The rise of the multi-platform real estate marketer

You know those moments when something that in retrospect seems so obvious first becomes clear?

I had that feeling a week ago as I read through Comscore’s latest report, “Marketing to the Multi-platform Majority.

Less than five years ago, the percentage of time spent on digital media on mobile devices was in the single digits. Today, more than half of U.S. adults consume media on their tablets and smartphones.

The shift to mobile devices has been truly transformative in many ways, and I wasn’t surprised to read that mobile devices had become, in 2013, our primary means of accessing content on the Internet. Just take a look around the next time you’re in an airport. Laptops seem largely confined to people in suits with large Swiss Army roller bags, while rows and rows of people sit staring into their phones.

Even so, the first thing that sprung to my mind was, man, that happened fast…

The stat that really made me stop and take note, however, was the fact that U.S. adults consumed more than 900 billion minutes of digital media in June of 2013.

That is more than twice as much time than we did just three years ago in June of 2010.

What that means is that all of these new devices in our lives have been additive to our digital behavior.

There hasn’t been a trade-off of minutes at the expense of desktop computing. We’re just consuming more content, on more screens, in more places, more often.

This means two things for real estate marketers:

First, if you’re not figuring out your mobile strategy today, you’re already well behind. In the last several years, real estate underwent a massive shift from offline to online marketing. Then, just when we thought we had it all figured out on the Web, the rug was pulled out from under us and now we need to start all over again.

Second, checking off mobile as part of your digital marketing strategy isn’t just about directing your web visitors to a site or dumping a white-labeled app into one of the app stores. That’s no longer going to cut it. In fact, it never did.

The reality is that your digital marketing strategy in this new multi-platform world will need to account for all of these three screens (desktop, tablet, smartphone) simultaneously. With perhaps a fourth screen still to come

Your ad spends, your digital assets, your content strategy, all of this will need to span all of these platforms. Creating and then preserving a seamless brand experience in this new reality is going to be the great challenge ahead of us moving into 2014 and beyond.