The multi-screen is an opportunity for brands

By September 20, 2012
multiple screens with a landscape

Consumers use their different devices to search, shop and many other tasks - sometimes sequentially, sometimes simultaneously. If brands adapt for these behaviors, they can further add value to a multi-screen presence and cross-platform campaign.

With the spread of multiple device ownership has come the spread of multiple screen usage - it affects all aspects of our daily lives. Consumers often use their smartphone, tablet, computer and television all in the same day, at times one after another (sequentially) or simultaneously. Google research on cross-platform consumer behavior shows how consumers conduct different activities across screens with either mode. Since 90 percent of media consumption is screen-based, and 90 percent of consumers move between multiple devices to complete many online tasks, it is critical for marketers to understand these two modes of multi-screening, and not lose out on the opportunities that both of them provide.

It all starts with the Smartphone

While most media consumption occurs on one screen or another, 38 percent of daily media interactions take place on smartphones. For sequential multi-screening, smartphones are the most common starting device - whether it is used for Internet browsing, shopping, managing finances or trip planning. Sequential users will often use search to resume an activity on the second screen, directly navigate to the site they were using, or send a link to themselves. For marketers, this workflow demands a seamless experience between devices - for instance, allowing customers to save progress between devices, as well as the always essential SEO.

Simultaneous screen use creates “micro-moment” marketing opportunities

Simultaneous multi-screening can be further categorized into multi-tasking, (unrelated activities), and complementary usage (related activities). Much simultaneous usage occurs when watching TV - 77 percent of viewers watch while using another device. Since many searches begin as a response to something seen on TV, cross-media campaigns can help optimize this type of usage pattern. Spontaneous activities that stem from watching TV or just having one of these convenient devices nearby has created valuable opportunities - 80 percent of smartphone searches are spur-of-the-moment, and 44 percent of these are goal-oriented - to search, to shop, etc. Each of these goals are ways to connect with consumers if brands are “present and optimized across multiple screens.”

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