Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Confirming the Obvious
Multi-tasking Dilutes Attention Span

Research will be released tomorrow that confirms people who multitask across two or more media at the same time dilute their attention to both media. This makes intuitive sense and is fairly obvious, but it provides facts to support what we all might logically have arrived at. Facts are good things.

The study was done by BIGresearch and will be presented at the ARF/ESOMAR Worldwide Audience Measurement Conference in Montreal on June 22. "It's apparent that multitasking and simultaneous media consumption creates competition for the same time and space attention," said BIGresearch's Joe Pilotta, who will present the findings along with integrated marketing guru Don Schultz of Northwestern University's Medill School.

The Significance of the Obvious

For marketers, the significance of bringing this obvious factor to the surface is that simultaneous media consumption can change the communications effectiveness of various media during the advertising process.

"When they simultaneously consume media, one of the media can morph into the background and back to the foreground intermittently." Not surprisingly, the study also revealed that electronic media - especially online, TV and radio - are most apt to be used in conjunction with other media. Print media are least likely.

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