For all the talk about the ‘digital tsunami’, consumers continue to use a variety of media sources throughout the day. Marketers who want to reach consumers in the foreseeable future will need to spread their media budgets across traditional and online media formats. These are the findings of Deloitte’s 5th Annual State of the Media Democracy report.

For now, TV remains a favorite source of entertainment, especially since 59% of households now have flat-panel TVs. And for all the worry about time-shifted TV, almost 75% of viewers are watching their shows live, and therefore being exposed to ads. But their attention is frequently diverted. Here’s what consumers are doing while watching TV.

  • Online 42%
  • Talking on mobile phones 29%
  • Sending instant or text messages 26%

Often called the 3rd screen, the mobile phone is commanding more consumer attention. Just over 1/3rd of consumers currently have a smartphone. Another 40% are looking to purchase one of these devices this year. Increasingly, the smartphone is replacing the PC when consumers are on the go. Over half of consumers say they rely on smartphones as a PC while they are away from home.

But consumers still like their traditional media. A solid majority, 70%, of U.S. consumers are reading printed magazines on a regular basis. Over half, 55% of consumers, subscribe to printed magazines and say that advertising in these publications helps them decide what to buy. This attitude prevails despite knowing that they could read the magazines online.

These statistics indicates that marketers face a challenge. Staying connected with consumers isn’t as easy as going all digital or all traditional with the media mix. To reach consumers, marketers must continue to advertise in both old and new media formats.

[Sources: TV Reigns, But Attention Diverted. Center for Media Research. Mediapost.com. 25 Feb. 2011. Web. 7 Mar. 2011; State of the Media Democracy. Deloitte. February 2011. Web. 7 Mar. 2011]