Is the tablet a better form factor for consuming all kinds of information on a single device?
Is it going to become the dominant long-form information consumption entry point?
I think it is.... and here's why.
I think within the next five years you're going to see tablets fuel an information convergence that will give marketers the opportunity to fully deploy Propinquity Marketing strategy and tactics.
I'm not talking about Minority Report shiny object cool stuff like digital out of home that changes messages based on your proximity -- I'm talking real Guerilla Insights -- the ability to create audience profiles that overlay click, demographic and lifestyle data with content consumption and psychological archetypes to give content marketers the key to the kingdom -- not just knowing WHAT kind of content a consumer is interested in receiving but HOW they are most likely going to want/process that information. And you'll be able to tie all of that back to a single tablet/person.
According to a recent Morgan Stanley Research Report, Tablets adoption is projected to grow at a rate significantly higher than mobile smart phones or cell phones did in their first five years.
These predictions coupled with the growing availability of free or low-cost wi-fi at restaurants, airports, shopping malls and other public places, set the stage for the untethered consumer to access, create and share all forms of conent anyplace and anytime.
Tablets Are Built For Content Consumption
Man was not meant to type. It's an unnatural position and it's uncomfortable. According to that same Morgan Stanley Report, over 75% of consumer computer usage involves the consumption and/or sharing of content.
But let's face it -- computers kind of suck as content consumption platforms. It's just not comfortable to stare at a laptop or desktop screen and balancing a hot (and getting hotter as you use it) laptop on your lap while sitting in a chair or on the couch is well, less than desirable.
Oh and let's not forget batteries... because computers burn through their batteries far faster than a tablet, even a mobile laptop is still more tethered than a tablet.
Tablets are also the first electronic device that combines all of the form factors required for an optimum content consumption experience.
Tablest offer the consumer:
- Mobility – smaller and lighter form factors enable consumers to access computing resources and the Internet anywhere. Preference for smaller, lighter devices make it more practical than PCs, and enhanced browsing capabilities of mobile tablets set them above smartphones in this category
- Connectivity – as noted above, consumers can access the increasing available public wi-fi, use mi-fi hotspots or the device's built in cellular data connectivity to enjoy "always on" internet access
- OS innovation – tablets and smartphone interfaces are quickly finding their way into today's computers. Just look at the new MacBook's -- first it was trackpads and now you're seeing multi-gesture interface. Interacting with content on a tablet is intuitive and dare I say.... fun?
- Power-efficient processors – power is life. And the ability to use tablets for long durations in between charges creates a truly untethered consumer.
- Ideal form factor - large enought to hold with one hand but small and light enough to carry in a purse or briefcase, tablets bring together the screen real estate of a laptop with the mobility of a smartphone.
Tablets Are Familiar
Familiarity fuels adoption. Humans don't like change and resist it. So the more something new feels like something old, like something we're used to, the better chance adoption has to take root. Tablets are the first form factor to really provide this opportunity.
Tablets allow content to be consumed in a familiar look, feel and manner. When I real my WSJ on my tablet, it looks a whole lot like the WSJ I used to get delivered to my doorstep. When I read a book on the tablet, I turn the pages the same way I turn the pages of a normal book. Magazines look and feel like magazines on an iPad -- only now they also contain video and audio to round out the information offering.
This familiarity combined with the ability of one device to provide you with ALL the forms of content in a form factor that doesn't require any "trade-off" on the part of the consumer sets the stage for a true content convergence. While yes, I can watch video on my smartphone or read a magazine or newspaper, I have to give up ease of consumption (screen size limitations) to receive the mobility benefit -- not true on tablets.
Thus, as all (or a great deal) of your information consumption, social media activity and even content creation/sharing activity centralizes on one, trackable device, we marketers will for the first time be able to create a detailed, layered snapshot of who the device owner is, what they like/dislike, and how they prefer to learn about things or interface with people/information (archetypes) and use that unique profile to target advertising, content and messaging.
Think about it....
photo By Johan Larsson