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Marketers Embrace Tablet Technology

In the realm of technology, until just over a year ago, the tablet category essentially did not exist. Though many companies had experimented with tablet-like devices—and electronic readers had made some headway—no one had created a mass-market gadget that people would actually pay for and use. Enter Apple’s iPad.

Worldwide tablet sales are expected to reach 81 million units in 2012, up from 16 million in 2010, reports eMarketer. The iPad will remain the market-share leader through the forecast period, and U.S. consumers will drive sales, having accounted for 62% of all tablets sold in 2010.

“Because tablets offer so many ways of engaging with content, they represent a huge opportunity for marketers,” says Paul Verna, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report “Tablets: New Screens for Marketers.”

“Some brands have experimented with the format by advertising in iPad editions of popular periodicals. Nevertheless, many brands are sitting on the sidelines waiting to see how the tablet market develops.”

A Nielsen survey noted that iPad users were more likely than users of iPhones and other connected devices to click on ads of various types, including video, text, multimedia and interactive.

Marketers who take the plunge into tablet advertising will be rewarded with an audience that is engaged, predisposed to the “wow” factor and primed to purchase. The demographic profile of a typical tablet user is high-income, 18 to 34 years old, male and more likely than average to respond to an ad by completing a purchase, whether through a tablet app, a website, or a phone.

“Just as Apple seized the early-mover advantage by launching a groundbreaking product, brand marketers can edge out the competition by making a bold entrance on the tablet stage,” said Verna. “Some improvisation might be required, but the potential rewards far outweigh the risks.”


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