Tablet owners have quickly adapted a preference of using their tablet rather than a computer for media and content consumption of all kinds, according to Frank N. Magid Associates. Some 66 percent of users prefer reading on a tablet rather than a PC, for example.
The three predominant text-based and work related usage areas for tablets are Web browsing, news consumption and reading. Those three apps are the main reasons tablets, such as the iPad, have become business tools.
“Reading” has also quickly become something tablet users would rather do on their tablet than any other place. That ultimately has big implications for business-to-business content marketers.
“Consumers’ media choices are changing rapidly, and the surge in consumption by tablet owners has been dramatic,” said Dan Schechter, L.E.K. Consulting VP. The same trend can be noted at work.
Fully 51 percent of IT decision-makers surveyed by IDC say they “always” use their iPad at work (and a further 40 percent say they sometimes use it at work), IDC reports after conducting a survey on tablet business use.
Though iPads seem to be used for a variety of purposes, content consumption seems to be a dominant business application, though significant percentages of business users also say the tablet displaces some amount of smart phone use as well.
Web browsing, reading and news consumption are the top three usage contexts identified by professionals worldwide.
The survey suggests that iPad-owning IT and business professionals are rapidly migrating away from newspapers and printed books, toward digital alternatives. Among the tactical implications: interactive color images and video could become more important, much as smart phones are best suited to short messages, delivered in real time, with reference to location.
The key “take away” for content marketers is that tablets rapidly are becoming the preferred way business people read, watch and listen. To the extent that much business-to-business content marketing consists of content intended to instruct and educate, that is an important change in end user behavior.
There is another logical conclusion. Any content marketing app should be created first for the Apple iPad, since that is the device most people will be using.
A ChangeWave survey of 1600 business technology buyers in the United States found that 22 percent expected to be buying tablets during the second quarter of 2012, and 84 percent will be buying Apple iPads.
Tablets, especially the iPad, represent the biggest single change in content marketing devices since the PC.
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