May 12, 2014 Michelle DeFrancesco

In this new era of evolving technology, we have come to see a dramatic increase in the amount of people turning to their smartphones, iPads, or tablets for entertainment.
Studies have shown that rather than grabbing a snack, or engaging in small talk during a commercial break, consumers are increasingly turning to a new ritual: surfing their devices.

Distracted consumers are nothing new. But the method of distraction can be both a challenge and an opportunity for advertisers. One of the challenges lies in the multitude of ads competing for consumers’ attention. Consider this, from a recent Adage article:

“Experts estimate that the last time the average American went a full day without exposure to a single advertisement was in 1915. By 1999, it was estimated that an individual could have seen or heard as many as 15,000 marketing messages a day.”

We are used to thinking about the proximity of a competitor’s ad to our own. However, with the increase in multi-platform technology, we now have to consider the real-time competition of ads on other platforms, other devices. It can seem like an insurmountable task.  

There is opportunity in this, though. As technology advances, and targeting becomes more focused, we have the ability to reach consumers from every angle. The multitude of devices can equal a disinterested and disjointed ad experience – or an increasingly engaging and cohesive one.

According to a survey conducted by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and Nielsen, the percentage of media budgets dedicated to multiscreen advertising is expected to rise from 20% in 2013 to 50% over the next three years.

In February, The IAB identified core digital metrics as part of the Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS) Initiative, and announced a new definition of advertising engagement. “Engagement — whether online or off — is not a single “event,” but more of a continuum of consumer activities, cognitive, behavioral, emotion, around an ad and a brand,” said Sherrill Mane, Senior Vice President Research, Analytics, and Measurement, IAB.

And one of the key components of Nielsen’s new Cross-Platform Campaign Ratings service is to measure the unique audiences of digital and television separately and how they interact with each other.

Advertisers, how are you tackling multi-platform ad experiences? Where do you see engagement measurements moving over the next five years?

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