“The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” —The Desktop computer

The desktop/laptop computer is not dead. It’s alive and well and living on a desk, kitchen table or a lap somewhere.

Over the recent years, the digital world has been filled with some pretty bold statements: mobile is taking over the world comes to mind. Then there’s the desktop is dead as well as the esoteric line floating around the advertising world: desktop—the black screen of death. Yes, it’s true that users are moving holistically towards mobile and tablets as the comScore graph below illustrates.  However, this doesn’t mean the desktop is going away anytime soon.

Paid Media UsersStudies show that consumers are juggling multiple devices. The activities move from mobile to PC, mobile to tablet and PC to tablet. Yes, the majority of users begin on their Smartphone. But they often will move to their tablet or PC to complete those tasks that are difficult to do on a mobile device. Users are predominately banking, shopping/completing the purchase cycle and performing work-related activities on the PC. One of the main reasons for this behavior

is screen size. As the growth of the tablet surges, this will likely change the future of the PC and how it’s used.

There is no doubt the Smartphone will continue to take center stage, allowing us to be connected around the clock, which means advertisers have an opportunity to be in front of their audience 24/7. Which is why it’s typical to see a media plan heavy in mobile. But that thinking discounts a large part of the market not yet obsolete. In other words, advertisers should be working to target social, native and video users across all devices

The best way to reach those consumers that are crossing multiple platforms is to target that audience across Smartphone, tablet, and PC. Media plans should incorporate all facets of display and search by not only buying ads across devices but only targeting those devices to determine where their consumers are moving the needle against their ROI goals.

I’m not going out on a limb by saying that the laptop/desktop PC as we know it will all but disappear at some point. But until that time comes, we need to use it as a digital avenue so that we don’t miss out on a still large and relevant portion of the audience.

Mobile may be “it” as far as advertising/marketing goes these days. But the desktop/PC isn’t buried yet. So keep it in the media plan. As the famous poet Bertolt Brecht once said: “It may be a mistake to mix different wines, but old and new wisdom mix admirably.”


Other Recent Thoughts