We Are All Guilty… of Being Multi-Screeners

All Day ConnectedThe first time I saw this picture, I laughed out loud! Describes me to a tee.  Someone had sent it to me late one night, and of course I was still on my phone. Yep, I was in bed with the lights turned off holding my phone above me.  It made me laugh :D I can be on the computer all the day for work, and all night after work and still want to be on my phone late at night!

Our phones and tablets have become our lifelines in addition to being our communication devices, our entertainment, our diaries, our cameras and so much more! Without a doubt, the mobile trend is growing fast and strong. In terms of media consumption, TV no longer dominates our attention – the time we spend in front of a screen is now split also between our smartphones, tablets, and laptops/PC’s.

A few gems from this useful report on Multi-Screen Usage from Google:

  • 80% of searches conducted on a smartphone are spontaneous vs. 48% of searches on a PC/Laptop are planned
  • Sequential Screening: 98% of people will move between devices  in one day
  • We use an average of 3 different screen combinations each day
  • Simultaneous Screening: smartphones are the most common companion devices
  • 78% of simultaneous usage is multi-tasking, while 22% of simultaneous usage is complementary
  • 67% of users start shopping on one device and continue on another

So what does that mean for marketers such as myself?

As marketers, I believe it’s essential for us to understand that visitors will visit our websites a number of different ways.  The device they access the websites on will depend on the context of their visit – where they are at, what they are looking for and the amount of time they have.

Site content should be optimized for use on tablets and smartphones – whether they are responsive designs or mobile-friendly sites.  Shopping sites especially, have to recognize that the devices might change in the middle of the sales funnel and must aim to make the transition as easy as possible. Content on desktop versions of sites should be optimized for desktop use (given that it is mostly used for research and complex activities) while content for mobile sites should be optimized for speed and convenience (because most interactions initiated on smartphones and tablets are spontaneous with shorter visit durations).

During the design process, marketers have to consider all these facts. It is important to understand the motivation behind site visits  and tailor the content and site experience to meet the visitors’ needs. There’s so much more here to think about – in terms of how it will affect web design and user experience. Lots and lots to learn, that’s for sure! It is a new age of marketing no doubt.  It is the world of the multi-screen – and we are all guilty of it!

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