The Digital Age has brought a number of stunning changes to consumer behavior, but none of them is more difficult for some marketers to understand than multiscreen usage. With smart TVs, tablets, and smartphones, consumers are digesting tons of information across multiple screens at the same time. In fact, if you stopped to think about your average day for just a moment, you might be surprised to see how frequently you find yourself streaming a live newsfeed on your tablet while researching concert ticket prices and availability (for example) on your smartphone.
If you aren't already capitalizing on the multiscreen usage behavior of consumers, it's time to start. A recent study on multiscreen usage was released by eMarketer, and it contains valuable tidbits that marketers can use to take advantage of the trend.
Marketers are Adjusting Ad Spend to Mobile Search & Display
The conversation about when mobile search will overtake desktop is over. Mobile won. Not only has mobile won, it's changing the manner in which marketers and advertisers spend money on ad campaigns. It is no longer sufficient to create campaigns geared toward specific devices (tablet or smartphone). Creating a marketing campaign requires strategic vision that caters to consumer behavior that consists of online interactions across multiple devices.
In total, across all demographics, American consumers interacted with brands and conducted online research using an average of 3.3 devices in 2014. Among that highly coveted age group of Millennials, usage averaged 4 devices. Marketers have to think outside the desktop box and beyond the single-screen experience.
Smartphone Growth Continues
Industry analysts have been trying to pin down a potential point when market saturation will occur for smartphones. Whenever that date is, it isn't going to happen soon. Smartphone growth continues to march forward. As of this year, more than a quarter of the world's population of 7 billion people use smartphones. By 2018, that number is expected to reach roughly one-third of the Earth's population.
As a marketer, the increasing use of smartphones means more opportunities to engage with emerging consumers in newly connected markets. For marketers, new campaigns are needed for growing markets, while unique strategies are required for mature, established markets.
Demand for Cross-Device Targeting is High, Solutions Few & Far Between
As of January 2014, almost 70% of markets admitted needing more information about cross-device advertising. Multiscreen usage is on the rise, but marketers and advertisers don't have all the tools required yet to take full advantage of this particular pattern of consumer behavior. Audience tracking and targeting techniques used on standard desktop and mobile campaigns aren't sufficient for multiscreen experiences.
Additional impediments include the lack of distinction between the digital realm and the real world. Consumers interact with brands online and offline, jumping between devices and the two realms with ease. Pay Per Call marketing campaigns have been particularly effective in supporting this consumer behavior.
Going forward, marketers need to accept the online-offline journey consumers take and learn to account for it when creating digital marketing strategies.