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Microsoft crafts the ‘multi-screen, multimoment’ opportunity for marketers

Buzzwords are borne from changing consumer behaviour and evolving media landscape. In the recent past, nothing has made more difference to the equation than mobile and Microsoft has looked closer at the emerging multi-screen opportunity to understand what it means for marketers. In its recently concluded study, focussed on three Southeast Asia markets – Singapore, Indonesia & Malaysia, Microsoft reiterates that in a multi-device world, the solution lies in connecting with people in the moments that matter the most.

Based on the mobile growth numbers, consumption patterns in the industry and insights generated from Microsoft’s own experience, the tech major has chalked out four pathways in multiscreening behaviour. Content Grazing begins the journey, followed by Investigative Spiderwebbing, Social Spiderwebbing and Sequential Multiscreening. The study ‘Multimoment Advertising’ suggests that in the first three aspects, the path includes the use of two or more devices simultaneously, leading up to the fourth stage that is about targeting with one device at a time.


The study shows that consumers are using various second screens while watching TV. Not surprising that in all three markets, mobile leads the second-screen time. The study also highlights that consumers are using the second screen time for relaxation/ entertainment, shopping, research, news, social media, keeping in touch and working/ studying. The key question here is how a marketer can connect the experience across the screens.

“We have been studying these behaviour patterns for a long time, and the insights thereof are essential to the capabilities we are building. While there is an implicit connection between screens, it is not necessary that there is a specific way to connect the dots. The TV experience is still important and there are ways to make the offline connection but more importantly, the promise of the connected TV space opens a world of possibilities,” elaborated Thom Arkestaal, Senior Research & Insights Manager, Emerging Markets Microsoft Advertising.

Mr Arkestaal explains that as a marketer is subjected to the complex world of targeting connected consumers, the new capabilities allow more opportunities to do so. He said, “The growth in devices,  the capabilities that advertisers have, is constantly changing. ‘Multimoment’ is essentially more screens leading to more moments. It states that marketers and publishers must identify the moments that are most critical and where consumers are paying most attention.”

Microsoft has been conducting the study for five years now addressing the different stages in the connected screen space and how people use devices. As Southeast Asia grows into a mobile-first region, and advertisers play catch up, how can the new opportunities bridge the gap between behaviour and ad spend?

Thom Arkestaal, Microsoft Advertising

Thom Arkestaal, Microsoft Advertising

“At present, mobile-first is yet from an online access point of view than from an advertising solution point of view. Chances are that most mobile consumers can still be reached through other conventional mediums. But from a media perspective, the first opportunity is acknowledging that there is one more screen to connect the message, which is more targeted. In addition to potential ROI (return on investment) and brand building across devices, it is also about less waste. If you observed the frequency cap per device, across devices, the opportunities of today are not just creating better relationships but decreasing waste,” replied Mr Arkestaal.

He cited the example of a Germany based telecom operator to explain that for some product launches, where there are various technical points to be communicated in an advertising message, the traditional formats included selective or multiple messaging. But through sequential targeting, the brand story can be narrated through screens by following a consumer profile on her or his online journey.

“You are able to create a very contextual campaign, ultimately even leading up to giving the option the buying the product. It does sound very complex and heavy on the operational side, and in many ways that is also the truth but the potential in this space is massive. We have been approached by various agencies and marketers, who want to try something unprecedented and creative. The hunger to do something new is there and that will eventually bridge the gap between the new consumer and marketer,” Mr Arkestaal summed up.

Noor Fathima Warsia

A veteran journalist in the Indian marketing, media and advertising fraternity, Noor Fathima Warsia took on the role of Group Editor -– APAC for Digital Market Asia in May 2013. Noor has focussed on tracking trends and developments in the Indian media industry.