when ads are on. However, multi-screen viewers insist that it doesn’t mean they don’t know what’s on their TV, it only means they are not watching.
The same thing is true with their other devices. They may not be glued on their laptops or desktops but they know what’s going on and they will click when something comes up that interest them.
Many may argue that the “divided attention” that multi-screen viewers give to each of their devices makes it harder for marketers and advertisers to catch their attention.
However, when you do get their attention, they are the ones who will utilize all their resources to know more about the content or product they see, as mentioned in my recent article, “Why Content is NOT King”.
Multi-screen viewers are also the ones who have and will continue to act (click, purchase, vote, etc) on the contents they see for as long as they are satisfied with the information they get.
It is also important to note that part of the survey conducted is for each of the respondent to mention three of their favorite shows and then name at least three advertisers on their favorite shows. Those who own 4 screens were able to name the most number of advertisers on their favorite TV shows.
Advertisers, marketers and even publishers need to stop calling multi-screen or multi-device owners as the future. They are here now. Multi-screen ownership affect consumer behavior. Even those who don’t consider themselves multi-screen watchers actually are.
This, however, doesn’t mean that digital will replace TV. As mentioned, these devices complement each other. It is important for everyone to know how to use each device to create a complete experience for viewers and consumers.
As of now, TV remains the device for grand experiences. Tablet, desktops, and laptops are mostly used for research and interaction with other users. These are also the devices they use to complement the information they get from TV. Mobile phones, on the other hand, are mostly used for quick activities and as a “reserve”. It means they wish and expect that whatever they see on TV, laptops, desktops, and tablets may also be accessed on their phones WHEN they want to.
It doesn’t put small business owners to a disadvantage. It is true that they cannot match the ability of big businesses to put money on TV ads but it doesn’t mean they cannot create digital marketing campaigns that will allow them to be “found” when viewers tart searching for information about what they see on their TV sets.
Advertisers must now plan for a complete experience when they come out with campaigns. Entertainment is just one aspect of any product promotion. Interaction, education, and convenience must now all be integrated to create a truly effective campaign.
What’s your view on multiple screens on consumer behavior? Please share your ideas in comments below.