A recent Nielsen Cross-Platform Report has highlighted a move towards consumers using multiple devices simultaneously. According to the results, more than 39% of people use their smartphone at least once per day while watching television. Nearly two thirds of respondents said they do this more than once a week, with 84% saying they do it at least once a month.
The report also found that the average American spent more than 34 hours per week in front of the television during the second quarter of 2012. This included time spent playing games and watching DVDs (although most of the content viewed was delivered via cable or satellite broadcasts). Another five hours were spent at the computer. The smartphone has successfully gatecrashed this heady mix of stimuli – and the implications for are obvious.
Mobile devices are becoming increasingly indispensable to Americans, and people all across the developed world. They allow quick, convenient communication across oceans, genders, ethnicities and generations. Market penetration for smartphones is greater than 50%, and close to 20% of American homes have at least one tablet. This mobility is essential if we want to understand how mobile marketing strategies can cater to cross-platform audiences.
On the one hand, users may not be affording either task – television-watching or web-browsing – their full attention. On the other hand, their access is round-the-clock, allowing mobile marketing campaigns to take into account the multiple access points through which users are receiving content. And it’s not just the youth demographic. Far from it.
Consider this: nearly half of all respondents in the 55-64 age group use their tablets or smartphones to research the program they are currently watching. The same demographic are heavy surfers during commercial breaks. Mobile marketing strategies that take this into account can customize their targeted advertising for that audience during those peak times. For bigger companies, the two platforms can work in tandem, with mobile marketing campaigns feeding into current TV promotions, and vice versa.
Texting can play a huge role in pointing viewers to television commercials they might otherwise have switched off or muted. Imagine, you issue a text to your opt-in list of customers, telling them to ‘look at the tv’. Then you run an ad telling them to ‘look at your phone’. You’ve just created a fun game of electronic device tennis!
Ok, that might not be the best example. But whatever your strategy, the shift towards cross-platform device usage presents a thrilling scenario for marketing managers, who are constantly on the look out for ways to ‘join-up’ their strategies. As it turns out, users are doing a lot of the heavy lifting for them, and it’s proving to be one of the most powerful mobile marketing trends making waves.