Google say it’s time to stop making the distinction between ‘digital’ and ‘traditional’ marketing, as the vast majority of media interactions with consumers are now screen-based. Instead, businesses should ‘understand all of the ways in which people consume media, particularly digital, and tailor strategies to each individual channel’. Google make the recommendation in a new report titled ‘The New Multi-Screen World’, which looks at how businesses and marketers can adapt to changing cross-platform consumer behaviour.
On the changing role of TV in multiscreen world, Google say ‘TV no longer commands our attention’ with 77% of TV viewers using another device at the same time in a typical day. However, ‘TV no longer commands all our attention’ might have been a better way for Google to title the previous slide, as the report then goes on to say that ‘TV is a major catalyst for search’, with a signficant number of what Google calls ‘search occasions’ being prompted by television (22% of searches on smartphones and 10% on PC/laptops).
We multi-screen by using more than one device simultaneously, using a combination of smartphone and television (81%), smartphone and laptop/pc (66%), and laptop/PC and television (66%). Interestingly, smartphones are the most common starting place for starting online activities, with most then going on to a PC and then a small minority then going on to a tablet. Unsurprisingly, the more complex a task becomes, the more likely the user is going to start out on a PC instead. Tablets were the most common starting point for shopping an trip planning.
Google differentiates between two types of multiscreen usage: ‘sequential usage’ and ‘simultaneous usage’. Sequential usage is when we use more than one device to complete a single task. For example, you might research a holiday purchase while on the bus and then make the purchase on your laptop when you get home. Whereas simultaneous usage is either multi-tasking (e.g. booking a holiday while watching TV), or complementary usage, where the two screens relate to one another (e.g. using a second screen service to participate in a TV show).