Corporate Eye

Cross-Platform Hot Topics for Brand Executives

Consumers are using more devices to access more content every day. Where should your brand be? What platform should you focus on? The answers are — everywhere and all of them.

As recent data from Nielsen proves, consumers aren’t single-device dependent anymore. Instead, they’re using multiple devices, and they’re using those devices at the same time.

Nielsen reports that in the last 12 months, smartphone penetration increased by 34%, tablet adoption was up by 400%, and Internet connected television (IPTV) adoption was up by 25%.

With all of these devices being used by so many different people, marketers are faced with more media challenges than ever. Recently, Nielsen gathered marketing and media leaders from Disney, Facebook, Walmart, and more at its Consumer 360 event, and a few hot topics rose to the top. These are the topics related to the consumer shift to cross-platform content consumption and communication that executives are highly focused on right now.

1. Cross-Platform as a Strategic Imperative

A cross-platform marketing focus is no longer an option. It’s a strategic imperative. As John Spadaro, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Research at Zenith (a media planning and buying agency) explained, “It’s really not a question of how to use a specific channel [anymore]. You simply cannot succeed in a single-channel environment.”

2. Actions and Behaviors Across Platforms

Executives want to know what consumers want, how they act, and what the differences are between behavior patterns across platforms. Peter Seymore, Executive Vice President of Strategy and Research at Disney Media Networks noted that all of these elements are used to determine where and when the company delivers the Disney brand experience to the consumer. Gathering behavioral data and analyzing across platforms to find correlations and patterns is essential to making the right marketing decisions.

3. The Off-site and Off-platform Collaboration Strategy

The executives agreed that some of the biggest opportunities for brands and media will be found off-site and off-platform. For example, Brad Smallwood, Head of Measurement and Insights for Facebook, acknowledged, “We recognize that the future for us is very much about people developing off of our platform. Collaborations with Zynga, social TV — that’s where we see a lot of our growth happening.”

Clint McClain, Senior Director of Marketing for Walmart also understands the importance of collaboration in the cross-platform consumer environment as a key way to increase consumer engagement with the Walmart brand. In fact, he revealed that Walmart is actively looking for innovative collaboration opportunities that will engage consumers.

Bottom-line, the future is cross-platform! Is your brand ready?

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.