Opinion

Multi-screen Mrs and misses: An untapped opportunity

Bec BridesonBec Brideson, owner and director of female-focused marketing company Hello I’m Venus argues brands need to work harder to deliver to multi-tasking women who use multiple screens as an extension of themselves.

Every day, screen-based technologies are becoming further intertwined with human behaviour, and it’s becoming increasingly apparent that one screen just isn’t enough these days.

In the lead up to last year’s Olympic Games, it was confirmed 40 per cent of viewers would follow results on more than two screens (according to techbargains.com), a figure that’s surely set to grow for the next games.

This comes as no surprise when Mi9 has reported 69 per cent of Australians ‘multi-screen’ in front of TV. It seems compulsive connectors (women especially) love being a simple tap away from their friends and family — even while engaging in entertainment.

But why? Well statistics consistently show women spend more time on social media, connect with more friends, and commit to more brands through digital than males.

Welcome to the world of the ‘screen queen’.

She’s the ultimate multi-tasking, time-poor and over-committed woman — embracing technologies that promise to help her “have it all” (or opt out if she wants to).

We live in a world in which women use screens as an extension of themselves. Her friends, shopping, research, relaxation and work, all extend from the shiny surfaces that surround her. These digital divas are an economic force to be reckoned with.

Women have been described as ‘the fastest growing economy’ by people such as Arianna Huffington, creating the perfect storm for marketers prepared to listen.

We’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg when it comes to creative potential in embracing women through technology.

Females are increasingly using technology to purchase, and to make friends a part of their decisions. The change-room mirror selfie is shared with the expectation of instant feedback.

And with such high attachment to our devices (and the immediate connections they give us), this needs to be translated into TV.

From now on, it’s no longer ‘just’ about what’s on TV, it’s time to push it to the small screen.

In a recent survey by AOL, 89 per cent of people said tablets are the perfect complement to TV, and 63 per cent said they were the perfect replacement — that’s right replacement. Additionally, 94 per cent reported using their tablets during commercials.

It’s also worth being aware that for many mums, their main second screen is their smartphone, as the tablet has long been surrendered to the kids.

Brands need to work hard to deliver quality mobile experiences, because that’s where our audience is.

Australia is recorded as having higher smartphone penetration than the US (according to Google’s 2013 Our Mobile Planet report), and so marketers need to embrace this opportunity.

Ready for the figure that will really urge you to make your move? 41 per cent of these respondents report following through to make an online purchase on mobile, there and then.

It’s easy to see, advertising across just one screen is a missed opportunity.

There’s a lot to think about in TV strategy now that mobile has well and truly come into play. How do we drive prospects to our owned media? How do we offer a rewarding interaction that keeps consumers coming back when our commercial finishes? These are just a start.

TV still remains the most powerful medium we have, but it’s time to incorporate multi-screen behaviour into strategy. In particular, it’s time to connect with women. And then? Sit back with your own second screen and watch your marketing deliver more instant, measurable ROI than ever before.

Failing to understand how your female audience uses screens is a business-threatening issue. Conversely, the possibilities that open up when thinking across these four screens can be more exciting, and rewarding, than ever before.

Bec Brideson is founder and creative director of Hello I’m Venus

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