Between TVs, laptops, smartphones and other mobile devices – it’s safe to say we’ve become a society of “multi-screeners”, with many of us accessing our information and entertainment on a variety of different screens throughout the day.
Being a “multi-screener”,, however, is proving a challenge to marketers and advertisers who are trying to reach us online. For example, how do you get your message across to someone who is simultaneously watching TV, talking on the phone and searching for cheap airfares on their tablet?
We’re a society of multi-screeners
Indeed, a recent study by Google1 found that most consumers have added multi-screen behaviour to their multitasking as part of their everyday lives.
In case you’re not familiar with the term, multi-screen simply refers to the consumer habit of viewing the same content across a variety of platforms, such as laptops, smartphones or tablets – even at the same time.
Google has outlined two types of multi-screening:
• Sequential multi-screening:
When a person starts with one device, then uses another. For example, a consumer who starts booking a flight on a desktop at home, later completing it on a mobile device at a restaurant.
When a person uses two devices at the same time to complete a single task or engages in two completely unrelated tasks at once. For example, a consumer booking a flight on laptop while simultaneously checking a text on their smartphone.
For small businesses marketing to multi-screeners, it’s important to understand these divergent behaviours in order to address them in your marketing efforts. For example, if someone starts a purchase online by laptop, then later tries to complete it by mobile but gets frustrated because the site is too slow (because you don’t have a mobile-enabled site as yet) – you’ve potentially lost a sale.
How to maximise your impact on multi-screeners
Here are a few things your small business can do to maximise your impact in a multi-screen world:
• Test market your messages across a variety of platforms:
For example, if a consumer begins signing up for your upcoming event on a mobile phone, but later uses their laptop to complete the sign-up, ensure the transition between the two devices is seamless, with a similar look and feel.
• Ensure search parity
: Google’s study showed that the majority of users rely on search results when moving between devices, highlighting the necessity of making sure search results are uniform across platforms. For example, if a consumer begins reading something about your company on a desktop, then searches for that information on a mobile device, you may lose that customer’s attention if that search proves fruitless.
• Think like a consumer:
Today’s consumer is calling up information on the run. A person may search for coupons while shopping in a store, or look up a restaurant or hotel by the side of the road. It’s important to ensure a potential customer can find you no matter where they are, or what device they are using. In particular, it’s a good idea to have a mobile-enabled site, especially if you’re a local business.
Like many other aspects of today’s increasingly mobile world, multi-screening simply means small businesses need to reframe their thinking when it comes to marketing. In order to do this, business owners should put themselves in their customers’ shoes to determine the marketing methods that will work best.
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This article represents the views of the author only and not those of American Express.
Kathleen has a degree in marketing with over 10 years experience in the IT field as a database developer and web designer. As a freelance writer, Kathleen has written for several publications across Australia as well as for various business and hi-tech blogs online.