multi-screen marketing

Arguably the biggest shift in consumer behavior in the last few years has been the explosion of devices and the number of screens in a consumer’s life. That has a major impact on media consumption and how marketers reach consumers.

As Google reported, 90% of people juggle different devices when working toward a goal. As they move between devices, they expect brand experiences to be seamless yet specific to the nature of the device.

Figuring out how to bring a brand to life consistently from the TV to the laptop to the tablet to the smartphone is tricky. The ANA and Nielsen recently predicted that multi-screen campaigns would account for 50% of media spend in 3 years. Yet it’s only 20% today.

Measurement and tracking is part of the challenge. As ANA’s Bill Duggan put it, “The industry needs to adopt measures that are consistent, comparable, and combinable across screens to provide a complete picture of a campaign’s effectiveness.”

But the greatest challenge I think is cultural. TV media and digital media are frequently handled by different groups internally and different agencies externally. As I wrote before, we’re in the awkward adolescent stage of integrated media. There is still a great divide between traditional and digital brand communication. As consumers move ever more fluidly across screens and from traditional to digital, the pressure will be on marketers to catch up.

Our brands revolve around consumers, whatever ways they choose to connect with our brands.

(Marketoonist Monday: I’m giving away a signed print of this week’s cartoon. Just share an insightful comment to this week’s post by 5:00 PST on Monday. Thanks!)

  1. Lawrence says

    Tom, I love this post. I’m actually working on a project where this is acutely relevant. Optimizing marketing relevance for content AND devices will be the key. I don’t need the same message on every device, but if marketers get it right, it could be compelling. Thanks for illustrating it wonderfully!

  2. Anthony says

    Another great post. What’s interesting is how mobiles and tablets are still referred to as ‘second screens’ by a lot of marketers, at this stage they are more accurately an individual’s ‘primary screen’. But I agree there’s a lot to be done to keep pace with consumer behaviour.

  3. Steve Chayer says

    The consumer expectation that brand experiences should be seamless between all devices may be inherently intuitive but I’m willing to bet that once again, the ‘bar’ was made high by hollywood’s futurized depiction of it. What idea factories writers have been through the ages.

    Thanks Tom, for another great post.

  4. Delphie says

    Perfect capture of the times, Tom! We live in a multi-screen world. 90 percent of today’s consumers shift between multiple devices when making purchases. So, if you’re a business, it’s important your website works across all devices –

  5. Ori Pomerantz says

    There are two different types of brands involved:

    1. Brands that actually use those screens, such as Google or Disney. These brands need consistency of experience.

    2. Brands that merely advertise on those screens, like Campbell’s Soup. These brands have the much easier task of producing a consistent image.

    For brands in the second group, what matters isn’t the device but whether it is used as an interactive device or not. If I am seeing a video clip advertisement for soup, it doesn’t matter if I am watching it on my tablet before my youtube video or on my TV in the middle of a TV episode. If I am in the mood to play an arcade game about cans of soup, it doesn’t matter a great deal if I am on my phone, my tablet, my laptop, or the tablet hooked up to the TV – except to the extent that the screen size affects the game.

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