New research from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) asserts brands should no longer expect a single, universal moment of greatest engagement. Consumers are creating their own “personal prime times”—points of highly concentrated engagement throughout the day, which offer valuable marketing opportunities across a range of content verticals and digital screens.
The org’s new report, Personal Prime Time, demonstrates that while audience size might shift between different times of day, every daypart is ripe for meaningful consumer connections.
The study looks at the consumer journey through the lens of seven diverse content types—Episodic Shows, Music, News, Podcasts, Short Videos, Social Media, and Weather. In each case, the report acknowledges audience density in specific dayparts, but then provides findings to reveal that “traditional reach” metrics miss the consumer perspective on the “need state” that drives them to turn to content at any given time.
Diving in further, the research begins to take a range of consumer attributes (e.g., age, parental status) and device usage into account, to allow for better targeting across dayparts and platforms.
For example, while majorities of both Millennials and Boomers check social media regularly, the research identifies key differences between these two generations:
- 82 percent of Millennials report that they check social media during various dayparts or all day long, while 66 percent of Boomers report the same
- The top “need states” driving Millennials to check social media are to “pass the time” and “be entertained,” versus Boomers are looking to “connect with others”
- Device choice differs as well, with Millennials preferring mobile devices and Boomers opting to check social media on their computers
“In the age of ‘big data’ it makes no sense for advertisers to place their focus solely on big numbers, when they can take advantage of insights that can help them pinpoint the right customer, the right way, at the right time,” said Anna Bager, EVP of Industry Initiatives at IAB, in a news release. “This report only scratches the surface of what contexts, drivers, and modes will lead to optimal brand engagement—and we plan to delve even further to shine a spotlight on opportunities for marketers and publishers.”
“Historically, as an industry, we have taken a crowd-level view of when the best time is to reach consumers, but this study shows brands a different path,” said Chris Kuist, SVP of Research and Impact at IAB, in the release. “These findings suggest that a more modern approach is to take a truly consumer-level view. When you do that, you can tap into a wealth of factors that can tailor marketing messages and creative to optimize for engagement.”
The survey was fielded among Maru/Matchbox’s Springboard America online panel (~250,000 U.S. members), January 17 – 23, 2018. The total sample included 1,901 consumers ages 18+ in the U.S., representative by Census.