Mixing Business with Pleasure

Earlier this week, there was an article in The Herald Sun looking at a rise in phone banking for Australian customers. It showed a definite increase in take-up, but it also showed an interesting correlation with the world of entertainment.


As smart phones continue to pervade every element of our lives we are continuing to spend more time engaging with them to complete everyday chores. And phone banking has shown the same thing. In 2011, mobile logins sat at two million per month. Just three years later, mobile logins are sitting at twenty-two million per month. That is quite an increase!

But that isn’t the interesting part . . .

The data gathered from these apps can also provide information about when people are interacting – and it’s not actually while they should be doing work. The time of peak interaction comes during prime time television around 8.00pm at night.

This means that people are sitting down to watch all those popular shows like House Rules, Masterchef and The Big Bang Theory and are actually on their phones at the same time. Sure, this isn’t a big revelation as we all interact with our phones constantly, but it suggests that people are dividing their attention between the two screens which leave interesting ramifications for the television networks and the banks.

Let’s start with the television networks.

If people aren’t fully attending to the shows, it means that the reality television format and short sitcoms are going to stand out as the formats of choice. Reality television and sitcoms don’t require a full hour of viewing. You can drift in for one singer on The Voice then tune back in half an hour later and not be lost in the story. Definitely a more appealing option for distracted audiences!

Intense dramas, on the other hand, require audiences to pay attention and get emotionally involved in the show. If the audiences aren’t fully focussed on the screen and are drifting in and out of the television show, these shows aren’t going to gather favourable reviews. And this is probably one of the reasons why prime time dramas are moving to later timeslots from 9.00pm onwards when mobile usage drops off dramatically.

And then there are the ramifications for advertisers on these shows . . . but that is a discussion for another time!

Now the banks.

The main advertising standard for banks at the moment is ease of banking. ‘Our banking functions will make your life easier because we do exactly what you want to do’. Whether this is the reality or not, around the prime time television mark each day there will be many consumers on their couches trying to do something with their online banking apps.

As with any segment, there will be a number of consumers trying to do something that is impossible to carry out over the banking app leaving them frustrated with their provider. This is the time that the banking advertisements should be targeting with their messages of ease!

And to think, all this information came from some simple banking apps!