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Consumers take tablets to ease Christmas shopping stresses

Data released from M&C Saatchi Mobile shows that over the last six months advertising global spend on tablets has, on average, led to a four times greater conversion rate than mobile handset campaigns. When targeting is introduced in conjunction with creative campaigns, the firm has shown this to lead to conversion rates of up to five-to-six times higher than mobile. When compared to the industry average of two-to-three times, the data from the world’s number one buyer of mobile media clearly demonstrates the significant effect that targeted tablet advertising is having upon buyer behaviour over and above the more established smartphone and desktop platforms.

Over the Christmas period, spend on tablets is predicted to increase by 25% with over 90% of M&C Saatchi Mobile’s global client campaigns already planned to ensure they secure the most valuable inventory. Significantly, this means that for the first time ever, the agency expects that the tablet versus handset spend will split towards tablets in terms of media spend capitalising on the spending habits of tablet users. For retailers looking to capitalise on the growing opportunity, the information indicates the need to run socio-demographic targeted campaigns and ensure their websites are optimised for tablet devices.

Building on its tablet experience, M&C Saatchi Mobile data also indicates that exact location targeting has not proven to be a big factor with less than 10% of the firms tablet campaigns utilising exact geo-targeting. In large, this is due to tablet usage being more akin to sofa surfing. For the most successful tablet campaigns, other targeting methods such as country or city geo-targeting, demographic, language, time of day and channel targeting is proven to be more important with these devices. However, M&C Saatchi Mobile predicts this trend will change as new 7-inch tablets launch and become mainstream – the ‘tablet in your pocket’ will mean exact geo-targeting will become incredibly powerful.

Speaking from the London headquarters of M&C Saatchi Mobile, CEO James Hilton said, “Since the introduction of the iPad, brands and marketers have been trying to work out what exactly it meant for them. The impact has been far beyond what anyone really expected. With the current and forthcoming releases of more affordable, sub £200 devices such as Amazon Kindle Fire HD and the Google Nexus 7, as well as other high-end devices such as the Microsoft Surface then we believe the impact of tablets upon mobile advertising will continue to increase after the Christmas period.  This Christmas heralds a major sea change in the mass market adoption of tablets.”

The data, collected between April to October from the UK and USA shows that as developers become increasingly savvy when creating the tablet user experience and perfect the user journey, conversion rates continue to rise.

Hilton concluded, “The possibilities to deliver rich media and interactive messaging lead to far better creativity in campaigns. This medium blends the best of TV with the best of interactivity. Virtually all brands have seen the benefits of larger screens to engage and be more creative. We have seen a vast year-on-year growth of spend thanks to the heightened engagement and better proven return on investment generated by tablets.”

The impact of mobile advertising can continue to be seen with M&C Saatchi Mobile’s previous data revealing that premium smartphone rates have increased by 20% ($0.10) over the past year. This along with recent data from the IAB showing that mobile advertising grew by 132% to £181.5m in the first half of 2012 shows that demand for mobile is on the rise.

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