Where TV And Mobile Intersects, The Media Multi-tasker Lives

We all know great multi-taskers -- you know, those people who can seem to do multiple things at once and do them pretty well. We marvel at how much they can get done in a short period of time and how effective they are to boot. Sometimes we ding people because they can’t multi-task, and call folks out for being too linear and too “one thing at a time.”

And then, ironically, we develop our marketing campaigns and assume that our audience is actually consuming media in a linear way: “they’ll see the TV spot, and then later will search, and then they’ll get to the site…” Because we don’t think of people multitasking with media, we build programs that are wanting and that don’t deliver the best brand experience possible. My hope for 2012 is the healthcare marketers embrace the media multi-tasking of their audience and reward them for it as well.

According to the Harvard Business Review, people now cram the equivalent of 12 hours of media consumption into 9 hours through the simple act of using, absorbing and consuming content via multiple channels, simultaneously. We find this to be a really interesting trend and particularly wanted to better understand the overlap between television and digital media consumption, so we worked with Yahoo to field a study to help us understand this better. (You can read the full study in our 2012 outlook report here.)

Among other things we discovered was that 80% of people surveyed use their mobile device while watching television. With about 122 million mobile Internet users in the U.S., that means that there is a group of 98 million people demonstrating this behavior. They use mobile to do many different things but a full 26% used their device to look up a website related to a commercial that they saw and 24% turned to a search engine to find information on a product they saw advertised. Social is also huge with a whopping 40% using this time to review or update their social presence.

This is where we as healthcare marketers are presented a really interesting and robust opportunity – paying off this behavior with a smart, integrated and meaningful connection between the TV ad and the mobile experience. Why is this important for healthcare?

For one, the industry continues to invest a significant amount in broadcast. For the other, people continue to turn to digital channels to seek answers and support around all types of healthcare issues. What could be more compelling that bringing those two things together, in a real-time moment to drive education and brand engagement?

A few brands seem to be connecting the dots with this, such as Robitussin and their efforts to use their spots to drive to a pretty elegant mobile experience that is ultimately a product selector tool. Overall, though, we aren’t paying enough attention to this trend and the simple fact that a well thought out and connected mobile web experience can make your TV investment work much harder for you. How do we use the messaging from TV as a jumping off point and not make mobile a redundant communication? How do we reward someone who turns to mobile in that commercial break to learn more or engage more with your brand? And how can we be smarter about targeting our paid and owned mobile and social experiences to dovetail with our TV plan and capture that in the moment behavior?

So let’s be more generous towards our media multi-taskers and give them something that makes the efficient use of their time more rewarding, helpful and engaging.

Tags: digital, health, mobile, tv
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