We all know the day of multi-device and cross-screen usage is here. The challenge for marketers is to understand how to communicate effectively with consumers as they engage with multiple devices simultaneously and sequentially throughout the day.
A new study commissioned by Microsoft, titled Cross-Screen Engagement, aims to help marketers learn how users are engaging with multiple screens and to find opportunities to reach consumers “in their moment”.
In the two-phase study, Flamingo Research and Ipsos OTX interviewed consumers in five markets—Australia, Brazil, Canada, the UK and the US—who own multiple devices and use a second screen daily and then followed up with market-representative focus groups.
The study identified four kinds of consumer behaviors when they engage with multiple-devices:
- Content Grazing: This is the most common way consumers interact with multiple devices. 68 percent of consumers use two or more screens simultaneously to access unrelated content; for example, watching a show on TV while checking email or texting.
- Investigative Spider-Webbing: 57 percent of consumers use one device to find information related to what they are doing on another device. For example, they may watch a movie on the TV and look up what other movies the actors have been in on a tablet or PC.
- Quantum Journey: 46 percent of consumers use of multiple devices to accomplish a task. For example, taking a picture of a pair of shoes on a phone then looking up reviews about the shoes on a PC before purchasing.
- Social Spider-Webbing: This is the least common use of multiple screens. 39 percent of consumers share content about activities they’ve accomplished on other devices. An example of this is sharing scores from a gaming console on a smartphone or tablet.
In addition the report highlights the different ways consumers interact with their devices, noting that marketers should be thinking of the unique attributes of devices as they develop messaging and content plans. Below is a screenshot from the report that breaks down the how consumers perceive their engagement with their devices:
Many of the specific recommendations in the report tie back to how advertisers can participate in the Microsoft ecosystem. However, it doesn’t negate the fact that marketers need to be thinking about how their target audiences engage with different devices and aligning their content strategies and advertising budgets with the new multiple screen behavior.
For example, 70% of consumers use a second device while watching TV. Twitter’s partnership with Nielsen to create a new social TV engagement metric, as well as the company’s acquisition of Bluefin Labs to develop social TV products, underscores the importance of this consumer trend and the cross-screen marketing opportunities that come with it.
You can find the complete report here.
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