Agency Fail: Many Missing The Boat On Tablets

02 Dec, 2014

By Robert Webster, chief product officer at Crimtan.

Tablets are everywhere. They will soon be the screen of choice for the majority of US web users, whose ranks will rise from 76.1 million in 2014 to an estimated 82.1 million by 2015.

As eyeballs shift from PCs and laptops to tablets, however, some agencies are still taking a one-size-fits-all approach to their display campaigns, which fails to accommodate and take advantage of the way tablets function and the type of user they attract.

But with a large percentage of ads now being viewed on tablets across the US, there are a few challenges agencies need to overcome to maximize the effectiveness of their campaigns. The payoff is worth the effort.

Missing Metrics

Tablets are predominantly used at home on Wi-Fi. This more relaxed browsing mind-set is perhaps why tablet advertising delivers higher click-through rates, making tablets a great platform for building brand awareness, developing a larger audience, and increasing purchase consideration.

With so many people using tablets while watching TV, what better way to reinforce TV ad messages than with high-impact, interactive call-to-action video ads? It allows you to drive traffic to a site to find out more or even make a purchase. Vying for attention in an increasingly cluttered world is tough, but making core messages easy and fun to digest can help your voice get heard. Tablets are the ideal, mid-funnel brand-response vehicle. Their interactive format encourages engagement.

However, tablets have one big drawback for pure performance campaigns: it’s notoriously difficult to track conversions. Attribution needs to take account of this. The company delivering tablet impressions may be responsible for many conversions, so be careful not to assume they are underperforming in this respect.

Aging Audience

With fewer cookies, targeting on tablets can be tricky, but it’s possible to accurately geotarget and coordinate online campaigns with regional TV campaigns. Geotargeting can provide local store locations and maps for products that are predominantly bought in-store. You can also identify whether a tablet is being used at work, at home, or on the go, which allows for situational targeting.

The nature of the tablet audience also changes according to the time of day. After 7 p.m., for example, ads will likely reach users at home in front of the TV. While evening audiences may be relaxing with time to research brands, be sure that when they click to request more information, they are not confronted by long forms to fill out. An email address or phone number is about as much as most people are prepared to provide on a device with a touchscreen keyboard.

Contextual targeting, particularly for magazines and other publications, takes on more importance because tablets can offer a big-screen ad experience. Fundamentally, though, tablets deliver a more up-market, middle-aged audience, so products that target this audience should include tablets as a core part of their marketing plan.

Boring Creative

It’s astonishing how many static ads you see on tablets, often because the advertiser has only supplied Flash creative, which tablets cannot display. Rule number one in today’s tablet landscape: Build the creative in HTML5. Generally speaking, tablet owners want the advertising they see to incorporate the unique functionality of tablets and an element of innovation and interactivity, such as video. These strategies increase the odds that users will engage with ads and remember them. Tablet screen quality is so advanced that large HD formats look great, so make the most of the opportunity to show off your brand.

Tablets are here to stay, and they offer advertisers exciting new creative and sales opportunities, but only if agencies exploit their full potential. Tablet ads already create a meaningful impact on key brand metrics, with rich media, video, and interactive ads driving the best results. Marketers that plan and execute campaigns with tablet users in mind will reap the rewards.

This article appeared on Ad Exchanger