NEW YORK/BARCELONA: The practice of targeting consumers by daypart needs to evolve beyond a focus on reach and look at the “need state” that drives them to turn to content at any given time, according to a new report.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) surveyed 1,901 US consumers, exploring the consumer journey through the lens of seven diverse content types: Episodic Shows, Music, News, Podcasts, Short Videos, Social Media, and Weather.

Brands should no longer expect a single, universal moment of greatest engagement, it said. Consumers are investing concentration in and deriving value from their media experiences throughout the day – there is no down-time and there are no ‘throwaway’ engagements.

So, while audience size shifts between different times of day, every daypart is ripe for meaningful consumer connections.

Consumers are creating what the IAB called their own “personal prime times” – points of highly concentrated engagement throughout the day – and these offer valuable advertising opportunities across a range of content verticals and digital screens.

Most Millennials and Boomers check social media regularly, for example, but the research identified key differences between the two generations.

Thus, the top “need states” driving Millennials to check social media are to “pass the time” and “be entertained”; Boomers, however, are looking to “connect with others”.

And device choice differs as well, with Millennials preferring mobile devices and Boomers opting to check social media on their computers.

“In the age of ‘big data’ it makes no sense for advertisers to place their focus solely on big numbers, when they can take advantage of insights that can help them pinpoint the right customer, the right way, at the right time,” said Anna Bager, Executive Vice President, Industry Initiatives, IAB.

“This report only scratches the surface of what contexts, drivers, and modes will lead to optimal brand engagement—and we plan to delve even further to shine a spotlight on opportunities for marketers and publishers.”

Sourced from IAB; additional content by WARC staff