Tablet image here

In my first experience at an Atlanta Interactive Marketing Association event, I got the chance to talk about reaching consumers across their favorite new device, their tablet. The panelists touched on how tablets are disrupting the living room, providing new and more engaging advertising formats,  how they are providing better, richer mobile experiences, and how they’re advertising to the tablet audience differently than their online or mobile audience.

The best part about joining AiMA is the networking at the beginning as it is home to some of the most influential interactive marketers in Atlanta.  I got the chance to talk with John Bartkus, Business Development at SiteMinis Inc., about how I was building a corporate website built for the desktop first, and then using responsive design to build for mobile.  He actually shared with me though that responsive design is not the end all solution for mobile.

Responsive design focuses on taking the same content and delivering it across multiple devices, the assumption is that consumers want the same content on mobile that they consume on desktop, which may not be the case. In an article he shared with me, I learned why:

‚ÄúIf you start talking about HTML5, hybrid apps and responsive design, you start forgetting the consumer experience.‚ÄĚ-John Daly

After networking with some mobile friendly members, I walked into the auditorium to listen to the featured speakers:

  • Ted Boezaart, VP, Account Director @ Moxie Interactive
  • Laura Marbey, Product Manager, ecommerce @ Delta Air Lines
  • Allycia Schmidt, Senior Manager of Mobile @ The Home Depot

Before the event, I was curious as to¬†why I need an iPad, when I already have an iPhone and MacBook Pro? ¬†Adam O’Donnell, Online Marketing Strategy Manager at Sage, would proactively engage with my question:

The most used tablet devices have been the iPad, Samsung Galaxy, and the Amazon Kindle. ¬†Moxie reports that 31% of the U.S. Internet population (74.1 million consumers) has them. ¬†That’s up from 12% (28.3 million consumers) just last year. ¬†The tablet market is expected to reach 37% in the year 2013, 16% of which will be new tablet buyers.

Moxie Interactive Image here

The adoption rate has also been quick to the chase.  After 10 years, the smartphone market reached 40 million people.  It only took two years for the tablet market to reach that many people with the majority of these people coming from households earning $50k or more.

So why do people love using tablets so much?  Tablets are used for research before purchasing an item, reading reviews, operational events, marketing specials on websites, during TV viewing, and checking price.  Simul-screen usage in the Omni-channel purchase path is also on the rise.  Tablets should be a strong focus on your overall digital marketing mix to keep your strategy unified.  There needs to be a continuation of an experience for users of brands, but most importantly tablets need to add value to customers as an integral part of digital strategy.

So what does that mean for marketers?¬† Customers who use a PC and smartphone during a purchase convert 10x as more than that¬†level of a desktop. ¬†When people use a desktop and tablet it‚Äôs 12x. ¬†When a consumer uses all these devices it’s 15x higher. ¬†We need to leverage these devices during the 7:30-10PM peak time for mobile traffic.

Delta Image Here

Delta took a $140 million dollar investment this year in mobile alone.  Why?  The evolution of the customer in the next 5-7 years will leave everyone having a smartphone who is over the age of 13 years old.  60% of business travelers have an Ipad and 89% of those use an Ipad when traveling for business.

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”-Henry Ford

On board experience has landed. ¬†‚ÄúThank you for flying Delta‚ÄĚ is not just a saying, but Delta communicating as a brand to customers that they want to make the entire customer experience of traveling delightful. ¬†Delta has even released a new Glass bottom jet app for the iPad that allows you to see points of difference over which you are flying, people in your social networks, and connects you with an in-flight Go-Go session.

The Home Depot Image Here

Home Depot has focused more on their interconnected path to purchase for retail.  50% of Home Depot sales involve online research before purchase.  In-store has information about the experience and 25% of Home depot purchases are made before by looking at the website.  Tablets add to that 10% of all online traffic of the Home Depot website and have been added to the mobile team where they analyze traffic patterns.  The patterns are then broken down further to provide insights of where cross shopping patterns exist (where the sale comes from).  The role of the tablet for Home Depot serves as a marketing medium, used for product information, an ecommerce tool, project inspiration, social tool, store connectivity for RFI tags, augmented reality, and useful for their style guide iPad App.

How do you use your tablet? ¬†Most of the speakers use it for business research, as mini whiteboards, digital books, or other added value to what they are doing. ¬†YouTube and Safari are some of the most commonly used iPad Apps. You should expect people to download an app by using a call to action, don’t force it on them.

Check out some of the favorite apps discussed from the event such as, Angry Birds, Houzz, Tourist, Skitch, and Sketchbook.   One last thing to keep in mind is that the Hispanic market uses mobile more than computers.

Final Thought: Maybe the tablet is more useful than you think.

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