According to Arkestaal, there’s been a subtle behavioural shift from “multi-channel” to “multi-moment” that has “naturally evolved out of increasing connectivity”. “By 2017, there will be five connected devices for every Internet user worldwide,” said Arkestaal, citing a study from Cisco. “And it’s going back to being about people not just the technology.”
The qualitative and quantitative data from Microsoft’s multi-screen study in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore showed a positive correlation between mobile penetration and multi-screening behaviour. In other words, “the more ‘mobile’ you are, the more ‘multi-screen’ you are.”
This broader finding was investigated further and broken down into “four pathways” and behaviours: Content grazing, driven by distraction and multi-tasking, where users consume unrelated content on two or more devices; investigative spider-webbing, driven by exploration or discovery and consuming content on one device while looking up additional related information on a second device; social spider-webbing, driven by connection and belonging, consuming content on one device while having a related social conversation on a second device; and sequential multi-screening, which is task-oriented, driven by the users desire to accomplish things.
“On a simple level, if you just pay attention to what you’re doing with other devices while you’re watching TV for example,” said Arkestaal. “You get an idea of the different of moments that intersect and overlap and your ‘need’ states through to you carrying your mobile into the kitchen to look up a recipe.”
People in the Southeast Asian countries covered in the study “frequently pick up a second device during commercial breaks”. In Indonesia it’s 79 per cent, Malaysia 80 per cent and Singapore 68 per cent. “TV won’t be going away anytime soon but it’s about getting all the communications working together.”
“Across different devices the key will be to get people to see the right creative at the right moment,” said Arkestaal. “Instead of having people see the same ad multiple times, it will have to be done across devices in such a way that people don’t notice they are seeing ads let alone repeatedly and in different contexts.”
In the past, multi-screen advertising has been about “putting a campaign on as a many devices as possible” which Arkestaal believes “is a waste of ad impressions and marketing budget”.
“From the consumer point of view this is advertising inertia,” said Arkestaal. “There needs to be a consumer led strategy that basically doesn’t involve annoying people or interrupting their experience.”
Arkestaal’s advice is to use different screens and moments, that combined, “build the whole picture of a brand” rather than use each to “build a brand story”. All of this has to be balanced with the use of data and privacy, where consumers expect something useful in return for their data as well as “more control”.
Ultimately, the challenge also lies with clients embarking on multi-screen advertising. “A lot of clients are afraid of the operational side of the multi-screen ad platforms,” said Arkestaal. “They like the sound of it but often think it’s ‘too big’ for them.
“There’s so much to leverage and they shouldn’t be afraid to experiment, especially as this space has matured,” he added.