2016: the year of multimedia convergence

It’s about that time of the year where digital marketing experts and industry leaders pen their thoughts on what we can expect over the course of 2016. Granted, the end of 2015 saw our screens layered with tab after tab of blogs and articles, all opened in the hopes that we’d catch onto the trends before we rang in the New Year. What we didn’t account for were the ideas and statistics that have only come to light within the first month of 2016 and so, we’ve seen a number of new predications, new ideas and new concepts emerge. Our question is – to which ones do we pay attention? The answer, which is equally simple as it is daunting, is that we’re required to pay attention to all of them!

When it comes to digital strategy, we’re required to sort through a collective of resources that are flush with new ideas and concepts, all in an effort to ensure that our strategy is hand-picked as the leader of the pack. This means that, in 2016, award-winning strategies will be those that include something of everything, with a heavy focus on the convergence of multimedia. While 2015 was the year of ‘mobilegeddon’ with every second strategy including mobile optimisation, 2016 will see an increase in smarter, more dynamic and assimilated strategies.

If content is king, multimedia is the playground of royalty. While younger generations are becoming more aware of multimedia and how best to use it to their advantage, the multimedia-related skillset of millenials has increased tenfold, resulting in a massive hike in the popularity of video content, apps, games and mobi-sites. Not only do we understand the growth rate of mobile phone usage and access to content, but we also understand just how important it is.

After all, we can expect a growth projection of almost 9.2 billion mobile subscribers worldwide by 2020, compared to the 2.6 billion estimated users at the end of 2015. While we have a few years to perfect our multimedia convergence within our strategies, we have a limited period of time in which to focus on the implementation of a flawless multimedia merge. Here’s is what we need to know:

What is ‘multimedia convergence’?

We’re all familiar with the creative set up – a screen in the form of a laptop or desktop, our smartphones to our side while our iPad or tablet sits comfortably in our drawer or handbag.

Thanks to ‘mobilegeddon’ and the revolution that brought it on, consumers are engaging in second and third multimedia experiences, often at the same time. While we have Facebook or YouTube open on our desktop, we engage in Instagram, Vine, apps or games on our mobile device. We then have those whose level of multitasking leaves us in awe – making use of their desktops, mobile phones and tablets at the same time. Thanks to Cloud technology, engaging on multiple devices has become simple.

Despite our awe at their dexterity, this is the example that we need to think about when we talk about ‘mobile convergence’. On a daily basis, an estimated 25% of consumers engage on two or three devices, interacting on multiple channels. ‘Multimedia convergence’ can be defined as the collection and consolidation of data under one platform in an effort to establish which message to send, and at what time, to reach a specific consumer demographic. When collecting the data, it is imperative to look at the number of users for each subsection of multimedia. These can include apps, online and mobile gaming, video content, email, and social media to name but a few.

How does it fit into Strategy?

It is important to keep things simple when trying to establish the connection between multimedia convergence and digital strategy. While content marketing is still firmly in the spotlight, multimedia convergence should be used as a tool with which to create more dynamic consumer profiles. Not only will marketers better understand the consumer with which they are conversing but a more dynamic consumer profile guarantees elevated engagement and an increase in customer loyalty. Marketers are also able to introduce new ideas that can be backed with data – perhaps an app is the ideal product that will launch your brand into success in 2016?

If you’re wondering about whether the concept of ‘multimedia convergence’ is worth your time, think about the unique content that can be created when your brand better understands the consumer – not only does it pave the way for more personalised content, it also ensures that consumers are met where their needs are most clear.



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