Smartphone or Tablet? The Only Good Marketing Answer

Presort.com   February 17, 2014    

The era of lumping tablet and smartphone users together is over. Users habits differ depending on what device type they are using.

Statistics from IBM onBlack Friday mobile useOpens in a new window drove this point home. Smartphones accounted for nearly 25 percent of all online traffic compared to 14 percent for tablets. However, tablets drove double the total online sales of smartphones, 14 percent to seven percent.

The different usage habits were also documented in a recent Adobe Mobile Services report. Tablet users spend more time per session using both mobile apps and mobile web. Smartphone users spend less time per session, but they access apps and the web more times per month.

The divide is clear: Smartphone users are more likely to quickly browse. Tablet users are more likely to go in-depth and buy.

With these different habits, how can marketers tailor campaigns to reach their desired audience? By allowing campaign objectives to drive device targeting. Tying what you want to have happen to the habits of smartphone and tablet users is the best way to raise engagement levels and meet your key campaign objectives.

Let’s take a look at three common objectives and determine whether tablets or smartphones are the better target.


Objective: Conversion and Sales
Undoubtedly the most important marketing objective is sales: Getting someone to see your campaign and then converting him or her into a paid customer.

Tablets come out ahead as the device of choice for meeting this objective. The IBM data mentioned above should be convincing enough. But why is this the case? Why do more people by from a tablet?

Tablet users have more time. They aren’t rushed or using the device on the run.

If you are in a store, why would you use your smartphone to buy an item already in your hand? Conversely, when you’re at home watching TV, snapping up a new pair of shoes makes sense on a tablet.

Screen size also plays a role. Ever try completing all the fields of a purchase form on a smartphone? It’s nearly impossible. It’s much easier to do with the larger touch screen or detachable keyboard of a tablet.


Objective: Awareness of New Product
Often the most basic, yet most difficult, campaign objective is to increase awareness of a new product. This process takes time, content, interaction and patience. You have to be able to grab hold of a consumer’s attention and hold it for a period of time.

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