Many of our lives are consumed by access to devices with screens. You are reading this in front of a screen. It is possible that screen is on a mobile device.
Are you noticing screens popping into your life in unexpected places? If someone is running late to meet you or going to the bathroom while you wait for them to return, are you engrossed in your smartphone? Do you see people with their smartphones at a sporting event or even when they are doing something athletic, like going to the gym or playing a sport? In an exercise class I’ve attended, I’ve seen smartphone use up until the second class begins and the second class ends, smartphone activity resumes.
It used to be that when someone was watching TV, the TV had their full attention. However, even this is becoming a rarer occurrence. Many people are often near a laptop (a trend that I first saw 10+ years ago), a tablet or a smartphone while watching TV. There are Facebook status updates and Tweets going out at all times.
What do all these examples mean for marketing?
It means that the multi-channel environment that we talk about often in this blog space is real. About six weeks ago, I wrote a post about how people perceive their mobile devices as essential for surviving their day to day lives. If your brand is not actively thinking about how to integrate marketing campaigns across a wide variety of channels, you are behind the curve. Marketing efforts need to work harmoniously together in the digital environment, a environment that gets seemingly more complex by the minute. Mobile is a ever present portion of a marketer’s mindset, as the Internet is moving from desktop/laptop access to smartphone/tablet access. Social networks gobble up more and more time spent online. Even email, an old standby in the digital marketing mix, still has a place as a common use of mobile devices is reading and responding to emails. The brand’s website, which first exploded in the 1990s, is still a part of a mix as it is the hub of owned online space.
More and more, there’s been a shift from experiencing an analog world, a world of interpersonal interaction without the technological advances of the last 25 years, to the multi-channel digital world. Think of the last day where you didn’t go online in some capacity. The days of not being online for at least some part of the day are getting to be a more distant memory. Brands that don’t fully realize this and don’t effectively optimize, distribute and manage content across the wide variety of online channels face a significant competitive disadvantage.