How markets grow up and what it means for brands' connection strategies

Joe Webb

There are at least four different personalities that digital markets can adopt as they develop; to succeed, marketers need a precise understanding of the specialist roles that digital platforms can play for each.

The advance of internet access is often portrayed as a simple progression with little room for variation – and inevitable consequences for marketers. Digital leads to fragmented audiences and diminishing returns; building awareness and engagement becomes harder work with less certain rewards. The media landscape becomes a maelstrom of proliferating touchpoints and uncertain consumer behaviour.

In reality, more touchpoints mean more choice, for both consumer and marketer. Although markets grow up in a number of different ways, the consumers within those markets use their devices in a manner that is largely predictable, provided you know which devices they can access and what attitudes they have towards those devices. As the availability of different devices increases, consumer media consumption becomes more specialised, with different roles for different platforms at different times of the day. Because this specialisation follows a logical pattern, there is a real opportunity for marketers to follow consumers precisely from platform to platform.