Always connected: Implications of the new multi-screen world for travel
Screens are pervasive, part of techno-centric society like never before. Consumers have screens of all shapes and sizes, and are increasingly using multiple screens at the same time. So how can travel brands capitalize on this developing trend of consumer consumption?
Two new sets of research provide some interesting framework that puts this shift into context, and gives some insight into the importance of a multi-screen strategy that considers how consumers use each device, in what context, and to accomplish what goals.
The first, from digital video advertising solutions provider YuMe, is an in-depth look at which consumers are using Connected TVs, and how this new breed of Internet-enabled “Smart TVs” are changing the landscape of media consumption.
Those with internet-enabled TVs trend male, and have an average age of 34. The majority of respondents in this particular survey – 77% – connected via their game consoles, demonstrating another unique touchpoint that travel marketers might never have considered.
These users are actually taking action from the ads that they are seeing via their Internet-enabled TVs.
While it’s not a majority, there is still a significant opportunity here for brands to interact with viewers, and to push them from advert to digital presence. Following the hub-and-spoke model with the brand at the center of its own digital ecosystem, engaging users on Smart TVs can then lead to the brand’s primary website.
While they are certainly not without an agenda – they obviously want to sell as many ads as possible across all channels – the research shows that multi-screen consumption is here to stay. In fact, having multiple screens has fundamentally altered the consumption experience by creating additional simultaneous touch points for marketers.
Users choose different sequences of devices to achieve different goals.
Let’s take travel for example. There are two ways that consumers moves through devices: sequential, where they move from one device to the next to complete an action in sequence, and simultaneous, when they use multiple devices at the same time.
For travel, the sequential multi-screen experience is paramount.
Consider Jane, a mother of two who is sneaking time at her son’s baseball game to research an upcoming trip. She browses through a few websites, and perhaps checks her favorite OTA’s booking app for flights. Then her son hits a homerun, and her focus is elsewhere.
Later that evening, as her kids are asleep, she picks up her tablet as she’s unwinding in front of the TV and continues her research. This time, she focuses more on looking at activities, restaurants and photos of the destination. The next morning, at work, she opens her laptop and books her trip.
A successful travel brand needs to be available at each of these touchpoints – and needs to be sure that Jane can access her data and browsing history across devices. There’s nothing more frustrating than having to re-do something that was already researched, so the necessity for keeping everything in Jane’s cloud ecosystem is real.
When Google asked users what device they began a particular activity on, Smartphone to PC and PC to Smartphone were two of the most popular paths for consumers planning travel. So what is your brand doing to ensure that you are accessible, easily discoverable and informationally transferable across devices?
Between Internet-enabled game consoles, Smart TVs and the increasing usage of multiple screens, the challenge for marketers is to ensure continuity of experience and ease-of-use for customers that use multiple devices in unpredictable and ever-more-fluid ways.
By thinking about the interplay of content and experience across devices, clever marketers can develop impactful, memorable and profitable campaigns that successfully engage users across channels.
Here are 5 concrete steps to take to ensure that customers have a pleasant, hassle-free experience:
- Make information (including browsing history) transferable across devices via account log-in, aka “signed-in” experiences.
- Develop device-specific experiences with device-specific features focusing on the context that users typically use those devices in.
- Look at the available data, including device log-in information, to determine what paths your customers are taking, and tailor the brand experience accordingly.
- Since users are on multiple devices at the same time, don’t limit conversion goals to just one device; broaden your funnel across devices using the data gleaned from #3. Also, consider campaigns that lead people from device to device, or that engage the customer across channels in a fun way – for example, an OTA promotion in a commercial during a travel show on cable that leads users to pick up their phones and follow along for the remainder of the episode.
- The smartphone has become our primary means of entry to the digital world (47% of respondent started trip planning on a smartphone, besting the 37% who began on a PC), so ignoring the mobile experience is now equivalent to ignoring the traditional PC web experience. Act accordingly!
Google’s full research is available here, and embedded below.
Nick Vivion is a reporter for Tnooz, based in New Orleans, USA.
His passion for travel technology led him to travel around the world shooting travel videos for Current TV and Lonely Planet TV in 2006 and 2007.
He shot on Mini-DV, edited on a white MacBook, uploaded and shared online as he traveled. His moxie for travel video has resulted in over two million views on his YouTube partner channel.
In addition to travel, Nick co-founded of one of the web’s most talked about LGBT media sites, Unicorn Booty, and has gone "blog-to-brick" with a bricks-and-mortar restaurant called Booty's in New Orleans – serving street food from around the world.