UK Advertisers Won't Get Millennials' Attention Without a Multiscreen Strategy - eMarketer
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UK Advertisers Won't Get Millennials' Attention Without a Multiscreen Strategy

September 18, 2017 | Demographics | Media Buying


Dan Hagen
Chief Strategy Officer
Carat UK

Millennials in the UK still watch TV, but their attention is divided across all the screens they own. As a result, marketers must spend more to ensure that they reach millennials on the plethora of devices they use to watch TV shows and video each day. Dan Hagen, chief strategy officer of global marketing agency Carat UK, spoke with eMarketer’s Sean Creamer about why millennials are so hard to reach in this new media landscape and how the company helps brands loosen their grip on TV advertising.

eMarketer: Is it costly for brands in the UK to reach millennial audiences on linear TV?

Dan Hagen: It is brutal to reach that younger audience. Brands building reach for millennial audiences on linear TV find that the cost per reach point has increased by as much as 20% over the last two or three years.

eMarketer: Do millennials still watch a lot of TV, or are they glued to their mobile devices?

Hagen: Millennials’ media consumption has significantly increased. They’re consuming digital media all the time, increasingly on mobile devices. Millennials still watch a lot of hours of TV in a week, but viewership has declined. They consume a ton of video across multiple other platforms.

“Millennials’ media consumption has significantly increased. They’re consuming digital media all the time, increasingly on mobile devices.”

Millennials often engage in aggregate digital consumption. During the hours spent in front of a television, they will have a mobile phone, a tablet or even a laptop going at the same time. You could argue that there’s not enough hours in the day to cram all of this media, so as a result, millennials engage with a mesh of media across devices.

eMarketer: Is media consumption on mobile a millennial-specific trend, or do you see this across demographics in the UK?

Hagen: This is a population-level trend, but it’s driven by millennial audiences. In the UK, 67% of the population accesses content on phones, but 91% of millennials do so. Attention is severely fragmented, and it creates an interesting dynamic when you’re trying to drive brand messaging, awareness and consideration.

eMarketer: Are brands broadening their video portfolios in the UK, or does the lion’s share still go to linear TV?

Hagen: Depending on the target audience, anywhere from 15% to as much as 40% or even 50% of their total budget goes to video deployment. They may still spend 50%, 60% or 70% on linear TV, but the rest of their budget goes toward different forms of video. If brands want to build efficient reach, they need a multiscreen approach.

eMarketer: How do you help brands decide to invest in one form of video over another?

Hagen: Brand appetite for video of all forms rose sharply this year. To meet this demand, we created a toolkit which looks at relative media consumption and gives us a baseline for different platform consumption and the hours spent on them. Then we ingest real data from Broadcasters Audience Research Board and commercial reach curves from Google for YouTube, from Facebook for Facebook Video and others from the broader programmatic video landscape.

“We can’t have creative production budgets tripling and quadrupling because we’re using four different platforms for video—that’s not sustainable.”

eMarketer: How do you manage spending across screens?

Hagen: We don’t just look at how to best optimize across a channel mix on TV, but what percentage of my mix should be in YouTube, Facebook and other platforms. That allows us to appropriately fragment our clients spend on television—or what they used to spend on television in the old days—to a cross-platform spend.

eMarketer: Do other components of the marketing process need to change to serve a cross-platform approach?

Hagen: The creative side of this ecosystem is behind the curve, but that isn’t necessarily the fault of creative agencies. Brands and media agencies all have a part to play, and we need to be disruptive in how we make content for these different platforms. We can’t have creative production budgets tripling and quadrupling because we’re using four different platforms for video—that’s not sustainable.

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