Buying ad time just got easier

Feb 19, 2013

Today's consumers switch between media forms so often – from TV to laptops to smart phones – that capturing their attention with advertising has gone, as one CEO explained, from shooting fish in a barrel to shooting minnows.

Now, a Michigan State University business scholar and colleagues have developed the most yet for targeting those fast-moving minnows. The research-based model predicts when during the day people use the varying forms of media and even when they are using two or more at a time, an increasingly common practice known as media multiplexing.

That's good news for companies struggling to predict when to buy ads on the Internet, television and radio, and in print publications. Previous models for predicting when consumers use media were 60 percent-70 percent accurate; the new model led by MSU's Chen Lin has proved 97 percent accurate.

"For businesses, our model does a much better job of predicting where your customers are at any given time," said Lin, assistant professor of marketing. "It represents a significant advancement over other models because much of that work assumed people consumed one type of media at a time."

The study, published in the academic journal , is based on a survey of the media- of nearly 2,000 U.S. residents. Lin and colleagues used the survey data to create their complex forecasting model.

Among the study findings:

  • People spend about 35 percent of their time consuming media.
  • Television is still the most popular outlet, followed by computer.
  • During the weekend, consumers spend more time watching TV and reading and less time on the computer and listening to radio.
  • People spend about 1.5 hours a day consuming multiple media at the same time (e.g., surfing the Web while watching TV). This happens more at during the start of the workday and before bed – at about 9 a.m. and again at 9 p.m.

Chen also said she was surprised to find consumers still value print media at certain times, particularly in the morning. Print was especially popular when it was paired with other forms of media.

"The old thinking is that print is endangered, but we found that it doesn't need to be eliminated," Lin said. "Print can have a second life if it's cleverly paired with new media such as personal computers and ."

In fact, Lin said ad buyers should stop considering the different media forms as competing and instead view them as complimentary. For example, print ads should be partnered with radio and Internet media forms in the key time slots when consumers are likely to be using all three forms.

"Our findings underscore the need to move away from a competitive mindset to a coordinated viewpoint," Lin said, "as consumers increasingly use combinations of media forms in short periods."

Explore further: Turkey hosts Internet forum, despite online crackdown

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Multiple media use tied to depression, anxiety

Dec 04, 2012

(Medical Xpress)—Using multiple forms of media at the same time – such as playing a computer game while watching TV – is linked to symptoms of anxiety and depression, scientists have found for the first ...

Net media are increasingly strong

Jun 15, 2010

University of Gothenburg, Sweden, conducts a yearly survey of Swedes' media use called Mediebarometern, which started in 1979. The results for the 2009 survey are now complete and show that Net media are increasingly strong, ...

Consumers using more media, new and old, study says

Oct 17, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- Reports of traditional media's demise -- in favor of newer, high-tech forms -- have been greatly exaggerated. That's according to a four-year study led by an Iowa State University mass media ...

Recommended for you

Startups offer banking for smartphone users

Aug 30, 2014

The latest banks are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Startups, such as Moven and Simple, offer banking that's designed specifically for smartphones, enabling users to track their spending on the go. Some things ...

'SwaziLeaks' looks to shake up jet-setting monarchy

Aug 29, 2014

As WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange prepares to end a two-year forced stay at Ecuador's London embassy, he may take comfort in knowing he inspired resistance to secrecy in places as far away as Swaziland.

Ecuador heralds digital currency plans (Update)

Aug 29, 2014

Ecuador is planning to create what it calls the world's first digital currency issued by a central bank, which some analysts believe could be a first step toward abandoning the country's existing currency, ...

User comments : 0