Much like the arrival of brightly-colored tulips and little fluffy bunnies, spring also has brought a shower of iPad publicity and speculation for the last two years — and this spring is no different. The secret ninja announcement from Apple has been shrouded the usual rumors and questions: Will the iPad 3 be the first tablet in HD? How different from the iPad 2 will this third incarnation be? And some are wondering if it even is going to be called the iPad 3. While all of these are fascinating pontifications, we as online marketing specialists have another burning question: Does the iPad 3 (or whatever it ends up being called) signal the arrival of tablet marketing?
Mobile marketers have been pacing back and forth about this “tablet thing” for months. Now that every company big and small has a tablet or pad or book of its own, it appears the moment has arrived. Back in the fall, Paul Cushman of Yahoo! told Mobile Marketer, “Tablet marketing is just one element of a brand’s overall digital marketing strategy, which should aim to connect with consumers on all four screens — mobile, PC, tablet and TV. Agencies should be thinking about how they engage and move consumers to interact with brands across each of these screens, ultimately driving them from the PC, through the tablet, to the store via their smartphone, and then back again for customer-relationship management.”
Over the last few months, we’ve seen magazines and lifestyle brands push out tablet products at a breakneck pace. While not every online business can pump out slick iPad-friendly layouts and tablet-only apps, every site can get on the tablet party. The easiest way to cater to the tablet crowd is to continually pack your site with fresh content. Blogs are hotly-read on tablets, so the fresher and more timely the post, the more likely you are to keep readers. Also, by using a strategy similar to making your website mobile-phone friendly, formatting is a breeze and nothing will get lost in translation. Yet the main benefit of marketing for tablets is the creative possibilities. Brands are already coming up with one-of-a-kind games, cool interactive shopping features and image manipulation tools that are perfect for tablets’ unique tactile and motion sensor capabilities.
So let’s hear from you, smarty-pants readers: Is the era of tablet marketing officially upon us? Sound off below!