THE WEB LEANS BACK

The second trend is that of a more relaxed web audience.  Since Apple launched the first iPad in 2010 internet behaviour and consumption has changed dramatically.

In fact tablets are the main driver of this trend.  In Q4 2012 tablet sales accounted for 35% of all PC shipments worldwide4 and are predicted to overtake PC volumes this year.  A quite staggering statistic considering the market is less than 3 years old.  Australian tablet penetration is also predicted to grow to as much as 48%5 by the end of the year, certainly scale enough to push the digital marketing industry in a new direction.

That said tablets are also by and large an inert device with 79%6 of usage occurring in the home and on the couch.  This leant back consumption is predominantly a new usage occasion and not a cannibalization of another screen.  This is an important distinction to make and one that has driven tablet households to spend an additional 1 ¾  hours online7.

The impact of these contextual and behavioural changes are likely to be more profound then many are anticipating;

Firstly there is what I call a growing gesture gap.  The vast majority of brand and campaign experiences are built with mouse based navigation in mind.  Point, click and consume.  It’s treated us all well for many years.  However more and more Australians are accessing the web via touch screens devices, using their finger to navigate and interact with those same brand and campaign experiences.  At what point do we flip the paradigm and stop offering a sub standard touch experience because of our focus on the mouse and shift perspective toward creating a gesture optimized experience?

  CONTENT MANAGEMENT BECOMES A BUSINESS PRIORITY

Secondly brands and agencies need to think harder about the content need that sits behind each device, and not just treat each screen simply as a gateway to a standardized web.  If tablets drive a lean back, desktops a lean forward and mobiles a lean free experience then how does the content need to differ to deliver the most relevant experience.

Lastly since tablet growth is driving incremental usage and not necessarily cannibalizing desktop/laptop activity the cross device measurement conundrum only grows in importance.  Without a single user view the idea of true omni-screen marketing remains just out of reach.  Until this puzzle is cracked brands and agencies will still feel a sense of insecurity when it comes to managing campaign activity, frequency and investment.

 

Sources:

  • 4 – Canalys market analysis February 2013
  • 5 – Bohemia extrapolated Nielsen Data 2012
  • 6 – Google Global Multi Screen Research 2012
  • 7 – Google UK Multi Screen Research 2012