How to capitalise on constant connectivity

Our world is more connected than ever before. We work and socialise online in entirely new ways, spanning time zones and geographies. Almost every aspect of our daily lives is digital in some way. This trend was only accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to mass digital adoption as a necessity.

We collaborated with the Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB UK) to deliver a bespoke programme of research – Real Living 2021 – that uncovered some fascinating insights into the consumption of digital media.

To understand the nature and acceleration of digital connectivity, we surveyed 2,000 consumers about their digital habits. The results from this quantitative exercise were supplemented by 27 in-depth conversations with consumers, who also agreed to be passively tracked on their digital devices for a period of two-weeks.

The research revealed three headline findings that show just how embedded digital has become in our daily lives, highlighting the critical importance of connectivity while offering key recommendations for any digital organisation.

Connectivity as a commodity

Constant, super-fast connection is a gift for advertisers, unlocking limitless potential to engage with both current and potential customers. There are huge opportunities to cross-promote across digital devices, capitalising on consumer attention.

The smartphone remains king of the devices. Currently, over six and half billion people own a smartphone, equating to 83.32% of the world’s population. The use of tablets and laptops is also on the rise. These are devices that consumers use every single day, for multiple hours. They are the perfect communication tool for advertisers.

Connectivity has become a commodity, and with the correct data protocols in place, consumers are willing to exchange their information for a more tailored experience.

Adapt your approach for different digital environments

The breadth of media channels available means there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to digital advertising. This is true in a very literal sense, as the optimal layout for a mobile device is unlikely to transpose to a larger laptop screen or even a smart TV.

As you might expect, the Real Living 2021 survey confirmed that people interact differently with different devices. Advertisers therefore need to adapt how they market products and services to customers for each possible device, as well as each media channel. Someone’s usage habits are likely to change based on the time of day, day of the week, and a range of other factors particular to the individual.

Understanding how, when, and why customers interact with their chosen digital environments and media channels is key. For customers who are heavy users of social media, for example, their Facebook newsfeed might be the best place to grab their attention and encourage them to engage them with your offering. Gen-Z customers may be more likely to use Instagram – the highly visual optics of this media channel require different dimensions, design, and language.

Don’t underestimate consumer awareness

As the old adage goes, the customer is always right. To drill down into this a little further, what the customer wants is to be respected, taken seriously, and understood. If they’re going to agree to share data to enhance their digital experience, then the advertisements they see need to be relevant and speak directly to their needs.

The informed, digitally savvy customer of today is in a unique position of power. Digital literacy is at an all-time high. Data protection regulations have made it a legal obligation for organisations to inform consumers of exactly what data they collect and how it will be used. This means that consumers are more sensitive to, and consequently more sceptical of, digital advertising tactics. Advertisers need to get it right, every time, or risk alienating their target market.

To find out more about the ways in which our research insights can support your objectives, get in touch with one of our Human Insights team.

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