Smartphones and tablets have revolutionized the face of human-device interaction in the past few decades. Google’s latest report on multiple screen interactions points out that consumers tend to use at least three different screen combinations in a day. The increase in the number of connected screens has increased our ‘online’ time multi-fold and is paving way for newer business opportunities.
Courtesy: the new multiscreen world study _Google reports
Human interaction with multiple devices or screens can be broadly divided in two patterns:
Sequential access: Where the user can move between devices to complete a task.
Booking a flight or movie ticket, planning a travel, or adding an item to the online shopping cart make excellent real life examples of a sequence of steps needed to complete a particular transaction. Each of these steps can be completed from multiple screens i.e. a user has the power to save between transactions from one screen (device) and continue from the other. These scenarios provide enterprises with the opportunity to tap into the transaction and up-sell or cross sell their other products through effective promotions. While TV maybe the trigger for an internet search on a tablet or home PC, with the amount of apps flowing into the market, smartphones are also increasingly becoming the next level in completing such transactions.
Simultaneous access: Where users tend to use multiple devices at the same time.
Users tend to use multiple devices at a time as this makes us feel more efficient, because we can act spontaneously and this gives us a sense of accomplishment. TV screens no longer hold 100% of our attention. Replying to a mail, playing a game, browsing internet or preying on any social networking site are some of the common activities which go along with watching television. Television shows and brands make use of these secondary screens as a form of cross platform marketing. They ask us for immediate feedback, when we message or tweet our opinions while watching a program. This also presents brands more touch points to target their product.
Users do complementary activities on these devices. While watching a match on the television, users search for things like statistics of player’s on a complementary device. Marketers are trying to tap into this potential of the content viewed on devices to make the content meaningful to the users’ preferences thereby marketing their products, a practice referred to as contextual marketing.
What if there is a possibility that the secondary device in use, for example a tablet or a smartphone, is able to know what the user is watching (be it a movie or a cookery show) and push ads relevant to the clothing or cookery utensils used in the show during the breaks; it would not only be presenting the user with relevant products based on the particular moment but also have an impact on the sales and revenues.
Businesses can thereby take advantage of the always connected environment of multiple devices and rather than pushing just any content can start responding, present contextual content.