Small Business Marketers and Connected Viewers


It’s 7 o’clock on a Tuesday night, you are watching your favorite TV sitcom.  You are laughing and enjoying yourself… then it cuts to a commercial.  There is nothing more annoying than commercials, right?  So to pass the three-minute interval, you pick up your smartphone to check your email or play your turn on Words with Friends.  Does this sound familiar?  Maybe you are more of a Draw Something fan, but more and more TV viewers are becoming what Pew Research calls connected viewers.

The Pew Internet & American Life Project recently conducted a survey to find out just how engaged cell owners are when watching a program on TV.  Here’s what they learned:

  • 38 percent of cell owners used their phone to keep themselves occupied during commercials or breaks
  • 22 percent of cell owners used their phone to check whether or not something they heard on TV was actually true
  • 6 percent of cell owners used their phone to vote for a reality show contestant

Those who downloaded apps, browsed the internet or used email on their phone (57 percent) were asked three more questions:

  • 35 percent of cell owners who used apps, email or internet used their phone to visit a website that had been mentioned on TV
  • 20 percent of cell owners who used apps, email or internet used their phone to see what others were saying about a program they were watching
  • 19 percent of cell owners who used apps, email or internet used their phone to post their own comments about the program they were watching

Altogether, over half (52 percent) of cell owners are connected viewers, meaning they took part in at least one of these activities in the last 30 days.
What does this mean for you as a small business marketer?
This means you if you haven’t started starting exploring the idea of social TV, now may be the perfect time.  
You probably have already noticed many TV shows are trying to get their viewers talking by creating their own hashtag such as The Voice or Glee.  
Sure, that may be easier if you have millions of viewers, but small businesses can get in on some of that interaction as well.  If TV is a big part of your marketing mix, try adding your website or social networking page of choice to the end of your commercial.  
If you are tech-savvy, think about developing an app to entertain your customer or help make their life a little easier.  Clearly, there is no better place to advertise that app than on TV.  
These may sound like simple ideas, but what do you have to lose?  If you are already utilizing TV as a marketing medium, try testing the one of these additions to your commercials.  You might be surprised to see just how high interaction will grow with your customers.    
The concept of social TV is still in its infancy.  There are only a handful of programs and organizations that are promoting the idea of interaction on TV, but they are seeing results!  Now you can too.  

How will your small business interact with your connected viewers?  

Read the full report from Pew Internet & American Life Project

Photo Credit: NBC