Where Does The Tablet Fit In The Marketer's Media Plan?

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The TabletWith the iPad's strong growth and now the recent announcement by Amazon to provide a lower-end, $199 Kindle Fire tablet, marketers may need to start thinking about how the tablet - and its audience - fits in their plans going forward.

With that in mind, AdExchanger.com asked a group of industry experts from the mobile advertising side of the ad ecosystem the following question:

"Where should the tablet fit as part of a marketer's media plan?"

Click below or scroll down for more to read the answers:

Pat Connolly, Head of Strategy, Conde Nast Ideactive

"With the evolution of the iPad and the recent release of the Fire, it’s less a question of "where" does the tablet fit into a brand’s media mix, but where doesn’t it. While the tablet marketplace is certainly still evolving, and far from ubiquitous, the access to information in multiple forms, creates a convergence of all media on a single mobile device. Whether it’s reading the new tablet-issue of the New Yorker, watching Hulu or browsing the web, the tablet becomes less a medium, and more the new reality of how consumers navigate the information around them.

With this new reality, also comes the discussion of owned media complementing paid investments. As tablets drive media convergence, the best and most relevant content and experiences will win over the time-starved consumer, in the growing battle for screen real-estate. This represents new opportunities for brands to create content and experiences that connect with consumers and create value throughout the customer journey.

In short, if you’re asking the question 'where does it fit,' you’ve already missed the point."

Ryan Griffin, VP/Group Director, Media + Mobile, Digitas (Publicis)

"As sales of Tablets continue to outpace those of PCs (and project to continue doing so amongst a more diverse set of consumers), these devices are poised to play an increasing key role for marketers.

Many marketers tend to think of Tablets as machines that simply further power today’s increasingly pervasive 'Culture of Mobility' for consumers – and in turn equip brands with a platform for convenience, utility, and entertainment ubiquity. But the immersive touch-driven experiences rendered by Tablets provide creatives with a rich and expansive canvas for ideation, and the increasing processing power of these devices enables more robust activation possibilities.

From a planner’s perspective, the Tablet marks a unique intersection of data (context, addressability, and location), portability, and highly engaged media consumption – with scale very much on the horizon. If you are a retailer or financial services company, stake out a dedicated presence, and start measuring engagement and efficacy through this new lens. If you are a CPG company, understand how consumers are spending their time on Tablets, and deliver value (entertainment, coupons, or offers) in those environments.

If we truly are entering a 'post-PC' era of computing – where Tablets replace desktops and laptops for many consumers – then now is unquestionably the time to begin learning on this evolved category of devices."

Michael Nevins, VP of Mobile, Undertone

"Considering the amount of growth we’ve seen occur since the introduction of Apple’s iPad, tablets (including Amazon’s new Kindle Fire) should increasingly become an important part of marketers’ media plans.

It’s important for marketers to recognize that tablet users are not just downloading apps. According to a Business Insider survey from November 2010, the most popular activity on the iPad is web browsing. This trend is readily reinforced as publishers continue to report month-over-month increases of tablet-driven traffic to their websites.

For brand advertisers, tablets provide an ideal platform for impactful brand messages, engaging creative executions and rich media delivery. And while user behavior on these devices continues to emerge, immediate opportunities within certain categories already exist. For example, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article, ecommerce site conversion rates from tablets outpace those from traditional PCs. Some retailers even report that, on average, tablet shoppers place larger orders than PC or smartphone shoppers.

With data points like these surfacing daily, retailers and other advertisers should certainly be taking a closer look at how tablets fit in to their digital media mix."

Michael Lieberman, Group Account Director at Joule, a GroupM company (WPP Group)

"Despite relatively limited reach (Gartner estimates 63 million tablets will be sold globally in 2011), tablets are already having an outsized impact on how consumers interact with brands.

Although less personal and portable than a smartphone and less 'functional' than a laptop, tablets' form, size and tactile nature offer an immersive experience that surpasses almost any other medium. Tablet users actively engage with content - pinching, stretching, spinning - to an extent seen with no other digital device.

For many marketers, this high-involvement scenario represents the opportunity to create a deep, involving experience and build stronger relationships between consumers and brands.

For e-commerce marketers, tablet engagement is already paying off. Online shoppers using tablets convert from visit to sale at a higher percentage than PC users. And over 60% of tablet users claim to have shopped and/or purchased via their tablets (Forrester, 2011). These consumers are not just shopping for digital content - they are looking for apparel, electronics and other "real world" items.

Even with limited present-day reach, marketers should consider tablets not simply within an online or mobile strategy, but as a separate element aligned within their digital plans. Consumers and brands are looking for engagement and tablets may represent the best way yet to deliver."

Joe Chasse, Director of Media & Analytics, Modea

"Media plans continue to shift from purely channels to multiple devices within channels. If your target audience is actively engaged on a tablet device, your media plan must reflect it. Advertising on tablets allows brands to provide a deeper connection and richer engagement with consumers than virtually any other advertising creative before it-providing amazing opportunity, flexibility and accountability to brand marketers.

The tablet device market is still in its infancy and will continue to mature in adoption, performance and standards. Brand marketers must be open to employing a test and learn philosophy with respect to advertising on tablets and other emerging technologies. This philosophy will ensure that the brands you manage are positioned ahead of the curve in a prudent and practical approach."

By John Ebbert

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