EiG: How 'emotion' is crucial in understanding your audience

EiG: How 'emotion' is crucial in understanding your audience

Tuesday, October 20, 2015 Totally Gaming
ITV News’ digital chief outlines strategy for maximising engagement

Understanding your audience and tapping into their emotions will help to drive digital growth, attendees at EiG 2015 were told today (Tuesday) by Jason Mills, the Head of Digital at ITV News.

Focusing on the topic of ‘Creating a multi-channel experience’ during his ‘Outside-in’ session at Arena Berlin, Mills outlined how the UK commercial broadcaster’s news division had restructured its output to engage with as many consumers as possible.

Mills explained that online has become the primary platform for news consumption for under-45s, with 80% of the consumers being so-called ‘skimmers’, as opposed to ‘diggers’ who actively seek out certain news platforms, “know what they want to get and where to get it from”.

“We had to decide who the audience were as we couldn’t be everything to everyone,” Mills said.

“We went for the skimmers. They don’t go to the news, but they are people who are continuously surfing.

“So we came up with a mobile-first, social-first website that was very straightforward. There’s no real front page and the latest updates are at the top.

“It is effectively a live stream of news that is scrollable and every update is shareable, ‘snackable’ and emotional.”

Mills added that it is crucial to appeal to consumers’ emotions if they are to share a story.

“Emotion is a huge opportunity when it comes to sharing online,” he added.

“People share what makes them happy and sad, and they share things that make them seem intelligent.

“Our social persona is how we want to be seen by the wider population. You have to give people things that they want to share based on emotion.”

Mills touched upon the parallels between the news and gaming sectors, and gave an example of how ITV used a ‘rate the debate’ digital option to generate 25 million engagements during the broadcaster’s coverage of a UK general election leaders’ debate earlier this year.

Moreover, he added that mobile was the future focus.

“To survive and flourish, both of our industries need to understand the audience and understand mobile,” he concluded.

“Mobile is profoundly changing the nature of what we’re doing. We don’t know what’s going to happen in a year’s time, and we have to be really fast and agile.”

For all of the latest updates from EiG 2015, click here to check out our live blog.


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