Tablet usage projected to steadily increase

As the global tablet market continues to grow, it could have a huge impact on B2B marketing. It is estimated that tablet usage will increase by more than 19 percent this year. By 2019, more than 1.51 billion will operate a tablet at least once a month, up half a billion from the current estimated usage of 1 billion tablet-users a month (1).

This increase in the number of tablet users worldwide will be especially pronounced in the Asia-Pacific countries. However, market saturation is not as high in those countries when compared to North America and Western European markets. A Pew Internet Project research showed 42 percent of Americans owned a tablet (2).

Tablet usage
With the steady increase in tablet users, marketers need to understand how targeting a tablet-specific audience is unique from other forms of digital marketing. Although tablets come equipped with Wi-Fi capabilities, only 14 percent of respondents associate "mobile" with a tablet. This marks a considerable contrast from the 54 percent who associate smartphones with mobility (3).

The time of tablet usage also reflects the trend of people preferring to use the device at home, as people tend to turn to their tablets during the night hours. Tablet usage only surpasses smartphone usage during the evening hours and on the weekends.

Since such a small segment of the population truly considers a tablet to be a mobile device, it behooves marketers to think of these devices more as a stay-at-home companion to smartphones. Indeed, 41 percent of respondents reported using their tablet and smartphone simultaneously. While smartphones are more on-the-go devices that people use when they're commuting or in the office, people generally spend time relaxing with their tablets at home.

Tablets have become leisure-activity devices, as people prefer to watch movies, read and search for content on a tablet rather than a smartphone. However, despite the slight disparities in usage, 90 percent of people still want easy access to content across devices and platforms. Yet, 54 percent of respondents said mobile websites do not provide enough content for them, which points to a glaring hole in the content market. When coupled with the always-on nature of today's business environment, the B2B market needs to ensure it keeps pace with these preferences, since people who take work from home or home from work expect the content and access to be equally strong in both places.

Focus on tablet marketing
Since tablets are unique among devices, B2B marketers need to develop and implement specialized marketing techniques to adequately target this segment of Internet users. This involves more than simply taking a smartphone app and making it work on a tablet.

While applications, websites and digital advertisements are all different channels for successfully utilizing a digital marketing campaign, each one requires a distinct approach and design. In addition, not only must marketers distinguish between these channels, they must also design each in terms of the device used: smartphone, PC or tablet. That is, an app for a smartphone should be different than an app for tablet, while a website for a PC should be different than one for a tablet.

With a much larger screen than a smartphone, a tablet provides increased marketing real estate opportunities merely by its design. Unlike the size restraints inherent to smartphones, marketers can squeeze in more company or product information, images or interactive features on tablets. Not only does a tablet provide additional space to inform and interact with a potential client, it also gives marketers a chance to expand the brand and create new content.

Studies have shown that customers tend to spend more money for goods purchased via a tablet compared to smartphones or PC purchases (4). This provides great incentive for businesses to take advantage of tablet marketing to upsell higher-priced goods and services. By utilizing customized tablet-specific search engine optimization methods, businesses can potentially boost sales and increase brand awareness.

Marketers should take advantage of that fact that people tend to watch more videos, read and play games on their tablets compared to their smartphones. For example, including more video marketing for tablet consumption would likely show a positive response by users.

The same goes providing content. Considering tablet-users are lamenting the dearth of content, combined with the fact that people tend to consume more news via these devices, it aligns perfectly with offering customers longer, more in-depth content pieces for their perusal.

Create an omni-channel experience
With the majority of tablet owners reporting using their tablets while watching television, and roughly two-fifths using their smartphone along with their tablet, it's crucial for marketers to promote omni-channel experiences for users. By creating and implementing a cross-channel branding strategy, marketers are more likely to be successfully retaining old customers while simultaneously attracting new ones.

(1) Global Tablet Audience to Total 1 Billion This Year

(2) Mobile Technology Fact Sheet

(3) 2014 Mobile Behavior Report

(4) Mobile marketing vs tablet marketing: Do you know the difference?

Sheila Kloefkorn (1029 Posts)

With more than 20 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing,, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.