Today’s consumers can choose from an almost infinite range of entertainment sources as multiple screens compete for their attention at home. The television still sits in the corner, but jostling for position alongside it we may also have a desktop or laptop computer, an iPad, a games console and a smartphone.
Over this increasingly complex landscape, the battle for our living rooms is about to be fought. For brands the new possibilities promise the ability to reach consumers with a richer blend of information than has ever been done before, but at the same time marketers must come to terms with legislative, technical and creative challenges if they wish to prosper in the next infotainment age.
One strategy to rule them all: the rise and rise of multi screen marketing
At the centre of the whirlwind is what many are calling the ‘three screen strategy’. Campaigns must be designed to make use of the web and mobile, as well as integrating with other ‘attention’ media such as television. At bigmouthmedia we’ve taken that concept and moulded it into a Four Screen Strategy. Whilst tablets are mobile devices, they render normal webpages much easier than other smaller screen smartphone devices, so as such, tablets should also be given a separate strategy. Recent research from Morgan Stanley backs this up. They found that those who purchased a tablet changed their behaviour on their notebooks as a result.
Websites must perform well on mobile screens, laptop/PC screens and TV screens, but between concept and reality stand browser issues, technological clashes, design disparities and competing legislative environments. The brands that best overcome these barriers will be the success stories of the next few years.
At bigmouthmedia we expect to see far greater resource going into usability testing, which although has been around for over a decade many companies still aren’t getting right. In fact usability for different devices is an alien concept to many companies. With an increasingly narrower margin between success and failure, more than ever before brands need to serve the right content, to the right device, to the right person, at the right time.
Ripping up the schedules: the evolution of television consumption
The way in which consumers enjoy television has undergone radical change over the past decade; no longer slaves to the TV listings, today’s audiences expect to access information whenever and wherever they want it. The BBC’s iPlayer received 141 million total requests for TV and radio programmes across all platforms and devices in April 2011, up 15% from the same period last year. Digital media is also making an impact on the television space, with Yahoo and Samsung pushing widgets to be displayed down the side of the screen and QR codes already a familiar sight on advertising of all kinds. To top it all off, there’s the convergence of digital media and traditional broadcasting, such as Apple TV, Google TV, the Playstation 3 and the Microsoft XBox Kinect.
All of this means that, for brands everywhere, content is about to become even more critical than ever before. With short, digitally distributed films such as the popular hit Lazy Teenage Superheroes garnering an audience of millions on a budget of hundreds, choices about which platforms and programmes will expose goods and services to the biggest and most appropriate audience are set to become increasingly difficult.
As the boundaries between the different mediums slowly dissolve, pinning down which laws and regulations apply to them is becoming something of a headache. Is a YouTube video the same as a television advert? Does a blog fall under the jurisdiction of the Press Complaints Commission? Is a TV show watched online still subject to broadcasting regulations?
All the indications are that the various bodies governing advertising regulation are keen to work with the industry to iron out any anomalies, but in the meantime brand managers should be aware that, even if their output complies to one set of rules, they may still fall foul of another.
Staying ahead of a rapidly changing game
The evolutionary factors facing the sector make it almost impossible to predict exactly how the situation will develop, but by ensuring that they have the right blend of skills and expertise ready to react, brands can at least be prepared to react to every change as it happens.
At LBi and bigmouthmedia we benefit from a wealth experience in both technological development and strategy management – from building and promoting mobile apps to online video production and advertising – that leaves us well placed to face a changeable future. This puts us in a strong position to ensure that our clients experience the very best benefits of every new emerging techniques.