If the first screen was television and the second was the PC (personal computer), the third is clearly the mobile phone, according to Chuck Martin’s book The Third Screen: Marketing to Your Customers in a World Gone Mobile. While there are over 2 billion televisions around the globe and more than one billion personal computers these number pale compared to the rise of mobile devices, or the THIRD screen. There are 5.9 billion+ cellular connections in the world right now, and this third screen is also being adopted at a much faster rate than the first two. In fact, around 88 per cent of the world’s population has a mobile phone.
How can we use this information for marketing purposes?
Recognising mobile marketing as a vastly different channel of communication between business and audience is important, as is understanding the way audiences absorb messages. Televisions, obviously, require a person to be exactly where the device is, creating a passive marketing medium where everybody receives the same broadcasted message. PCs are a little more interactive, but they still require a physical attachment to the device. You have to be with your computer. Laptops, of course, are far more portable, but they are not used on the fly as mobile phones are.
The untethered consumer
The first two revolve around the tethered consumer—you are tethered to the whereabouts of the device. The third screen marks a movement towards the untethered consumer, where the device follows you and your whereabouts. More importantly, a smart phone knows where it is, and knows where it is in relation to other things. This means that it can be connected to products and services, and for the first time, location and time are intertwined with the traditional supply and demand.
Buying mobile is a social experience
In a similar vein, the consumption of goods and services has altered. Via traditional media, you research a product and then go to the store and buy it. The buying process via mobile involves checking online, checking with a friend, checking based on your current location, checking price comparisons, etc. The possibilities of engagement with mobile marketing are unparalleled. As Chuck Martin says, “TV is the lean back medium, the PC is the lean forward medium, and the mobile phone is the pull it forward medium.” The ability to get personal has far more marketing value. This article is based on an extract from the Marketing Goes Mobile webinar with Chuck Martin, author of The Third Screen: Marketing to Your Customers in a World Gone Mobile. Learn more about Chuck Martin, here. Watch the Marketing Goes Mobile webinar on-demand, today. Free eBook: Get 8 great small business mobile market tips. Download the free eBook, here. This article was co-authored by Elizabeth Rowe. Elizabeth graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (English Literature) at the ANU and a Masters of Media Practice at the University of Sydney. She is currently completing an internship with the Australian Businesswomen’s Network.