Here at HG Media we recently launched a mobile website marketing campaign to help our clients “get mobilized”. Shortly after the launch of our campaign in February 2012, while studying ComScore research on the direction of digital media in 2012, I came across this conclusion that I suggest is important for all HG Media associates…
“Perhaps the most disruptive shift on the horizon for 2012 is the rapid adoption of smartphones and tablets. These devices change the how, when and where consumers connect to digital content, creating the most dramatic shift in digital media consumption since the advent of the personal computer. Understanding today’s multi-device consumer or what is known as the ‘Digital Omnivore,’ will be increasingly important for advertisers and publishers in 2012 with an eye on the two critical factors to building effective digital strategies: the incremental effect and platform cannibalization.
The incremental effect of smartphones and connected devices on reach and engagement is often substantial, especially for those categories such as news and entertainment that lend themselves particularly well to the mobile and tablet environments. For publishers, this means the potential to reach incremental audience and deliver more advertising. For advertisers, understanding unduplicated audiences across these various platforms will be critical to optimizing campaigns. For both publishers and advertisers, understanding how these devices are shifting content engagement will provide a more complete picture of today’s digital consumer and further inform the allocation of digital dollars and resources.
But while these incremental opportunities abound with emerging platforms, they may also serve as very disruptive forces to current paradigms. As consumers develop preferences for using new platforms in instances where they once relied on another – such as using smartphones or tablets for browsing on the living room couch instead of using laptops – existing monetization streams are disrupted and may not be adequately replaced by the emerging channel. In 2011 we observed the marked decline of such categories as webmail, weather, maps and others on the classic web, as audiences have turned with increasing frequency to their mobile devices for these activities. Digital commerce continues to take share from traditional retail channels, a trend that will only accelerate with smartphones entering retail stores and tablets becoming a preferred source of late-night surfing. We will also see the continued cannibalization of physical products such as CDs and books as consumers use more ways than ever before to download content online.
The incremental effect and potential for cannibalization point to the rising importance of understanding complementary device usage in the coming year. Devices influence the way people consume content and it is important to remember that they do not exist in isolation of one another, but rather have a complementary relationship in consumers’ lives. Understanding how consumers behave across multiple environments is the key for businesses to stay ahead of the curve and ensure their digital businesses minimize the effects of disruption and maximize the incremental opportunities.”
– Conclusion from ComScore’s 2012 U.S. Digital Future in Focus research study