Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Saturday, February 18, 2012

How to Reach all the U.S. Digital Media Marketplace


There's much to be learned by observing the evolution of mobile device adoption and digital media consumption in the U.S. marketplace. About forty percent of all mobile service subscribers already own a smartphone and about twenty percent of all internet users own a media tablet.

That being said, this marketplace will likely move slowly past the early-adopter stage of market development. The reason being: these new devices are still being marketed -- more often than not -- by vendors and mobile network service providers that fail to acknowledge the apparent consumer market segmentation.

The problem of communicating the application value and benefits of these products is compounded by tech media journalists and gadget pundits who write product reviews that focus on esoteric feature/function and tech spec comparisons that are meaningless to most mainstream consumers.

It's unfortunate, because digital media publishers and most savvy brand advertisers really want to reach that greater mass-market audience. They truly appreciate the prior early-adopter engagement, but they also crave access to the huge untapped market segments.

The Mass-Market Upside Opportunity

Changes in media consumption now has many American advertisers reevaluating their multichannel marketing programs. The informed brand marketers continue to combine channels with the intent of achieving maximum reach, but as more digital devices enter the household, traditional media -- such as TV, print and radio -- has lost a significant part of its audience.

"The proliferation of digital devices and channels provides marketers more ways to reach an audience," said Lauren Fisher, analyst at eMarketer. "But as media multitasking has become a common way for people to cram more media minutes into the day, multichannel marketers are finding reach alone is no longer as effective."

According to eMarketer's assessment, data from a Yahoo! and Razorfish study revealed that while watching TV, 66 percent of U.S. mobile device owners were multitasking via their PC on a daily basis. In addition, 49 percent used their web-enabled mobile phone daily when watching TV.

Meanwhile, Nielsen found half of U.S. consumers exposed to a TV advert featuring a sports sedan recalled viewing the advertisement. But when consumers were exposed to the ad across multiple screens (their TV, computer, mobile phone and tablet), that percentage increased to 74 percent, providing a 48 percent lift in ad recall.

"Building a successful multichannel marketing campaign requires the right mix of channels that offer brands the ability to reach and engage consumers," said Fisher. "In the U.S., media penetration and consumer media habits offer insight into which digital channels should be combined with other mass media to drive distinct branding and direct-response objectives."

Proactively Marketing to Mainstream Consumers

Now, just imagine how the U.S. media landscape would progress if consumer electronics vendors and mobile network service providers refocused their marketing tactics away from the saturated early-adopter segment and instead targeted the mainstream consumer market segments more effectively.

They can start by communicating more details about the numerous benefits of utilizing one of the many software applications that can easily transform and enhance the digital media user experience. They can encourage smartphone or tablet reviewers to incorporate meaningful application scenarios that are relevant to the broader marketplace.