How Increased Digital Media Usage Can Impact your Local Media Campaign

local media

Consumers are continuing to increase their time spent with digital media, but how does this research impact your local media campaign and should you incorporate it into your media plans?

For the first time in history, the average time spent with digital media per day is expected to surpass TV viewing.

According to a study by eMarketer,

the average adult will spend over 5 hours per day online, on non- voice mobile activities or with other digital media this year, compared to 4 hours and 31 minutes watching television.

The most significant growth area in digital media is in mobile usage.  Adults will spend an average of 2 hours and 21 minutes per day on non-voice mobile activities, including mobile internet usage on phones and tablets, which is more than an hour more than they spent on mobile last year.

how time spend with digital media impacts your local media campaing example

Based on this information, what significance does this data have for local media campaigns and how should advertisers incorporate this information into their local media plans?

There are several important insights that can be gleaned from this data:

Mobile advertising continues to play a major role in reaching consumers

In a previous article, I discussed how mobile devices are playing an increasingly larger role in the purchase cycle as consumers are using them to search for critical information that influences purchasing behavior.

Based on information from the current eMarketer study, this trend is continuing as consumers are spending 52% more time on mobile devices year over year.   While there are a number of other research studies that show a slightly smaller amount of time spent per day, it cannot be debated that mobile usage is continuing to increase and mobile advertising continues to be an increasingly effective way to reach consumers.

Multi-tasking behavior increases usage for each medium

It is important to note that in this study the estimate of time spent with each digital medium is cumulative and counted separately for each medium.  This means that when a consumer is watching TV for an hour while multitasking on a tablet device, his time would be counted as an hour toward TV viewing and an additional hour toward mobile.

This multitasking behavior helps to increase the overall time people spend with media each day, which is expected to rise from 11 hours, 39 minutes in 2012 to 11 hours, 52 minutes in 2013.

While overall hours are a bit inflated due to multitasking behavior, overall media usage, regardless of the medium, is continuing to increase year over year.

TV still has the highest time spent for any single medium

While it is important to see the growth in digital media usage, don’t forget that television has the highest time spent per day of any other single medium and is still the advertising medium that reaches the most people.

When looking at digital media, it takes a combination of online (desktop, laptop) and mobile (on feature phones, smartphones and tablets) to actually surpass the time spent on television.

While average time with television has declined slightly in the past 4 years, it should still be a consideration for your media mix when your goal is to reach the greatest number of people with your message.

Even as more consumers continue to spend more time with digital media, it is important to remember that a mix of media is still the best way to reach your target audience.

Linda Thomas

About Linda Thomas

Linda is the Director of Media Services at Sheehy+Associates, a regional advertising, marketing and media agency. With over 25 years in the industry, there isn¹t much she hasn¹t seen or done with regard to media planning and placement on a local, regional or national level.

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