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How Tablets Are Changing Business

How Tablets Are Changing Business

By Ming Chan

With sales forecast to hit 60 million in 2011, the tablet is changing our way of life. It’s a unique user experience that fills the void between smaller mobile devices and bigger laptops. We can’t ignore it, and the pressure is on content providers and advertisers to react to the change and the new demand it has created.

Tweak Content for Tablets
Tablets demand that we address a new length of attention span -- not as short as the one needed to use smartphones, but not as long as the one needed to use a laptop or desktop. The new way of interacting by gesture has created technical and creative challenges too. Consumers are using these devices in innovative ways to satisfy their needs.

So media companies need to tweak the way they present content -- but that’s nothing new. They’ve been doing these kinds of tweaks ever since the explosion of the Internet and mobile devices, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to those who’ve embraced these other platforms. (It’s probably not as big a challenge as, say, the expansion of social media.)

Advertisers Must Innovate
For advertisers, on the other hand, there’s a much greater challenge. They’re still learning how to effectively advertise on “older” platforms -- such as the Internet and mobile devices. Few have had consistent success or have a formula that guarantees ROI. In the meantime, people are still discovering new ways of using tablets to consume content. In this market, where consumers have full control of what they want and don’t want to see, advertisers have to constantly innovate to keep up with customers’ desires.

The agency role is to help brands understand these customer desires -- to analyze and try to anticipate consumers’ ever-changing needs in order to influence their decision-making process. Agencies need to be nimble and open-minded and collaborate with brands so that, together, they can use key consumer insights to generate and execute innovative ideas that result in measurable ROI.

The Key to Effective Campaigns: End Users
Understand that your clients might not have the tolerance that you have for risk-taking. It’s an agency’s job to both challenge and collaborate with clients, to justify effort versus value, and hold ourselves to creating measurable ROI. Remember to build with the end user in mind.

It’s important to stay on the bleeding edge, but be careful not to get it into your head that you can change people’s behavior. You can’t. The most effective campaigns are ones that push user experience to the limit -- without forcing people to relearn that experience.

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons/ Yutaka Tsutano

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From Our Sponsor: If you do more work than your security company, it’s time to check out Webroot.

Ming Chan is the CEO, CTO and founder of The1stMovement , a digital advertising agency. Follow his tweets at mingAtT1M.

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