The Interactive Advertising Bureau (iab) just released a study about multi-screen users and has some good information about how consumers are distracted as they watch TV while they simultaneously surf the Internet on a second device. The real danger here is that television commercials become less effective as consumers tune out during breaks in the show.
What is also in this study is how consumers research products before they purchase. SCRN is the number of screens a consumer uses, one screen would be a TV, two screens adds a computer, then smartphone and finally a tablet computer make up the four screens in this report. The theory is that the more screens you use the more techie you are. Here’s what they found out about how today’s consumer research for new products:
All groups prefer online sources of information by significant significant percentages. Even for the relatively disconnected 2SCRN respondents, 61% of cited sources were digital, rising to 72% for those with tablets. Digital rose to 68% among 3SCRN consumers, and 72% among 4SCRN. Among offline sources, the most commonly cited were the personal advice of friends and family, which also manifest digitally. Social networks were mentioned frequently, second only to searching directly for product information.
This is just another in a long list of studies on consumer behavior that demonstrates the need for marketers to have both an online and offline strategy for retail advertising. The offline is generally really well covered but online still requires a lot of effort and thought to make sure you’re hitting all the right screens in the right way.
As we’ve tracked advertisers moving dollars from print to online we’ve not seen the same shift from television to online but now with DISH TV coming out with their ad skipping DVR and this study it seems that even television needs to be reconsidered as technology continues to allow consumers to change their behavior.