Marketing to the Multi-Platform Majority
comScore today released its latest white paper, Marketing to the Multi-Platform Majority, to help digital businesses gain a better understanding of the evolving multi-platform environment and provide strategies for success in this period of dynamic change.
The paper’s namesake is derived from the fact that in the U.S., we recently reached an important milestone in the evolution of digital with a multi-platform majority among the total U.S. digital media population. For the first time in April 2013, more than half of media users engaged on both computers and mobile devices, and it is a number that has been rising ever since. What’s more: The percentage of users accessing the Internet only from a desktop computer continues to drop, with a decline of six percentage points in just six months. While the desktop computer is not going away anytime soon, trends like these clearly illustrate that marketers and publishers must begin to put the multi-platform consumer first and change their orientation from the PC-centric consumer view that has dominated their digital strategy for the better part of two decades.
Dramatic growth in mobile media consumption has not only changed the audience dynamics, but has also caused a seismic shift in the composition of time spent by platform. Barely a rounding error compared to desktop usage five years ago, mobile media usage now accounts for half of all time spent on digital media. The new digital marketing mix is a stark reminder of just how quickly the habits of consumers can evolve.
As behavior has shifted, mobile has become a more significant element in all relevant digital media markets, including video, search, advertising and commerce. The past 24 months have seen a variety of leading tech and digital media companies develop and execute strategies to help them better realize the value of multi-platform media consumption. Consider the following:
- Facebook redesigned its News Feed in part to improve platform consistency.
- The New York Times revealed a new prototype of its website with a strong nod to mobile integration. The publication also curbed access to its content through magazine-like applications (e.g. Flipboard) and extended its paywall to its mobile applications.
- Google upgraded AdWords to integrate the management of desktop and mobile ad campaigns.
- USA Today underwent a complete web redesign to provide a more “app-like” experience.
- Disney began to implement responsive design across a number of its properties in order to streamline the content experience across platforms.
By understanding and then deploying strategies that align with exactly how and where their audiences are engaging with the brand, companies are immediately reaping the benefits to their businesses. Facebook shocked the industry by quickly building a mobile ad business from zero in Q2 2012 to nearly $650 million in Q2 2013. Pandora now attracts a sizeable majority of its user base and nearly 3/4 of its ad revenue from mobile platforms. Disney has seen its web properties featuring mobile-friendly responsive design extend their audiences via mobile at a much higher rate than its non-responsively designed sites.
And although usage patterns are evolving very quickly, we are still in the early innings of realizing the value that comes along with this change. The time is now for businesses to learn how to market to the multi-platform majority.