Year of the tablet is still a long way off

There’s no denying that tablet advertising offers unique opportunities for innovation as well as providing a stronger platform for conversion when executed correctly. However, we’re a long way from seeing the ‘year of the tablet’ from an advertising ROI perspective.

In reality, there are challenges that make investment more difficult: limited ‘proof’ of the reach of tablets; lack of optimised websites; a high entry cost from a media perspective which, for a channel with such a number of unknowns, is a major barrier; and ownership issues on both media owner and agency sides mean tablet opportunities can fall through the cracks.

For the tablet to see the momentum, the industry needs to work harder to make it easier for brands to make it a key part of their communications planning.

Media owners need to be more proactive and ensure they are structured appropriately to identify multi-channel opportunities. They need relationships with both the digital and offline planning teams to fully exploit the tablet market.

Agencies that can offer advertisers support through the entire process – identifying the content for the platform, supporting the production process, managing the media buy and measurement – will ensure advertisers see success from their tablet investments.

Celine Saturnino, head of digital, Total Media

Mobiles will ring in a sea change in retail landscape

‘Catching up with the customer’ makes many valid points, but retailers shouldn’t ignore the growing importance of mobile. If in-store is the live sales environment, and the web the new home of comparison, recommendation and buying at leisure, then surely mobile is the interface between the two.

Deloitte has estimated that for every £1 of purchases made via mobile, the channel will directly influence £23 of spend. Mobile gives people the opportunity to purchase at any time, anywhere. It therefore extends the ecommerce window of opportunity.

But it also reduces the advantage of place. A retailer’s store was his or her fortress. Whether or not you clinch the sale, you had the chance to make your case without interruption. With mobile, the competition is always inside your gates; and that means your store could find its role relegated to ‘dumb showroom’.

Mobile will be a disruptive force across the retail landscape, allowing retailers to add new dimensions to their brand proposition in ways that enhance the customer experience.

Scott Logie, strategic marketing director, St Ives Group

Mums-to-be aren’t stupid

Regarding your article on mums and media, while there are some interesting insights, was I alone in feeling a little queasy about some of the language and findings? Saying that ‘New research suggests that mums-to-be these days are digital savvy’ is a patronising simplification. Men and women, in general, are digital savvy from their teens and beyond.

Understandably, parents, mums- and dads-to-be, will find that the brands they’re interested in necessarily change and expand and it’s interesting to see the high proportion of mothers-to-be active in social, for instance. However, I found the ‘Why mums ‘like’ brands on Facebook’ pointless. Isn’t it the same for dads-to-be, men or women in general? 

This research felt like a muddle, and made pregnant women to be another species entirely.

Cathy McPherson, director, adconnection

Are you game enough for gamification?

I read Nicola Smith’s recent Marketing Week article on gamification ‘Playing for points and staff attention’.

Personal experience teaches us that from an early age many of our most memorable learning experiences come when a difficult concept is made into a fun game. On top of the fun of playing games, we like to compete and try to best our peers.

Organisations and companies are increasingly latching on to the fact this deeply rooted human instinct is still with us in the adult world of work and the article highlighted some innovations in this area. Personal mobile technology, social media and cloud applications make it as easy now to compete at work like we might on the rowing machine or pub quiz after hours.

At Propeller Mobile, we’ve seen a dramatic growth in requests for workplace and business ‘gamification’ mobile or tablet applications and ideas. For example, we recently helped develop a tablet-based game to help hospital staff visualise and learn how to correctly clean hygiene-critical areas using specialist materials.

Apart from individuals seeing how well they perform against the benchmarks built into occupational games, social platforms make it easy for them to judge their performance against others in a private network. We are currently working on an app that allows restaurant customers to rate the performance of waiting staff, with data fed back to management in the form of a league table.

Occupational league tables and real-time performance metrics are not to everyone’s taste (particularly those who are seen to lag behind). But they are coming fast and smart business should investigate which parts of their workflows can be ‘gamified’. I’ll race you there. Last one in is a rotten egg!

Martin Loat, chief executive of Propeller Mobile



Angry Birds

Rovio courts brands with ad division

Lara O'Reilly

Rovio, the maker of Angry Birds, has formed a brand advertising partnership team comprising of several senior executives, as it looks to gain more control over the ads that appear next to its games and create a new revenue stream for the company.


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