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Why brands need to change as new and cheaper tablet computers change the world

New tablet computers are defining and expanding the mobile universe; to the extent that they’re changing reading habits and whole lifestyles. Nick Marsh (left), VP EMEA for Mojiva, explains how the world is changing.

Remember when the internet was the shiny new object that everyone simply had to get their hands on and use? New desktop and laptop computers were entering the market faster than you could blink, each with a new and improved set of features and functions.

As adoption and usage of PCs grew worldwide, consumers soon began to rely on these devices to do more than simply create a business presentation or write an essay (for school). Then came the wildly popular iPad in 2010. The sleek and highly interactive touch-friendly tablet changed the way people use technology to absorb and share information in a paradigm-shifting way.

Now, tablets have become an integral part of consumers’ personal and professional lives. It’s no wonder tablet sales forecasts are being rewritten just as soon as they are being published. As I sit here and write this article, the IDC has dialled up its 2013 tablet sales forecast yet again by another 11 per cent – this time to 190.9 million units. By the end of 2017, tablet shipments are estimated to be upwards of 350 million.

In the early iPad days, tablets were considered to be a luxury purchase reserved for consumers in a higher income bracket. Priced often as high as £400-500, tablets weren’t always accessible and affordable to Britons. But that’s all changed, especially with the introduction of the iPad Mini and other tablets priced as low £199.

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Now consider just how simple and entertaining tablets make consumers feel. If you’re travelling from New York to London, you can simply fire up your iPad or Kindle Fire and access any number of entertainment apps – be it listening to music on Spotify or watching the latest episode of Downton Abbey via Hulu Plus.

What’s most interesting is that tablets are no longer a supplementary source for entertainment and news. Research from Forrester indicates that tablets are actually eating into the time consumers are spending on other devices and consuming traditional media. In fact, one-third of tablet owners say they’re less likely to read a book or use a PC now that they have a tablet, while a quarter say they read print newspapers and magazines less frequently. Tablets make consumers’ lives better and consumers are spending more and more time on these devices. That’s the mobile reality we’re living in today.

This democratisation of tablets is one reason why we felt the timing was perfect to launch what we think is the world’s only tablet-dedicated ad network, Mojiva Tab.

In fact, the total number of ad requests coming from tablets and e-readers reached 31 billion for the entire year in 2012, signalling a 600 per cent increase from the previous year. And out of a total of 3.3 billion tablet ad requests in the EU5 region (UK, Italy, Spain, France, Germany), over one billion requests came from the UK alone.

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It’s no wonder more and more brands are tapping (literally) into tablet advertising as a way to increase eyeballs on their brands, improve the quality and length of user engagement and, most importantly, to drive ROI and revenue.

To capitalize fully on tablet advertising, brands must adapt and tailor their advertising strategies and creative executions to support each new technology that enters the marketplace. Because each brand has its own set of KPIs and customer needs, a brand’s success will rest heavily on its ability to be flexible with its mobile strategy so that adjustments and tweaks can be made with ease and speed, when necessary.

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