Friday, February 1

Multitasking With TV: Where's Your Message?

People still watch television, but most people watch it differently. As many as 42 percent of U.S. consumers now say that they access the Internet via their PCs or laptops (and 17 percent access the Internet via smartphones) while watching it. Almost 25 percent of them specifically sign on social networks.

These were among the most recent findings to come out of the KPMG International 2013 Digital Debate survey, and it raises a very interesting question. If consumers are multi-tasking television, the Internet, and social networks, then where do you want your message? Or maybe there's a better one.

Can marketers count 100 percent engagement when mediums only earn 25 percent attention?

A 25 percent share of attention is probably generous. I've seen my son and his friends, effortlessly toggling between the net, networks, text messages, television, and gaming console headset. It makes me wonder how any old school marketer can hope to reach him. They can't unless he wants them to.

The majority of purchasers like him are predetermined by other factors, leaving the close of any sale based largely on the manufacturer's ability to provide on-demand advertising and a means for a seamless transaction. And he is not alone.

Ideally, marketers need to develop campaigns that touch their audiences simultaneously. For example, a television ad might introduce someone to a product, while a simultaneously-placed ad on a social network/app/Internet brings the transaction closer to completion by giving consumers the ability to respond/purpose immediately or save information for future consideration. The bigger vision is to deliver communication like it ought to be created — integrated.

Technology is right around the corner to make everything easier.

Some people, including KPMG, believe this might change as smart TVs are adopted, but it's much more likely smart TVs will be leapfrogged by the next generation technology that follows Apple and Wii in providing dual screen functionality. Dual- or triple-screen functionality marries the allure of multi-tasking with multiple screens, much like they do across disconnected devices (until they are connected by airplay or cables).

The demand for more seamless innovations been steadily increasing over the last few years. In fact, according to the study, 14 percent of U.S. consumers (mostly ages 25-34) prefer watching television on a smart phone or tablet. Chances are that many of these consumers already use cable connections or airplay to toggle mobile content onto their bigger screens. In other words, they don't even distinguish between television and digital formats. They only see screen sizes.
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