Media Multiplexing Behavior: Implications for Targeting and Media Planning

Chen Lin, Assistant Professor of Marketing, Eli Broad College of Business, Michigan State University, Sriram Venkataraman, Assistant Professor of Marketing, Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Sandy Jap, Professor of Marketing, Goizueta Business School, Emory University

Marketing Science, Volume 32, Issue 2, March-April 2013, pp. 310-324

Abstract: There is a growing trend among consumers to serially consume small, incomplete “chunks” of multiple media types—television, radio, Internet, and print—within a short time period. We refer to this behavior as media multiplexing and note that key challenges for integrated marketing communications media planners are (1) predicting which media or combination of media their target audience is likely to consume at any given time and (2) understanding potential substitutions and complementarities in their joint consumption. We propose a forecasting model that incorporates media-multiplexing behavior of both traditional and new media, their interdependencies, and consumer heterogeneity, and we calibrate the model using a rich database of individual-specific media activity diaries. The results suggest that accounting for media synergies within a single utility specification significantly improves model forecasts. We also introduce a utility function that directly models cross-channel media complementarities via interactive effects of the satiation parameters of own and joint consumption of various media types. Finally, our individual-level analyses generate unique insights on consumer-level media switching, multiplexing, and individual heterogeneity often ignored in aggregate data.

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