The Third Screen is Now the First Screen

May 4, 2017

Beer marketers have done a great job with product innovation, especially in the craft beer segment. Besides the actual product, the promotions, merchandising/POS and advertising that the breweries provide help create excitement and should drive incremental purchase, which is what we all want. Their marketing departments are staffed with people that can also customize materials to cater to your customer. Think about how you can create a “destination” by combining these programs with your own communications programs.  

Many companies struggle with the balance of traditional media (television, radio, billboards and print) with the new digital media. A few years ago someone coined the term “The Third Screen” to identify how Tablets/Smart Phones were being used by consumers. Back then, TV was still King, followed by Desktop/Laptop computers. Tablets and Smart Phones were a distant third.

However, Millennials are now flexing their muscles. How they use Smart Phones to get information, share their thoughts and buy products has forced marketers to rethink the way they present their brands. Mobile marketing has moved to the top of every marketer’s list.

In a few years when Generation Z comes of age, this will be taken to a whole new level. This group has grown up with Smart Phones and they consider their phones to be part of their bodies. In fact, I call Generation Z the “GPS” generation. Think about what would happen if you told someone under 20 that they couldn’t use their phones for a whole day!

So what does this mean to you and your business?  If you have a website and any social media presence, you need to me mindful of how your advertising and marketing communication looks on the Smart Phone screen.

Make sure that all of the digital vehicles you use look the same, are linked to each other and provide consumers with a way to navigate easily between all of them. Make sure they are optimized for both Apple and Android platforms. And be sure to use the proper marketing copy across all platforms to leverage all of the search engines. Even Generation X and Baby Boomers use the “Google search” to get them where they want to go.

You need to understand how your customers think about your brand and products and how they influence the behavior of others. (What to drink, where to buy it, what day/time, pictures, recipes, selfies etc).

Whether you are an on-premise or an off-premise establishment, you need to make sure that you understand YOUR consumers and build your products, merchandising, and marketing programs around them. It will positively impact your bottom line!

And remember, Marketing is a race with no finish line.

George Latella teaches Food Marketing at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. Food Marketing which is the largest major at Saint Joseph’s University recently celebrated its 55th anniversary. George is also a partner in Beacon Marketing group which provides Marketing planning, research, and e-commerce/direct marketing communications for food and beverage companies. George can be reached at or 610-660-2254.

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