Media Multitasking Impacts Marketing Strategy

    February 8, 2007

Consumers are constantly flooded with content from all different sorts of channels. Rather than picking and choosing particular methods of consumption, however, many choose to multitask between outlets, which can ultimately decrease the effectiveness of each one.

Estimates suggest that 25%-30% of total media time is spent multitasking content. While media multitasking is seemingly a common sense concept, it actually can have a significant impact on the ability to absorb and remember content, including marketing messages.

In 2006, 103 million of the 147 million US adult Internet users watched TV while they went online. Nearly 90 million listened to the radio while online, and more than 50 million read magazines while online. Among teen Internet users, 7.3 million of the total 9.4 million watched TV while online, and 6.9 million listened to the radio, according to an eMarketer report.

Topics addressed in the report include:

•   How often do teens and adults use two or more media simultaneously?
•   Which media are most often consumed at the same time?
•   How is multitasking affecting TV networks and online video sites?
•   Are consumers still engaged with media and advertising when they are multitasking?

“While multitasking divides consumer attention, it also opens up opportunities for advertisers,” says Debra Aho Williamson, senior analyst and author of the report. “By understanding media pairings and how media are woven into a consumer’s day. Advertisers can discover what media are most engaging and when, and plan for that in their media allocations.”

To plan more effective advertising strategies, marketers will need to continually be aware of the progressive trends leaning toward media multitasking, most likely developing cross-medium platforms in order to engage consumers in each of the different content channels that they tune into.

In other words, since 66% of Internet users watch TV while surfing the web, it might be prudent to tailor a product campaign that integrates both mediums.

Instead of trying to win the war for the