Brand dilemma in the multi-screen consumer age

In a world where consumers are straddling on multiple screens, the ability to match the message to the user has become a pivotal need for brands

e4m by Ankur Singh
Updated: Dec 1, 2014 8:03 AM
Brand dilemma in the multi-screen consumer age

With consumers constantly switching between desktop and laptop computers, tablets, mobile phones, wearable devices, and connected TVs, it’s difficult to target users with relevant ads. Multi-screen users spend five hours daily consuming seven hours of screen media, says Millward Brown’s 2014 AdReaction Report. Another research by Vserv says 98 per cent of multi-screen users move between different devices and screens during their purchase journey. Of these, 91 per cent research the product on their mobile apps and 66 per cent then make the purchase from their desktop.

However, in wake of such numbers, marketers have unique opportunities to connect with people and drive brand growth.

The challenges

The age of multiple screens provides the opportunity for advertisers to engage and influence consumers across more channels; however, it also comes with a new set of challenges and considerations for marketers to keep in mind.

According to a Wipro Council for Industry Research report, campaign planning and management in the new and complex digital media ecosystem can pose a critical challenge for brand marketers and agencies. Marketers need to understand how their brands can stay ahead of the curve by effectively building multi-touch cross-media campaigns. With their vast subscriber reach and access to subscriber data, TelcoMedia companies can help marketers navigate the changing dynamics of a multi-screen world. This section presents the key elements of building effective multi-screen advertising strategies.

“Each screen has a definite value, also we are seeing people straddling two screens simultaneously, we are seeing a lot of interesting technology coming our way where we can show an ad simultaneously on two screens, you can target a user in a much better way. But for an Indian audience, a multi-screen seamless brand experience is still way off. People are still in the experimental stage, and the coming year will also see a number of experiments,” said Damandeep Singh Soni, Head, India Business at LINE.

Brand navigation

The trend of users moving between devices has amplified. Hence, the ability to match the message to the user has become a pivotal need for brands. Understanding the role of each device along the path to conversion will impact how a brand evaluates the performance of its campaign and the performance by platform.

Ambrish Bajaj, Head of Mobile at, said, “What we have seen is that there is a good trend of people using multiple devices, starting from desktop or laptop, finally moving to mobile, or vice-versa. But, India is a unique market in the sense that a lot of customers who are accessing internet for the first time are doing it on mobile, and that is their sole device to access internet. The challenge is to offer similar set of stuff to each screen user, irrespective of where he chooses to access my website. We need to be able to capture the consumer’s preferences and replicate them on any other platform he/she chooses to access the product from. However, for a country like India, this problem is a little down-the-line to solve. Because a lot of users on mobile are mobile-only users.”

Attitudinal shift

According to Narayan Murthy, VP - global sales, Vserv, the multi-screen phenomenon is something the advertisers need to understand. A consumer’s attitude towards an ad is different for all screens. It is different for a TV screen, mobile, laptop or a tablet screen. That’s why in the content space, there are different copy writers to write for mobile, digital, TV, etc. That is because the user has different attitudes while accessing each of these mediums, and the treatment of each has to be different. Attitudinal behavior of consumers across screens is different. Even with the number of screens diversifying and disintegrating, there is a convergence of data that needs to happen to keep the consumer hooked.

While there are many challenges that lie ahead in terms of perfecting the multi-screen experience, the opportunities undeniably outweigh the struggles. Digital as a whole has reached critical mass, but the marketing universe still has to fully adapt into the cross device universe in order for the stars to be fully aligned.

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