Google Calls Time on the Distinction Between ‘Traditional’ and ‘Digital’ Marketing

Google LogoGoogle 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).

TV No Longer Commands Our Full AttentionWe 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).

The report was conducted in conjunction with Sterling Brands and Ipsos. You can download the report here.


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