Smartphones and tablets are both mobile devices, but a Forrester analyst says marketers are making a big mistake if they lump the two together.
The primary reason marketers need to consider a specific tablet strategy is that smartphones are far more mobile, can’t-leave-home-without-it, devices.
Tablets? Actually, almost the reverse; they’re far more commonly used in the home by consumers.
“Tablet marketing enables marketers to engage with influential customers who spend less time on PCs and print media,” says Forrester analyst Thomas Husson, who recently blogged about research he did over the past few months on the topic. “People use tablets differently from smartphones, requiring marketers to adapt their approach.”
Husson says marketers will see better payback if they design immersive tablet experiences for people discovering and researching their brands and products.
“They should use search marketing to drive better conversion rates and tablet commerce. And they should maximize TV ads by creating tablet extensions for multitaskers as well as creating new marketing experiences in the digital home,” he said.
Shift to contextual marketing
But while it’s important to recognize the distinct opportunities smartphones and tablets offer, Husson says context is also a key factor.
Someday in the future wearable computers may be all the rage. But as Husson noted in an earlier blog, smartphones, tablets, phablets and whatever comes next are all part of a continuum of computing devices with at least two dimensions: mobility and connectivity.
“So what matters most is understanding how and in which context your own core target audiences will use these increasingly connected devices and touchpoints throughout the day,” he said.
In response to a comment on phablets, Husson says he sees them more as super-sized smartphones than mini-tablets, though he expects the growing number of form factors to blur the lines of strictly defining devices.
“At the end of the day, strategy will be defined not so much by the screen size but more [by] the contextual needs of your core target audiences,” he said.