Your Customers: Now Leaving From Platform…?

Nielsen’s quarterly cross-platform report was just released and it revealed that (no matter what their weight) Americans still are heavy television viewers – if you include digital viewing.

As Dounia Turrill, Nielsen’s senior vice president for insights, wrote. “Today we are challenged with an important transition in how media is consumed. Overall time spent with media content has increased. While traditional television viewing is down, especially among younger viewers, overall media consumption is up and growing, driven by an impressive growth in digital video viewing.”

Among the findings:

  • The average viewer watches more then 4.5 hours of television every day (yes, every day)
  • Traditional TV viewing is down among young consumers, especially 18-to-34-year-olds
  • That same demographic increased its digital viewing by 53% in the past 12 months
  • Digital viewing among 35-to-49-year-olds grew 80% in the past year
  • Digital viewing among 50-to-64-year-olds grew 60% year over year
  • With smartphones and tablets near 70% and 50% penetration, respectively, the growth in digital consumption will only increase

It’s important to note that while digital viewing is increasing, the bulk of video viewing is still via that 50-incher in your den. But because older viewers are rapidly embracing digital viewing, and iPads and iPhones are so ubiquitous, you need to rethink the ways you reach your customers.

It’s no longer sufficient to cut a 30-second TV spot, place it on local TV and local cable, post it on your website, and use the voice track for your radio buy. More than ever, you need to engage the viewers who, when they decide to watch something they see on Facebook or YouTube, want to be entertained first, informed second.

The recent – and brilliant – Ikea “bookbook” ad is a case in point. It not only spoofs Apple, it also compels you to watch all two-and-half minutes. There isn’t a false step in the humor or the presentation. Best of all for Ikea, it has gone viral, as evidenced by the fact that it has replaced the Ice Bucket Challenge as the most ubiquitous post on your Facebook feed.

This is not to suggest that you need to invest six figures in a slick commercial, but you do need to know your audience. That may require distinct approaches for TV, radio, print, and your website, blog, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, and YouTube outlets.

Let’s say you own a travel agency. A 50-to-64-year-old traveler might respond more readily to your promotion of a trip to Venice Carnival 2015 while an 18-to-34-year-old customer might be more enticed by your offer of limousine service to Burning Man. The Venice Carnival trip might be perfect for broadcast and print promotion, but Burning Man will likely resonate more effectively on YouTube and Twitter.

As consumers continue to migrate from broadcast and print to digital, you need to as well. Think of how you (probably):

  • Watch TV when you awake
  • Listen to the radio on your drive to work
  • Check your smartphone and laptop for Facebook, Twitter, and news updates multiple times a day
  • Post on Instagram while you prepare dinner
  • Check in with your iPad while you watch Boardwalk Empire or Bachelor in Paradise

You are not alone. Your customers are also engaging in a variation of this multi-platform ritual – well, except maybe for watching Bachelor in Paradise.

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