Today’s multi-faceted world is filled with equally multi-faceted devices; smart phones, tablets, laptops, televisions with internet capabilities, and desktops, are now being used simultaneously in our day to day lives. Marketers are now faced with the task of creating context driven advertising to suit the needs of this new device driven market that will engage the consumer. The following article discusses the changes of today’s digital world and how advertising must change to fit those changes.
Enjoy the read, TCB360 Smart Business Network listeners – LaTanya Junior, Your Brand Friend!
With the appearance of each new device, the experts have weighed in on what it will mean for the future of advertising. In the late 1930s, industry commentators worried about whether advertising could ever succeed on television screens. A letter to the editor of The New York Times asserted, "It will prove difficult to prepare and present a television advertising message", while the author of Television: A Struggle for Power claimed "there is considerable doubt that advertising will be successful when presented to the eye as well as the ear." So, there are always skeptics. And that's not a bad thing: they motivate the dreamers among us to prove them wrong.
But the truth is we won't build the future of advertising device by device. We need to learn to look at these devices as a way of understanding the context in which consumers are looking for information. Real people use these newest devices — phones, tablets, "phablets", touch-screen laptops and Web-enabled TVs — to connect with each other, shop, navigate the world, watch videos, play games, and take pictures. It's how, when, and why people use their devices we should be paying attention to and less so the devices themselves.
Part of the reason for this is that we can no longer deduce a customer's context purely by the device she is using. We used to assume that your mobile meant you were on the go, your tablet meant you were at home on the sofa, and your desktop meant you were at work, but this is no longer accurate. These devices are now bleeding into new realms and your behavior is very different depending on the context in which you're using the device. Think about your own life. You might email on your laptop in front of the TV and simultaneously use your tablet to look up a takeout menu, or listen to music. Don't believe me? Spend time with a 16 year old!
Today, most people constantly switch between devices in order to stay connected. And despite advertisers' initial concerns, consumer eyeballs are not necessarily being "lost" from one screen to another. Rather than splitting a finite number of hours across a greater number of screens, consumers are often using multiple screens simultaneously. This is the new multiscreen world.
And we're starting to see remarkable data suggesting just how quickly the multiscreen world is taking hold with consumers. For example, let's look at the Holy Grail of traditional TV advertising, the Super Bowl. Traditional Super Bowl campaigns focused a huge amount of brand energy on one, expensive slot of air time. Now, even if people leave the living room to grab chips and soda from the kitchen during the breaks, it doesn't mean they'll miss your ad. Super Bowl advertisers can bank on an extended online audience to justify and add value to their TV buys. This year, Super Bowl ads on YouTube were watched more than 76 million times before game day and we saw a total of 200 million views on 100 video ads and teasers tied to the Super Bowl.
The multiscreen world creates opportunities for marketers by helping them reach people in the right context with the right message on any device. For example, a pizza restaurant wants to show one ad to someone searching for pizza at noon downtown on their smartphone (click-to-call and restaurant locator), and a different ad to someone searching for pizza at 9pm on their laptop or tablet at home (link to online order form or menu). Context-aware ads like this are more likely to get a positive response because they help people achieve something quickly and simply so they can get on with life.
Advertisers should focus their investments on the contexts they care about. For example, our pizza restaurant may be having a slow day and want to attract more walk-in customers for lunch. Their ad could show lunchtime discount offers, directions and a click to call function to people searching mid-day for pizza within a 5 mile radius of the restaurant location. Or, if someone's searching for your retail housewares store on a mobile device during business hours, your ad can direct them to call you or provide a map of your location, whereas if they search for you when you're closed, you can direct them to your website to research and make purchases online.
Context-aware ads create a connection, they entertain, inspire and influence. They don't feel like an intrusion because they provide a great experience that's based on the user's context. So rather than focus solely on the device as the centerpiece of your next campaign, go a level or two deeper to examine the context. That's where the opportunities lie in today's multiscreen world.