With more people being in front of a screen of one sort or another more often, what does this mean for marketers who are trying to reach them?
We are a nation of multi-screeners. Most of our time is spent in front of a screen. 77 percent of us view TV with a device in our other hand. Google’s latest research uncovers our cross-platform behaviour as we use many devices, often at the same time, in order to achieve our goals. With technology advances in online devices, we can now choose how, when, what and who to engage with 24 x7. We are the curators of our lives.
Key findings of Google’s Research includes:
Two types of screening behaviour:
- Sequential screening where we move from one device to another to complete a single goal
- Simultaneous screening where we use multiple devices at the same time
- Google has found that nine out of ten people use multiple screens sequentially and that smartphones are by far the most common starting point for sequential activity.
- 80 percent of searchers happen on smartphones as a spur of the moment decision
- We spend on average over four hours in front of screens a day to communicate, Browsing the internet – 81 percent, social networking – 72 percent, online shopping – 67 percent, research/search – 63 percent, managing finances – 46 percent, planning a trip – 43 percent
- The time spent on screen devices per day is broken down as follows:
- TV – 43 minutes
- PC/Laptop – 39
- Tablet – 30
- Smartphone – 17
What does this mean for marketers?
Is our attention span getting shorter? Google’s research suggests that multiple screens make us feel more efficient. So we are multi-tasking and multi-screening! I know my attention is at least fragmented between all the devices I have. If I see something on TV and want to probe deeper, I go on my iPad. Even my seven-year-old plays with his super heroes or reads his comics and then Google games, downloads apps and connects with other gamers online, all at the same time.
We are online more than ever before and because it is easy and available part of me does feel like I have the control to choose what I want to consume, perhaps for the first time. I know I am not alone in this feeling. Most of my peers now choose when and what to watch on their iPad, not TV. Conversations revolve around the latest app someone has found for recipes or to help our children read online. We are seeking out our own unique interests and communities to enrich our lives, learn and just have fun. Our behaviour has changed markedly even over the last 18 months.
We are so connected and able to be responsive and “always on”. This means we can also be impulsive. This has huge implications for marketers as we aim to understand the environment that our customers live in. We need to understand this new multi-screen and multi-tasking behaviour to design the best experience for our customers. With around 10 percent of media interactions non-screen based, if you are not online and connected, you are invisible. It is easy to predict with this changing landscape that new opportunities will and have been created for all sorts of businesses. As customers decide what to pay attention to and what to ignore, it is more important than ever to understand your customers behaviour as part of your marketing strategy. This attention and empathy to customers creates opportunities for even the smallest business which now can gain visibility by reaching a new audience.
The key for truly great marketing is to know your customers and this means their likely behaviour. Understanding this ever connected landscape is step 1. Step 2 is building a strategy to navigate through it to ensure you are in the right place, at the right time with the right resources.