Brands need to look beyond the stats

It’s very easy to be bowled over by big headline figures and findings when it comes to research but looking beyond the numbers at the actual behaviour can prove more beneficial than the statistics.

Mindi Chahal

B. Bonin Bough, vice president of global media and consumer engagement at Mondelēz International, highlighted this thought at the Guardian’s Changing Advertising Summit in London yesterday (8 Oct), talking about mobile marketing and particularly about the stats around dual-screening.

Bough says: “We have become the most distracted society in human history but the difference is no-one will ever tell you they’re distracted, instead they’ll tell you that they’re multitasking. They are lying to you.

“This has huge implications on our traditional wisdom. The underlining suggestion here is that people are paying attention to the mobile screen as it increases as well as the TV screen. The challenge is that they are not.”

Bough believes that although the statistics are out there relating to the rise of dual-screening, it might not be a good thing for TV as people aren’t watching the ads because they are distracted by mobile devices. Mondelez, owner of Cadbury, Trident and Oreo, recently announced it will begin a digital drive for its brands next year.

Many TV programmes now encourage Twitter use during the commercial breaks. For example, during Channel 4’s new TV quiz show, Was it something I said? Fosters, which sponsors the show, and the presenter both asked questions relating to the show and appealed for answers to be sent in via Twitter using a specific hashtag, encouraging dual-screening during the ad breaks.  

Dual-screening is often presented as an opportunity for TV and social and mobile marketing to join together in making campaigns integrated across both platforms. Although traditional TV advertising undoubtedly has the biggest share in terms of reaching consumers, whether those watching actually engage and soak up the advertising messages is another matter.

This behaviour change can be backed up by a report from the IAB released this week on digital ad spend. It shows that an average of one-in-seven minutes is spent accessing social networks online and that digital ad spend is up 17.5 per cent to record six-month high of over £3bn or £66 per person online. Added to this, mobile now accounts for 14 per cent of total digital spend.

It reminds marketers that you have to look beyond the statistics and data. It’s not just the headline stats of what people are doing, it’s why and what effect that has on other platforms. 

Entries are now open for the Data Strategy Awards 2014. For a full list of the categories and instructions on how to enter, click here.

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