I was recently reading an article from Hootsuite on the phenomenon of second screens. In the article, it referenced a recent Facebook study that says 94 percent of viewers have a smartphone in hand while watching tv. At first I thought that number seemed really high, but then I looked at my own behaviors, and the behaviors of my family and friends, and I realized…this is probably a pretty fair assessment of what is happening in society today.
So, thinking about this from a marketing perspective, what does it all mean? I think it would be best to dig a little deeper into this practice to see if there are new best practices to be uncovered.
First, what is the generational impact of this trend? Is everyone really doing this? A study conducted in late 2018 by Aki Technologies found that 59% of survey respondents said that they pay attention to ads on their mobile devices while watching tv at home. Here’s the stat to really care about though…Millennials were 7% more likely to pay attention and react to advertising in this scenario, while Boomers were 6% less likely to.
It shouldn’t be surprising that the Millennial generation is most likely to multi-task their media. They grew up with a device in hand, so this makes sense. This statistic also proves that investing in mobile media is necessary – device use has continued to climb and will continue to be a primary form of communication for years to come. Those children are our future…
Further research into the second screen phenomenon has shown that some 70% of users will stack their content, meaning they will look at completely different content between the tv and their device. In this scenario, it would be important to have very thought-provoking creative in order to gain their attention. Users are moving so fast between devices, something needs to really jump out to be seen.
The other type of second screen user actually meshes their content between what they’re watching on tv and looking at on their device. Whether this is posting on social media about what they’re watching, researching a product they saw advertised or looking up something they heard in a television show to learn more – their actions are taking place because of what they are watching on tv.
During the Super Bowl this year, some advertisers banked on the second screen content meshers, serving up well-timed ads on social media and in digital apps at the same time or right after their commercial aired on tv. According to Forbes, this strategy of re-targeting via the digital channel following a television advertisement can cause consumers to be 72% more likely to convert in the next 24 hours.
While we don’t all have the marketing budgets to support a television ad during the Super Bowl, maybe your competitors do. Make sure your digital ad placements are well timed if you want to make sure you’re keeping up with the competition… and that second screen.
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