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Given the prevalence of multi-tasking among media users, planning multimedia advertising campaigns is more complex than ever. This study introduces a typology that identifies three types of multimedia users, each with its own distinct patterns. Practitioners can use this tool to increase the accuracy of targeting in an otherwise elusive digital native audience.
Researchers drew from the Polychronicity-Multiple Media Use (P-MMU) scale that they developed in earlier research. Additionally, they incorporated the Multimedia User Typology (MMU-T), which essentially helps to answer the question: What drives people to multitask with media? Polychronicity refers to the extent to which people prefer to work on multiple activities at the same time.
In their research, hot off the presses in the September issue of the JAR
, the authors distinguished between three distinct segments of multimedia users:
Instinctives are the most attractive audience in that they use most of the media combinations most (or at least some) of the time, the authors wrote. Information Seekers are limited in the combinations that they employ, and Connecteds rarely use combinations.
- Information Seekers, who focus almost exclusively on “surfing the Internet plus texting,” and “watching television plus texting some of the time.” The key for engagement with this audience is to find information across a variety of media vehicles.
- Connecteds, who “consider their multiple media use to be driven by compulsion; in addition, they value multiple media use to assimilate media content and gain associated social benefits.” The combination aims to give them the social connections that they crave.
- Instinctives’ multiple media use is “driven predominantly by their comfort with media multitasking and the associated feeling that such behavior is convenient for them.”
Helen R. Robinson (firstname.lastname@example.org) is an associate professor in the department of strategy, marketing and innovation, faculty of business and social sciences at Kingston University. She has research interests in marketing communications, advertising and media planning.
Stavros P. Kalafatis (email@example.com) is a professor of business marketing at Kingston University. His research focuses on business segmentation, design of channels of distribution, relationship marketing and value creation.