American Marketer


16pc of consumers interact with TV via mobile to make a purchase: study

April 30, 2012


TV viewers are engaging with the social media symbols they see on their screens and mobile is typically the means for enabling the interaction, according to a new study from Accenture.

National and local merchants as well as other marketers and programmers are increasingly including a QR code, a Twitter hashtag or a symbol indicating that an ad or TV show has been made interactive via a second-screen app such as Shazam. The good news is that consumers are engaging with these calls to action, with 16 percent of those surveyed saying they were motivated to scan a QR code or otherwise engage via mobile to make a purchase.

“Mobile is absolutely critical to closing the loop in social and getting the interaction with what people are watching on TV,” said Robin Murdoch, global Internet segment managing director at Accenture, New York.

“We were surprised by the high level of interaction that we were seeing between the TV and these social channels,” he said. “The level of the interaction with those social symbols went far beyond what we were expecting and with younger as well as older demographics.

“For marketers, it is shows that mobile social is an excellent way of closing the loop on their marketing and interacting with consumers in a new and more interactive way.”

Coupons motivate
According to the report, 33 percent of those surveyed said they have interacted with the various symbols that appear while they are watching TV, with 20 percent having “liked” a brand or show on Facebook, 11 percent having scanned a QR code, 7 percent having searched for a hashtag on Twitter and 5 percent having scanned the Shazam symbol.

Obtaining more information about a show, product or service was the greatest motivator for interacting with a social media symbol while watching TV and was cited by 43 percent of the participants as the reason why they have done so.

Additionally, 32 percent were motivated by getting coupons and promotional codes, 31 percent entering a contest or sweepstakes, 26 percent watching a video, 26 percent interacting about the show or product on social media, 21 percent connecting with others with similar interests, 20 percent sharing or recommending a program to others and 16 percent making a purchase

The survey found that the greatest barrier to adoption is a lack of interest among consumers in the content available through social media interactions, with 60 percent saying they did not think they would be interested in the content they would receive.

Despite this, 74 percent of those who received content via social media symbols while watching TV said it "met expectations.” Another 10 percent said the content "did not meet expectations" and 15 percent said it "exceeded expectations."

Compelling content
The report also found that the majority said they were familiar with how to interact with the various symbols even if they had not done so, including 42 percent who said they are familiar with the Facebook “Like” symbol, 28 percent with QR codes, 18 percent with Twitter hashtags and 9 percent with Shazam symbols.

Additionally, the report found that 64 percent of the surveyed consumers said they recalled seeing social media symbols such as Facebook “likes” while watching TV.

While the report found that consumers between the ages of 18 and 24 are the most active when it comes to interacting with TV, at 63 percent, interest is still strong among 25-34 year olds, at 46 percent. For consumers aged 35-44 years old, 44 percent had interacted with the symbols while watching TV.

The results suggest that marketers need to do a better job convincing viewers that interacting with what they see on TV is valuable to them. This can be accomplished by offering compelling content that enhances the viewing experience and extending value into other areas of their lives.

“As smartphone and tablet penetration grows and consumers increasingly have them on them as they watch TV, the level of interaction is only going to grow,” Mr. Murdoch said.