Seven Reasons Executives Are Still Queasy About Tablets

There’s an enormous change in the computing marketplace and yet many executives are still reluctant, even queasy about placing their marketing spend into tablets and getting on board. It’s amazing given the facts. Consider that tablets are expected to outsell PCs for the first time this year. Apple’s iPad and Samsung’s Galaxy alone are expected to lead the charge and outsell all PCs. According to, Apple sold 32 million iPads as of October 2011. By October 2013 they had sold 170 million.

So why the reluctance to begin marketing on these devices? There seems to be at least seven reasons.

  1. People tend to do what they are comfortable doing.
  2. When a marketer places an advertisement on a Website the tracking tools are very comprehensive. Tablets, not so much. So with much less data comes much less experimentation.
  3. Somewhere the big media, such as The Wall Street Journal, determined they could and should charge far more for tablet branding than print. Big mistake for everyone other than a few, including The Wall Street Journal.
  4. Marketers perceive tablets as something else they have to build other than their primary Website and brand campaigns and are therefore reluctant to budget for it.
  5. Executives don’t understand that a smartphone is not the same platform or audience than a tablet. They see them as the same, which limits investment.
  6. Creative directors and developers are not trained on this platform so they are reluctant to recommend it to their clients. It’s another “thing” they have to know about and it’s a hassle they don’t want. As the saying goes, it’s hard to train an old dog new tricks.
  7. The more media you add the more creative coordination is required. This makes the job of porting the campaign across multiple media platforms more difficult, not necessarily more profitable for those producing the branding.

These factors present a truly excellent opportunity for the strategically wise. Instead of pounding out e-mail after e-mail to the same audience, a smart marketer could investigate this new platform to determine ways to bring in new customers they don’t typically reach. It’s a new world and it has a new set of markets forming.

Tom Marin is the president of MarketCues, a national consulting firm. Tom serves as a senior advisor and change-management consultant with 35 years of experience. He has worked for some of the world’s largest corporations, as well as middle-market firms. Tom's focus is to plan and drive strategy shifts and strategic growth programs in the printing industry and a diverse range of market areas.
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