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Multi-screening a marketing opportunity for SMEs


People often lament the damage smartphones have done to the average attention span.

However using multiple devices at the same time actually spells more opportunities for businesses to market their product.

A new report from Microsoft found that ‘cross-screening’ – using a combination of television, mobile, laptop, and other devices at any one time – has become the default viewing mode.

Gabbi Stubbs from Mi9 said it’s no secret that Australia is a nation of tech junkies and that consumers are always switched on.

“To capture people’s attention as they switch from screen to screen, marketers need to adapt their messaging so it works in sync with both the consumer’s immediate job at hand and is relevant to the device being used,” Stubbs said.

The report identified four main types of cross screening.

The most common type of cross-screening behaviour is known as ‘content grazing’. Almost 7 in 10 Australian consumers use two screens at the same time to access unrelated content, such as checking Facebook or email while watching TV.

Six in ten Australians are ‘investigative spider-webbers’, using a second device to view related content that enhances the experience of their primary screen, like using a TV companion app to look deeper into show content.

Almost 50 per cent of cross-screeners use their devices to ‘quantum screen’, starting an activity on one device and finishing it on another. Some 57 per cent of quantum screening use is for shopping. For example, a consumer may see an ad for a product on their mobile, and research it further and buy it on their laptop.

The report also found that 39 per cent of cross-screeners are ‘social spider-webbers’, using a second screen to connect with other TV viewers on social media.

Stubbs said businesses must carefully consider how to best use cross-screening to their advantage. The key to engaging consumers across the four different types of cross-screening is to connect with them emotionally through related content.

“It’s about understanding how consumers are shifting between channels and how they can tailor experiences to the individual user, not just that consumers are multi-tasking,” Stubbs said.

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