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BlackSmith Communications attends "Bringing it Back: CES and SXSW" panel, Part III



Part III: Navigating the multi-screen digital landscape

As we find ourselves diving deeper and deeper into digital, our devices are no longer simply appendages to our lives—they are the vehicles that fuel our existence. We interact with the world through our gadgets; we live on the Internet via carefully curated profiles, abbreviated tweets, and glorified Instagram photos. Oftentimes, we enter a deeply attached and committed relationship with our devices; other times, not so much. During MITX and BIMA's "Bringing it Back" SXSW/CES panel discussion, Digital Influence Group's Steven Brennan ever so casually coined the statement, "I'm cheating on my phone with my tablet; I hope my TV doesn't find out!" In a multifaceted, multifunctional, and multi-screened digital landscape, marketers must examine consumers' ever diversifying and intensifying relationships with their gadgets.

Earlier in 2012, the InMobi Ad Network published the results of their mobile media consumption study, which featured a breakdown of the 7.2 hours of media consumed daily by the average mobile web user. Of these 7.2 hours, 140 minutes (32%) were spent online; 117 minutes (27%) on a mobile device, and 98 minutes (23%) in front of the television.  With mobile use surpassing television, 66% of consumers are more or equally comfortable with mobile advertising compared with television or online. Throw tablets and e-readers into the mix—the percentage of American adults who own these devices nearly doubled from 10% to 19% over the December 2011 holiday season!—and we are now very visibly and literally changing the face of advertising.

The contemporary consumer perhaps still works on a desktop at the office but prefers a laptop at home. She owns a tablet for casual web-browsing or e-reader for "thumbing" through digitized novels. On public transportation and waiting in line at the convenience store, she's scouring social media platforms for the latest gossip, photos, and 140-character-or-less epiphanies on a mobile device. And once she's home after a long day's work, the media marathon continues in front of the television or even better—the connected television.

You may be wondering, whatever happened to consumer loyalty? Our allegiance to the tried-and-true television is wavering as we juggle our phones, tablets, and laptops. In the digital landscape, where the only constants are change and innovation, television in the traditional sense no longer stands a chance. Fortunately for consumers, the connected television (think: tv's sexy younger sister) is making headway. Television's big comeback presents a product that is freshly connected, widely networked, and undeniably enticing to the contemporary buyer.

So, while the mobile phone is too busy fuming at the tablet's newfound popularity, and the traditional television is left sulking in a dark corner of the market, the connected television has quietly sowed seeds of desire in consumers. Oh, the heart, how she is fickle.

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