OPINION17 October 2013

Divided attentions


Issue 3 of Impact Magazine, out now, takes an in-depth look at how media owners and advertisers are adapting to the multi-screen world.


Picture the scene. It’s early morning in a suburban, terraced house. In the living room, there’s a couch, a TV and four people sitting in front of it: two adults and two children. Postman Pat is on, but it’s not clear anyone is actually paying attention. Mum and Dad are squinting at their iPhones – one reading the morning’s news, the other checking emails – while the children sit hunched over an iPad, laughing at an episode of Spongebob Squarepants streaming over Netflix. Dad gets up to turn the telly off; the children let out a scream of anguish. “We were watching that,” they cry.

This scene – this vignette of the modern media family – isn’t unique. It’s repeated up and down the country. An ongoing piece of research, commissioned by the commercial broadcaster ITV, finds just over two-thirds of people regularly engaging in this type of multi-screening behaviour – whether that’s watching the TV while surfing the web, or browsing clips on YouTube while texting a mate. In fact, the sheer number of different screens, media formats and applications offers endless combinations of activities to engage in.

But trying to unpick these behaviours, to fathom out what makes a person pick up their smartphone while watching a TV show, and to figure out ways to continue to get your content in front of your target audience, despite the myriad distractions… these are some of the biggest challenges facing marketing directors and media researchers today.

In issue 3 of Impact Magazine, out now, Tim Phillips (co-author of Scoring Points, the story of Tesco Clubcard) takes an in-depth look at the work media owners, advertisers and agencies are doing to make sure they still achieve cut-through in a complex, multi-screen world.

Link:What are you looking at?

And speaking of cut-through (or should that be ‘cut-throat’?), we have an interview with shaving entrepreneur Will King, the man behind the King of Shaves brand. This is the first in what I hope will be a regular series of interviews with CEOs and innovators in which they’ll share their stories of success and how customer understanding and insight has helped them get to where they are today.

Link:An audience with the King of Shaves

As ever, feedback is gratefully received – especially as we approach the end of our first year in print. And if you’re not currently a subscriber to the magazine, head on over to mrs.org.uk/impact to sign-up.

Finally, I’m thrilled to say that the magazine has been nominated for Launch of the Year at the upcoming International Content Marketing Awards. Prizes will be awarded on 27 November. Hopefully we’ll have more good news to share with you on the 28th.

In the meantime, you can find the full digital edition of Impact Issue 3 here.