Unless you have been in a cave hibernating for the last few years, the fact that mobile is growing should be no surprise – especially for marketers. Keeping in mind those who need stats from reputable third parties to justify budget adjustment and re-allocation to new channels, here are two eMarketer charts that explain share of time and average time spent per day by United States adults consuming various media:

Average Time Share Spent Per Day on Major Media

The full article and eMarketer analysis can be found here: http://goo.gl/iUSoLv. I’ve already tweeted a question out to them and invite them to engage here, but I wanted to get the ball rolling with some dialogue. Let’s dive in.

STAT: eMarketer says we spent 5:14 hours on digital media (2:19–mobile, 2:19–online, 0:36–other) in 2013 and 4:31 hours on TV

I personally am connected to my laptop or phone virtually every minute when I am not sleeping. I start my day scanning emails and newsletters on my phone while I am still half asleep. If I am on a conference call at work, I am probably multi-tasking on my laptop. I work at my desk on my laptop with multiple screens, including mobile, so there is media hitting me simultaneously throughout work time on at least two channels. If I am driving, I have my headset on my phone connected and am trying to make a couple calls to occupy that idle time. At the gym, I use my phone to connect to TVs or listen to music. If I am watching TV at night, I am almost always surfing on my phone or texting someone (work or personal). And yes, I have occasionally surfed on my phone while I was in the bathroom (I am not the only one).

So, here’s my question: how do we parse out the “consuming media” time from the focused work/leisure time? Likely, I am over-thinking the study here and the data reflect aggregate hours spent on a given device or channel regardless of the activity type. If so, advertisers and marketers should consider these hours as the total potential time they can capture customers in a given medium.

I do like the fact that eMarketer is including multitasking time in the study and giving each channel credit (i.e. if you watch TV while multi-tasking on your phone for 1 hour, each channel gets1 hour of credit in the total tally). The challenge for marketers and advertisers, however, is that there is only ONE of ME. My attention is split between mediums and therefore it becomes harder to engage me with an interruptive advertising experience that requires millions of dollars to craft.

STAT: eMarketer says Mobile is the only channel that is growing in share. 3.7% in 2010 and projecting 23.3% by 2014

Since 2007, with the explosion of smartphones, millions of apps launched and unlimited data/texting plans, this should be of no surprise.  We are not simply walking around with a phone anymore, we are walking around with  a supercomputer that instantly connects us to any brand, company or service. And it connects us via whichever channel we prefer–app, web, phone, SMS, MMS, passbook, social media, mobile email, etc. The marketer’s world is an order of magnitude more complex today than it was 5 years ago. In short, you need to immediately get into the mobile game in some real way if you haven’t already. There are a ton of solutions and you’ll need to weigh and prioritize which are the most important for your brand. Avoiding this scary new world is NOT an option anymore.

STAT: eMarketer says TV’s share of media was 40.9% in 2010 and is projecting 36.5% by 2014

Whereas this may be true, the bulk of this research’s readers are deciding where to spend their marketing/advertising dollars. I personally spend at least 95% of my TV time in a given week using my DVR, where the only commercial content I see are the first couple seconds that appear before i can hit fast-forward. I am clearly not alone, as many on-demand shows now block fast forwarding to force me to watch commercials.

Moreover, the projections of the time/share may be true, but the applicability of the data is very different in the DVR-driven world we now live in. TV advertising on anything besides LIVE sporting events needs a drastic overhaul, as it simply has nowhere near the reach it once did. The world has changed, and we must change with it. Bring on product placement, sponsored no commercial airings and multi-screen experiences – otherwise your advertisements are in vain. And, for those folks who buy commercials in the on-demand shows where I am still forced to watch, I am absolutely on my phone ignoring your ads. Plus, I’m probably less apt to choose your brand, as I admittedly get annoyed that I can’t fast forward through this content to watch my shows.

STAT: Every time I typed the word “marketer” or “advertiser” in this post, I was troubled as to which or both I should include

The lines between these two worlds are getting more blurry each day. With the growth of re-targeting, the waters will only get more muddied. Ultimately, you must capture people’s attention and drive them to action in the modern age.

For my money, it’s easy to imagine a not too distant future when companies simply have one massive lead nurturing program. They will deploy their budget at different levels in their customers’ purchasing journey and tweak and improve their conversations to get more activity into the funnel.

What about you? What are your thoughts? Please post to the comments or tweet to @matthewsilk.

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