Taking into account users’ emotions and situation is crucial when trying to get their cross-screen attention, Yahoo’s new study has found.

Surveying 2000 people across Europe, the tech giant explored how screens can be used to deliver contextually relevant emotive experiences, or “seamless moments”, when consumers are most open to them.  

While investigating consumers’ emotional engagement with advertising, the study found TV and mobile devices to be “the only” screens where consumers are actively open to and want engagement from brands while relaxing.

The study revealed that at least 50% of these moments occurred on mobile, and this was found to be the preferred platform for receiving retail rewards and sharing event experiences when it comes to commercial opportunities by brands, among 48% and 47% respectively.

Such a turn towards mobile doesn’t come as a surprise, observes Yahoo, with the rates of e-sales and searches made via mobile phones in the UK accounting for approximately 50% of the total.

Hard to please

Having investigated interactions with different screens in various contexts, the study shows that users invite messaging from brands when travelling and shopping. While relaxing, however, they’ll tolerate brand engagement only from TV and mobiles devices.

Yahoo UK’s managing director, Nigel Clarkson, believes emotional and situational context must be taken into account when sending customers a message, with the bottom line being that advertiser comms need to be coordinated with user’s primary activity at the time and via the right channel.

“This isn’t a case of ‘smartphones vs TVs’, but rather appreciating what different screens can do for different campaigns and clients.

“Multi-screen thinking should factor into every modern marketer’s media planning process. These findings underline that targeted, cross-screen content marketing and native advertising have a lasting position in brands’ efforts to engage consumers,” said Clarkson.

Modern targeting

The study also notes that despite a lukewarm reception in the UK, there is a growing adoption of wearable technology.

Most of those who own a smartwatch (79%) plan to use it for news and 65% to make payments, opening up new, if relatively small scale, opportunities for advertisers. Similarly, the research suggests that virtual reality will carry increasingly more significance for consumer engagement, as over two thirds (68%) of those surveyed would wear a headset.

Understanding how to target buyers for most effective results and creating ‘seamless moments’, as well as staying open to new technologies might just be the way to open many doors for brands to connect with consumers.