Living our lives online

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It’s no secret that we’re a nation in love with our laptops, phones and tablets – and new research out today has confirmed it. It shows that we each spend an average of five hours a week watching TV shows, clips and films on the internet – a figure largely attributed to the increasing presence of technology in our lives, with tablets and smartphones playing a particularly important role.

The Guardian reports that TV shows remain our most popular online viewing choice, followed by films and clips. Perhaps unsurprisingly, as our online consumption of media has increased, so too has the prevalence of online advertising.

Today’s report, by the Internet Advertising Bureau, shows that mobile advertising, in particular, has seen a boom. It now accounts for £1 in every £5 spent on digital ads – totalling a whopping £707 million in the first half of this year alone, a 68 per cent increase on the first half of last year. This equalled a fifth of all digital ad spend in the UK – a real indication of the profile of mobile against other online outlets.

Commentators attributed the jump in spend to new technologies, such as 4G, which are helping to make online mobile services more reliable, predicting an even bigger increase in mobile advertising spend over the coming years.

So, as the online marketplace grows in prominence, how can brands ensure their messages get through to the right audience?

Put simply, the key to success is common sense. Companies need to understand where their customers are and what they like – giving it to them in a timely, succinct and accessible way, whether it’s via advertising, social media, earned media or their own websites.

Understanding how your customers are behaving online must be at the core of your strategy. A reader of The Times is a reader of The Times – but are they hard copy, tablet, mobile or online readers? Make sure you dig a little deeper into your customers’ habits to really target your ad spend effectively.

If you’re looking for advice on standing out in the online market, get in touch.

Joanna Drake