Thanks to the iPad and the emergence of a wide range of Android-based devices led by the red hot Kindle Fire this past holiday, new industry data is pouring in indicating tablets are a future that can no longer be ignored. The Pew Internet Research Center announced in January that Tablet and eReader usage doubled in just 3 months over the holiday season in 2011! Then, early this month, ComScore’s latest Digital Future in Focus 2012 punctuated this trend by noting in just two short years, tablet adoption has reached 40 million users, a level that took smartphones 3x longer (7 years) to reach.
If these trends continue, new form factors for accessing everything from your favorite website, music, YouTube video, Facebook, Twitter feed or Pinterest post will be done on at least a multi-screen and perhaps a tablet-centric world.
And the tablet is not just for consumers anymore as many believed. CEOs and other c-level execs are demanding these devices as lightweight clients accessing line of business applications and corporate information, while sales people are using them to make presentations to customers too.
A multi-screen world is upon us as consumers, businesses and advertisers. ComScore has coined a new term for this multi-screen user in this world: “Digital Omnivores”. These are people who are no longer tethered to their PC and access online media and information across multiple screens throughout the day – PC, Phone, or Tablet. ComScore is also careful to puts some of this massive adoption in perspective, noting that today only 8% of all digital traffic was consumed by non PC devices (smartphones and tablets) with about 2/3 of that coming from phones.
However, it is clear these new form factors and “Digital Omnivores” are quickly changing the way information and media online is consumed. Even in my own personal experience since buying a tablet over 80% of our home Internet usage in just 2 years has gone from 80% PC to now 80% tablet. It quickly has become the device our family fights over the most, while my smartphone and its Internet connection has become mission critical when I am traveling or doing business.
What does the rise of the tablet and “digital omnivores” mean for advertisers and marketers?
1) Think about how your customer experiences your brand across multiple screens from the get-go, especially as you think about your website experience, your advertising and your call to action.
2) Don’t make a mobile user who is your customer a second class citizen – the old days of giving them a small subset of your website is over. Pandora, for example, gets over 50% of its audience from mobile connected devices.
3) Make sure your website works seamlessly across multiple screens using technologies like HTML5 (our Resultrix site is built in HTML5 and we have done many projects for companies to help them use this including web-based apps).
4) Ensure your search and display advertising is starting to target these new form factors as part of your mix of tactics beyond traditional PC screens. We have already been doing this for our clients for the past few years, including targeting display campaigns on mobile /tablet platforms.
It will be critical for businesses to monitor how this multi-screen world takes hold and changes how customers interact with companies, and if this usage evolution becomes a complimentary or a cannibalizing force .