Tablets: Not for Consumers Only [Chart]

5 Ways Tablets Support Marketing Communications

Given their strong user experience, easy portability (read lightweight) and low price point, tablets are a hit with users. Introduced a year ago in the form of the Apple iPad, tablets are the fastest growing computing device to-date and their success has stolen market share from other forms of computers, especially netbooks. Even more important, these devices aren’t, as they were originally conceived of, just for consumers wanting to play games, read newspapers, and watch videos. Roughly two-thirds of businesses are planning to add them for their staff use in the next year.

Go through your organization’s total content offering with an eye for highly visual and/or frequently updated support and service information that your staff or customers would want access to and determine how can your organization benefit from it use on tablet computers. In the process, consider which content will improve results (for example pilots who can cross reference airplane information with latest weather forecasts), increase sales (such as incorporating sales options into service materials), and reduce costs (such as making service staff more efficient by giving them a way to get the breadth of information they need without calling into headquarters).

  1. Provide customer portal. These applications apply to banks and other financial institutions. From a marketing and communications perspective, the goal is to get consumers to move away from paper-based transactions to reduce costs. Marketers must assess new ways to deliver cross-institution promotions as well as substitute ways to carry third party advertising such as the inserts and messages in statements and bills.
  2. Facilitate sales orders. For large field based sales, such as pharmaceutical companies, tablets can provide engaging content that answers prospects and current customers’ specific questions and objections while reducing the physical weight of older technology formats.
  3. Support sales presentations. The tablet’s high quality content presentation makes it the perfect tool for engaging prospects face-to-face. Further, the ability to easily connect to the Internet enables salespeople to answer questions and adapt their discussions as needed. Tablets have been present at conferences and trade shows for the last nine months where their flexibility and long battery life are distinct advantages. As a result, demonstrations are no longer tethered to an outlet.
  4. Keeps field and service staff up-to-date. Tablets make it easy and viable for every member of your field and service staff to have the latest information. For service representatives, this means that they’re not dependent on out-dated information in their briefcase or timely phone calls to their dispatcher. Even better, tablets can provide enhanced information and/or instructions where appropriate. This can make field teams more effective and efficient.
  5. Distribute content across a variety of uses. Give your prospects and customers another way to receive information. In addition to traditional print content that can be rendered beautifully with supplemental information, what other information can your provide that your customers want? How about product and/or service instructions with embedded links to order related products or replacement parts?  This can be particularly useful for products that are used away from a computer like cars. Not only can you provide better and more in-depth content, you can show what to do and where the closest dealer or service station is on a map.

While integrating tablets into your company’s technology array requires hardware investment, in-house application development, and device and data security, they open a variety of marketing communications and customer content options that reduce costs and increase sale while extending customer relationships.

Have you used tablets for your business? If so, how have you used them and what recommendations would you make to others?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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Photo credit: Mike McCaffrey via Flickr

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