Another (Scary) Reason that Technology Alone is Not the Answer

The case against one-way push advertising keeps getting stronger and stronger. Intuitively and based on my own experiences, I feel like the time to capture someone’s attention, certainly to the point of engaging them, is dwindling at a rapid pace. Our lives are busier, we have more and more media choices, and as such, there is a premium put on content that we will give our attention to.

But there’s not tons of research out there to back this up. This year, in fact, I’ve seen more and more centered around multi-channel use and it is something that I anticipate seeing more and more of – bigger studies, looking deeper into consumer behaviors across channels/devices/media – in the very near future.

Sometimes these studies – and corresponding results – are staggering. Like this one – “commissioned by Time Warner’s Time Inc. and conducted by Boston’s Innerscope Research. Though it had only 30 participants, the study offers at least directional insight into a generation that always has a smartphone at arm’s length and flips from a big TV set to a smaller tablet screen and back again at a moment’s notice.”

The study “found that consumers in their 20s (“digital natives”) switch media venues about 27 times per nonworking hour—the equivalent of more than 13 times during a standard half-hour TV show.” This, compared to “”digital immigrants” (consumers who grew up with old-school technologies, such as TV, radio and print, and adapted to newer ones). Immigrants switched media venues just 17 times per nonworking hour. Put another way, natives switch about 35% more than immigrants.”

Either way, there is no doubting that with the availability and adoption of so many different media choices (through technology) + our yearning to consume only what we want, the expectations of content delivery – despite what “channel” – are higher than ever. And it’s going to continue getting higher and higher.

When we think about the idea of interactive out-of-home, the places and things around us being turned “on,” and having the ability to interact with whatever we want, when we want, it’s clearer than ever that the technology alone will do nothing. It simply enables more noise or more engagement.

Question is – what are you producing? Are you producing content that just “goes” with the screen/channel? Or are you producing content that enables a deeper connection to the story? Something that is relevant and engaging? Something that is not pushed down someone’s throat?

This is where we’re going. We are a connected society who gets connected quicker and more seamlessly every day. As such, the substance of what we’re connecting with is going to always rise to the top.

This is gut and experience talking. For those of us who might need the data to be convinced, hold on. It’s not a matter of when that data will come, it’s a matter of what that data will say. Are you ready?

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