Gartner, a leader in media research, expects that by the end of 2012, there will have been a total of 119 million tablets sold to end users. For the longest time, the television has been the primary screen for entertainment and information. Over the last few years, even with the advent of the personal computer in the 80′s the TV has remained the primary source. Tablet computer use has spread like wildfire, but for now, they’re still classified as the “third screen”; being the third device in line that people grab to get their information.It seems as though, reading the data from Gartner, that may be coming to an end.
People are starting to reach for their tablet computer first to get their information. I know that I do sometimes while sitting watching the TV. If I’m watching the Lions get killed on Sunday afternoons, I’m on my iPad, updating my Facebook status, lamenting the ineffectiveness of the Lion’s running game or asking why I’m still a fan or busting on Cris Collinsworth. If my wife has the remote, I’ll be watching updates on the ESPN app or getting movie news through the Flipboard app. For me, my iPad has clearly become at least my secondary screen.
As a marketer, the tablet computer presents an entirely new avenue to advertise and get a message out. There are some questions that need to be considered now that haven’t been before.
- Has the tablet truly replaced the TV as the primary screen?
- How are we able to measure engagement and recover metrics over a tablet device?
- What can be done to augment traditional advertising to this new age? (We’re way beyond the Internet Age, Digital Age and even the Mobile Age)
- What are the limits of these devices usage?
We’ve just begun to understand how these devices can be used. It’s hard to believe that the iPad has only been around for just over 2 years. The ceiling has yet to be reached on this technology. For instance, I use mine to run a digital sound board, as a remote for a DMX controller, run a slideshow program and update Facebook all at the same time. I know that I can use it for so much more, but how must we think out of the box when it comes to traditional web spaces, advertising and marketing? I’ve discussed responsive web design in a previous post, but what changes in coding need to be made to further take advantage of tablets? Here are some questions I have come up with to consider when developing marketing campaigns with the tablet in mind.
- Is the 30-second video spot dead? What is the best run time for a video spot now?
- In what way can we take advantage of the engagement factor of these tablets?
- Do we sell ads inside apps or is there a better way to engage tablet users?
- How can a brand be less outbound, but be more inbound and interactive?
- Can a tablet become a primary lead generator for sales for a brand?
The sky is the limit for these amazing devices. I’m never without my iPad and I see them everywhere, replacing the laptop as the main portable device in some areas. Going into 2016, Gartner says there could be a total of 170 million tablets which will easily outpace the trend of 112 million new TV sets installed in American homes.
What other questions need to be answered about marketing with tablet devices? Do you have any answers to the questions above? Leave them in the comments section.