Should Companies Situate ALL of Their Marketing Around the iPad?

iPad 2

I didn’t get an original iPad. Despite all of the hype and a general desire to possess the latest and greatest in tech, I held off thinking that they would eventually put a camera on it. I did, of course, buy the iPad 2.

The more I play around with it, the more I realize that every ounce of online marketing should be positioned around it and other tablets. I know it’s crazy, but hear me out.

Rip on me after you’ve at least scanned the article. It’ll be short.

If It Works on the iPad…

Up and down compatibility is always a challenge. Do you gear for the mass populace (which is still doing most of their surfing from desktops and laptops) or do you position your marketing efforts around the middle and make it easier to move up or down? I am choosing the latter. If a website, blog, social media marketing campaign, or any other aspect of internet marketing appears nicely and navigates properly on an iPad, it will work on the more robust platforms such as the standard desktop.

Unlike big-screen advertising, an iPad-positioned piece of marketing will normally be mostly accessible from a smartphone. If you can see it on 7 inches, you can probable see it on 3 inches.

This means that you need to:

  • Avoid Flash. It’s not like the plague. It is the plague. HTML5 is coming and this is one cold war that Adobe is not going to be able to win.
  • Avoid large files and images. If your marketing campaigns rely on visuals, avoid slow loads. People won’t wait if they’re on 3G internet. Load times and slow moving sites will turn tablet and smartphone users away.
  • Use big buttons for calls-to-action. One thing that is extremely challenging on tablets and more so on smartphones is clicking on links or small, tightly-bundled buttons. Think “fat fingers” instead of “accurate mouse”.

Local is Becoming Everything

Google knows it. Apple knows it. Even Microsoft knows it. Facebook and Twitter have known it for a while.

The five major companies who, through hardware, software, and websites, have the greatest impact on your internet marketing understand that the world is growing more and more mobile. It’s an odd contradiction with people shifting towards home offices more, but it’s happening. People access their data, find information, and interact with the online world from a local level more than ever before and it continues to head in that direction.

Tablets and smartphones are geo-meccas of localized marketing. Even if you’re a nationwide or worldwide brand, you must generate a local presence everywhere – a tough task to accomplish without the right strategy.

Technology is Rightsizing

Certain things will continue to get smaller as technology improves. Memory capacity goes up while memory storage devices get smaller, for example.

Other things are now finding their grove. Tablets, for example, will fluctuate in size from 5 inches up to 12 inches and everywhere in between, but they won’t be getting smaller any time soon. The human eye and our fat fingers demand a certain level of space to work properly. As a result, we’re at that point of “rightsizing” on devices. They may get lighter, but screen size is likely at its smallest point.

Now that we know this and as the world adjusts from the 15 inch laptop monitor to the 8 inch tablet, we can position our marketing to work nicely within this constraint. The good old debate about the proper size or automatic sizing of websites is moot.

Think Forward

With this information and a little critical common sense on your part, you should come to the same conclusion. Position your marketing efforts within a tablet world even if most of your customers do not own tablets. At one point not too long ago, most of your customers did not have computers with high-speed internet access. That didn’t last long. The adoption of tablets and smartphones points is going to continue to increase rapidly until most of your customers do have them. You need to be ready. The future is now.

Leave a Reply


  1. Actually, I think you’ve really got a point there…

    I too recently got the second iPad, and am constantly frustrated with finding that websites are too fiddly to use with finger-based navigation. Many are also resorting to poorly designed mobile versions, which often crop up on the iPad.

    I don’t think it should be limited to marketing activities, I think all websites should be designed to work with all mobile devices. With a huge increase in smartphone browsing, the success of netbooks, then tablets, and desktop monitors increasing in size and decreasing in price daily, this time has come for websites to be truly flexible, with framesets designed to adjust to the user.

    …just dont ask me how!

  2. David Lim

    I can view most sites on my droid x (not droid x2, mind you) and since its running android 2.3, I can view flash content but the question is do I really want to access flash content as it is cpu intensive and slow on my droidx? An android tablet may be the better solution but even still, some flash content is not suited for mobile devices (i.e. Flash games).

    The future is definitely HTML5/CSS3, Steve Jobs is going towards that direction and now even Micro$oft has ditched their own Silverlight in favor of HTML5.

    The writing is on the wall. Flash will provide a robust desktop experience but as far as mobile is concerned, I don’t think the future will be in their favor.

  3. I think it;s important to remember just how niche the iPad is. It feels like when you are out and about that you always see one which means everybody is on it but you just notice them more. There are 25 million in the world and that is incredibly niche. Just look at Facebook who haven’t even bothered to create an app for it yet that tells you all. It’s defo a bet for the future but at the moment I would be looking at other platforms for marketing.

  4. I think that JD brings up a good point, you shouldn’t necessarily focus all of your advertising on the iPad BUT you should build your advertisement for the iPad. Not because that is going to be the only platform that you will be marketing to, but because if you create an ad for the iPad it will function properly on a whole host of other marketing platforms (PC, iPhone, Android, etc.).

    Though Niall brings up fact that the iPad is still relatively new and niche, it’s important to keep in mind that this post is not advocating advertising ONLY on the iPad.

  5. Very good point, Advertisers are always looking to get there product image in front of you. With the smartphone / pad revolution it’s getting easier. With data specific advertising showing each individual user products they are interested in using cookie data. It costs millions to show your product to uninterested people using blanket advertising, when it costs so much less, with a better conversion rate to show it to people that are.
    It is defiantly the way forward, however it totally depends on the product you are selling.
    The plus 60’s market I think you will have to stick with old school marketing, for now.

  6. You make good points in your article but an article on suggests that people only retain 70% of the information when reading something on a ipad compared to 90% when reading something that’s been printed on paper, meaning you need to either advertise more when placing media on an ipad or be more effective ion your communications. Either way I think that marketing on ipad needs to be only one part of a broader marketing campaign. 🙂