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Mobile And TV: Enter The Second Screen Experience

Allyson Marketing Associate
April 26, 2012

Multitasking may not always be the best way to improve your productivity—you can get distracted or miss an important part of your work. But in today’s mobile world, multitasking is starting to become something marketers actually WANT customers to be doing. With about 40% of smartphone and tablet users using their devices regularly while watching TV, the opportunities to engage with these multitaskers are huge.

Amanda Harvey, Account Executive at Velti, explored the opportunities for mobile and TV at the Mobile Shopping Spring Summit where she moderated a roundtable discussion titled, Mobile and TV – Will Scanning, Buying, And Cross-Channel Advertising Really Drive Revenue For Your Brand? With so many different channels to integrate with their audiences (in-store experiences, promotional deals, loyalty programs), retailers are beginning to understand that customers’ changing buying habits requires extending their brand experience to anywhere the customer is likely to engage in a cross-channel capacity. And that means even on the couch while the customer is watching TV, with their mobile device in hand.

Most marketers know intuitively that targeting video ads across the multitasking experience has tremendous promise. Retailers want to remain relevant to consumers no matter how, when or where they shop so they’ll work hard to integrate mobile tactics to ensure a seamless brand experience to aid consumer decision-making. The concept, no matter where it’s applied, is taking a traditional entertainment audience who always has their phone with them and utilizing mobile as a way to open a new, rich engagement channel that will be supported by integrated brand tie-ins. The second screen experience, which describes the use of a mobile device during TV watching, has been driven by demand and action from the audience and not by broadcaster innovation.

The shift that occurs when you let go of traditional TV and welcome social TV creates a need for an interaction between the senders and the content consumers. This new requirement involves new services, applications and changes in content production. This is satisfied by the use of the second screen because it provides the user with a way that does not interrupt playback directly to the content, but provides a parallel path, where the user can become an active agent in the broadcast content or just some other activity. Second screens provide broadcasters with new revenue streams (convenient voting, purchasing of content), enhanced options for their advertisers, a community around their shows (mCRM), analytics into audiences and their behavior, and off-air engagement time before and after the show. For marketers, knowing that their consumers are likely to be engaging in mobile use during TV broadcasts, adapting the engagement approach accordingly will drive revenue by creating an application that is a natural extension of TV programming to get maximum brand exposure.

For advertisers and publishers looking to increase affiliate traffic and drive revenue through a mobile platform, the concept of “sofalising” is something to adopt. Sofalising is where consumers are encouraged to respond to TV advertising via their mobile. This increases interaction with brands and helps to measure the impact of the broadcast spend while utilizing the affiliate channel and is an innovative way to integrate a marketing strategy and use the unique elements of the mobile platform to reach individuals. Some examples of this include the use of the Shazam application during commercials or TV programs where users can point their mobile device to hear a specific sound bite to access exclusive content or promotional deals.

Marketers and broadcasters may have been worried that consumers would ignore TV programming with their mobile devices constantly in hand. But we have seen that that isn’t the case. In fact, the more they multitask, the bigger the opportunities there are to capture their attention across channels and create a truly innovative, engaging experience. For more on Amanda’s discussion, check out Mobile Marketer’s coverage here!


Do you think mobile engagement during TV watching is an added opportunity, or just plain distracting? Have you used your mobile device while enjoying your favorite programming? Share your thoughts with us below!


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