Do Your Clients Know the Personal Prime Time Schedules of Their Customers?

BY Kathy Crosett
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We all know consumers are engaging with content throughout most of the day. Your clients might be wondering if they should push ads through specific media formats at specific times. Here’s what an IAB study has to say on this topic.

The IAB’s Personal Prime Time survey looked at media engagement activity across eight different categories for 1,900 consumers who are at least 18 years old. Researchers found significant variation in the levels of engagement by age group and media type. For example, of the eight categories studied, consumers aged 18 to 34 made listening to music their top activity with 87% participating. Consumers who are age 55+ love checking with weather with 85% engaged in this activity. For Gen Xers, consumers between the ages of 35 and 54, watching shows and episodes is the top media engagement, scoring 79%.

Researchers also tracked activity by gender. It turns out that 81% of women regularly check the weather. For men, media engagement is more about checking the news with 80% of them doing so.

Consumers are definitely using specific media types at certain times of the day. For example, social media use creeps up during the early evening – to 30% — and peaks in the full evening at 32%. By late night, only 8% of consumers are engaging with social media. So that format may not be the best way for your clients to promote a late-​night pizza discount.

When consumers settle down to watch TV, their purpose is primarily about being entertained. And most of this viewing takes place in the evening. Of the 75% of consumers who pass the time this way, 64% do so in the evening. When they watch TV in the morning, it is often to obtain information. We can presume viewers want to know the weather forecast or the traffic outlook. Marketers who want to reach consumers with their messages should keep these details in mind.

Similarly, marketers can connect with news junkies if they understand their behavioral patterns. Nearly 76% of consumers belong to this category. Their attention to news reports spikes in the early morning (38%) and early evening (36%). While 40% of these folks tend to absorb the days happening in one day-​part, 39% are checking the headlines throughout the day. Traditional TV is still the top format for obtaining news, except during late morning. At that point, computers serve as the main source for news consumption.

Share the IAB study results with clients and discuss when consumers are engaging with other media types. These types include short videos and podcasts. IAB analysts say "every daypart is rich with opportunities for meaningful consumer engagement."