Using iPads and other tablets in marketing campaigns

There was a time when mobile marketing essentially meant phones, but all that has changed. Today, iPads and other tablet devices have joined the fray. A marketer could be promoting a product or service through an app, a QR code, or a Facebook link, or using all three depending on the type of campaign.

Marketing campaigns through iPads and other tablet devices are focused on creating a memorable user experience. Interestingly, there is no standard set of rules for this marketing method yet, and since the technology happens to be open-ended, a marketer is only limited by her imagination.

An example is Realtor Coldwell Banker’s iPad app which was promoted with a new Google ad format termed the “branded video” featuring a clickable video ad.  This ad was first released as a banner, and users could click to see more. Interaction rates were over 7%, compared with the standard 0.01% click-through rate for banners.

Many businesses are either already invested in a mobile marketing campaign or have plans to, considering the rapid increase in the use of smart phones and how people access content and services on the move.  comScore reported, in late October 2011, that smartphones and tablets drive nearly 5% of digital traffic in EU5 and a 45% increase in  mobile banking app usage in the U.S. Q4 2010

Mobile marketing is a unique way to engage and connect with consumers, as it can entertain or offer useful services. Here are some of the top campaigns using iPads and other tablet devices:

  • The dual screen ad from Heineken: Heineken, the global brand, realising that people access their mobiles while watching TV, promoted a mobile game called the StarPlayer, around the Champions League. Fans could interact in real time. Around ten minutes before the game, users could unlock this game and answer a bunch of predictive questions related to the game. This was highly successful, as the app got fans engaged with the brand and their favorite football team simultaneously.
  • Another example is Wal-Mart, the retailer giant, which is gearing up to connect with millions of customers before the holiday season using the mobile platform.   They will be releasing new mobile apps integrating coupons and voice recognition in the browsing and shopping experience. The iPad and iPhone apps allow online shopping as well as finding out the availability of the product. After ordering via these apps can be shipped or personally collected from the store. Besides mobile coupon access, the new iPhone app shows a shopping list that integrates voice recognition.
  • Automobile giant Toyota is using rich animated media banner ads on Yahoo Fantasy Football iPad, iPhone and Android apps to engage its users with its brand.   This interesting campaign has animated banner ads that access Yahoo content feeds and the ad links to the Toyota site.

The growth of smartphones and tablets devices are driving social media campaigns, and Social TV is expected to offer tremendous opportunities for both brands and mobile marketers. On top of the list of beneficiaries are event-based programs like live shows and sports where the level of engagement is highest. Tablets are especially one up on smartphones because of their size, allowing the user a better visual experience. Mobile marketers are naturally quite keen to take advantage of this rapidly growing market by giving the users what they want.

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