Today's consumers no longer sit still. Thirty years ago, marketers knew where consumers were at night - plopped down in front of the television. Today, they are just as likely to be on tablets, smartphones or desktops, which makes reaching them with marketing messages more challenging.
An October 2013 comScore Inc. white paper titled Marketing to the Multi-Platform Majority: How Media Companies & Marketers Can Navigate the Brave New Digital World challenges businesses to figure out this multichannel puzzle or "be relegated to the dustbin of history."
Platform fragmentation requires that marketers recognize the complex and not always intuitive interrelationships between channels and vertical markets. For example, comScore said people consumed the same amount of sports information via desktops in June 2013 as they did in June 2010; however sports enthusiasts have increased their usage of smartphones and tablets for their news.
The same metrics do not apply to consumers accessing news about the weather, however. The researchers noted that the desktop channel is a considerably less popular vehicle for accessing weather-related news now than three years ago, with users now preferring the mobile channels for weather information.
Judging by comScore's findings, mobile-payment-first companies might be in the payments driver's seat. "It's increasingly probable that the leading digital media companies of the future will begin as mobile-first companies," the researchers said.
And, yet, the monetization of these new channels has been slow in relation to their adoption. "The lag in mobile monetization has made succeeding as a mobile-first company somewhat more challenging," comScore said.
It might be equally as challenging for traditional businesses to successfully branch out into the mobile channels. The way to monetize these channels is to develop a "'surround sound' communications strategy that reaches the consumer at optimal frequency across multiple touch points," comScore said.
Easier said than done. However, the multichannel majority demand it. '[A] n individual user may have first visited a retailer's website on a desktop, then visited the site on his smartphone while in a physical store, later read product reviews on a tablet at home, and finally completed a purchase on a desktop computer at work the next day," comScore said.
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