Tablets: Disrupting the Way we Consume Media Since 2010

Tablet related statistics and predictions have tremendous implications for marketers, such as “20% of tablet owners claim to have shopped less in brick-and-mortars since purchasing their tablet,” and “tablet makers are on track to sell 110 million units in 2012 alone.” If, as a marketer, you believe that you must reach your audience in the places they populate, consider adding the tablet to your collection of canvases.

How? You ask.

Revamp your search strategy. Tablets are expected to reach 670 million in number by 2017, helping to generate over $12 billion in mobile search advertising spend within the same year.

Users have unique search habits and expect different results when they are on various mobile devices. If I Google “gas” on my smartphone, I’m probably driving on empty, looking for a nearby gas station and am minimally interested in a Wikipedia page, gastrointestinal advice or articles on gas price surges in the results that I might see on my laptop. This mindset must be reflected in an online marketer’s strategy. The same applies for tablets; we need to consider where and when people are using these devices and define our marketing strategy around what the user needs at those points in time.

For example, like most tablet users, I wouldn’t be caught dead without my tablet at the airport. And I travel a lot. Just a few weeks ago, I was at an unfamiliar airport and learned that my flight was delayed by two hours. I wanted to know what kind of options I had for food, so I Googled the airport name. The first thing to come up was a search ad (with promotion) for a restaurant in my terminal. As a proponent of digital marketing, I rewarded the restaurant for its crafty paid search efforts by eating there. As an average search engine user, the immediate connection coupled with the promotion prompted me to bypass two other restaurants en route to my destination. The power of digital advertising!

Establish cross-device marketing campaigns. More than 50% of media interactions span two or more screens. Research indicates that tablet users are feeding information absorbed from television into their search queries onto tablets in real-time. Also, users are continuing to read the results from their computers’ and smartphones’ search queries on their tablets, adding to their shopping baskets while using a tablet and then making the actual purchase on their PC.

So many factors affect this process. I might browse LOFT.com during my lunch break at work and then convert from a device at home. I also might prefer to recline on the couch that evening rather than sit upright, thus influencing my choice of device at the time of purchase. Marketers must consider these and many other factors when developing their strategy.

Engage with your customers. Our Q3 report found that consumers are spending 30% more time surfing the Internet on their tablet than their PC and are 20% more engaged online than PC users. Marketers: it’s time to get creative! Consider the best ways to really connect with your audience. Whether that translates to personalization, enhanced content, pop-ins, etc is really determined by your business needs and the product or service you are marketing.

It took years for companies to recognize the business potential in e-commerce and developing an online brand presence, and a little less time to recognize the importance of creating sites that make sense for mobile. Marketers today don’t have the luxury of time. If they want to be competitive, they must adapt with this shift in technology.

Think it’s just a fad? The industry is telling you it’s not. 37% of tablet users say that they will be purchasing a new device in the next 12 months and tablet prices are falling, making them more readily available to more groups of people. Three years ago, only techies and high-income households had tablets, much like the demographics of smartphone users in their infancy – and look at them now! Next year, we are going to see a lot more people on trains, planes, and buses (as well as cars, living rooms, bedrooms – the list goes on!) with tablets. Make sure you are maximizing your online marketing presence on these devices in order to stay ahead of the curve.

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