We often talk about channels and silos in the advertising industry, but it is clear our customers do not consume media in these ways. This is becoming more apparent with the development of “second screening” trends, or the different attribution techniques highlighting various media consumption points attributing to a sale.

Mobile and social are frequently channels that can be individually treated as add-ons to a media plan. However, these are channels that should be leading ideas. And, they are a particularly good example of how media channels cross over.

There is a natural relationship between social and mobile, and publishers should embrace it.
There is a natural relationship between social and mobile, and publishers should embrace it.

Both social and mobile channels have similarities in that the information consumers are accessing is available immediately.

Today in the United Kingdom, one in every four minutes spent on a mobile device is spent on Facebook or Instagram (source: Adaptly at Advertising Week Europe 2016). With more than one-billion people accessing Facebook, this is extremely significant.

Where these channels are particularly powerful is at events. For example, at New York Fashion Week, consumers were able to follow shows and buy directly from the collections they were seeing on the runway.

Brands need to consider this as a core combination of channels for their advertising. Consumers are demanding more instant access to the brands they love, and if a brand isn’t set up across mobile channels but is promoting via social, consumers will be quick to switch.

Social networks are some of the most recognisable media companies in the world, but very rarely actually produce their own media. By capitalising on mobile consumption, companies such as Facebook have been able to continue to grow revenue and adapt to the crossover to mobile consumers.

The newsfeed function is built for scrolling, a core functionality for mobile use. With the introduction of Instant Articles, more media is being consumed within the social environment. This is a threat for traditional media companies — specifically news publishers — that is keeping consumers from directly visiting their sites.

Advertisers, therefore, have to consider these shifts in mobile and social consumption as part of their media and creative plans. Mobile devices are also driving video consumption, so brands need to continually reassess their approach with video creative and the placements they select, exploring implications and opportunities for advertising.

Overall, it is a consistent message: The consumer doesn’t behave in silos so, as an industry, we need to adapt and create connections across media barriers. Starting with the “easy wins” in mobile and social, this message should translate into other channels, eventually tying up offline and online channels.