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Media Multi-taskers

Posted by Pramod S.N. at 9:29 AM

In today's fast paced world, multitasking has become the norm. Corporate executives juggle multiple projects, mothers cook dinner while helping children with homework and a nine-to-five worker can update their Facebook status while watching American Idol in the evenings. Each of these scenarios is an example of how modern life has created a need to be constantly connected and constantly moving.


In fact, a 2011 Nielsen survey showed 70 percent of tablet owners and 68 percent of smartphone owners use their devices while watching television.  Although many would assume the use of multiple devices detracts from the ability to focus sufficient attention on one task, it appears the two actually supplement each other.


Nielsen calls this phenomenon cross-platforming and has found that viewers who are also using the Internet tend to be more engaged in television programming. For example, someone watching the start of baseball season may find themselves logging in to learn more about new players on their favorite team. Nielsen also found that television viewers commenting on television shows in real time on social media sites provides useful insight to advertisers., notorious for its provocative Super Bowl ad campaigns, capitalized on this very trend, incorporating Quick Response (QR) codes into its 2012 campaign. GoDaddy reports setting sales records from its mobile site after smartphone and tablet users scanned the code while watching the commercial. Additionally, GoDaddy saw record traffic to its website after enticing viewers to two Internet-only commercials via their television ads.


GoDaddy isn't the only company taking advantage of media multitasking. Several other major retailers, including the Home Shopping Network (HSN), are including QR codes into their broadcasts to help consumers quickly place orders via their smartphones or tablets. In October 2011, HSN launched its campaign and saw fourth quarter digital sales grow by 19 percent, indicating, at least in part, that consumers were using their mobile devices to access ordering information while watching the network channel.


GoDaddy and HSN are just beginning to scratch the surface. With tablet users admitting to Nielsen that they are spending 30 percent of their usage time also watching TV, there is an untapped market many companies have yet to explore. Taking advantage of cross-platforming  enables companies to engage with their target customers through more channels than ever before. Marketing executives should consider this new trend as an open door to call consumers to action.


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