Friday, June 21, 2013

Tablet Ownership Doubles and Why You Should Care

If you think everyone in your circle of influence is tapping on a tablet these days, you’re not alone. According to the Pew Research Center, more than one third (34%) of American adults now own a tablet device of some kind, almost double the 18 percent adoption rate at this time a year ago. The recent Pew report said tablet adoption spikes in the 35-44 age bracket and appears to rise alongside educational attainment and household income level. The most popular brands are iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Google Nexus and Kindle Fire. No surprises there.

What struck us most about the Pew report is that tablets, unlike smartphones, are still owned primarily by the high income/high education demographic that your clients fall into:

·         Those living in households earning at least $75,000 per year (56%), compared with lower income brackets
  • Adults ages 35-44 (49%), compared with younger and older adults
  • College graduates (49%), compared with adults with lower levels of education
Unlike smartphones, which are most popular with younger adults ages 18-34, the highest rates of tablet ownership is among adults in their late 30s and early 40s. In fact, almost half of adults ages 35-44 now own a tablet computer, significantly more than any other age group. There are no statistically significant differences in tablet ownership between men and women, or between members of different racial or ethnic groups. But, that 35-44 demo is going to be the heart of your target market in the next 5-10 years.

What this means for me?

First, while all the online gurus from inside and outside your organization are telling you make everything mobile friendly, you need to distinguish between all things mobile. What resonates on a 7-9 inch tablet screen can be vastly different than what works on a tiny smartphone screen. Also, remember that some of your younger web designers and marketing folks are not the same demographic as you and your clients. They’re more likely to be smartphone slingers than tablet tappers. Don’t let them push you into designing what’s best for them and their peers. You’re paying them to design what’s best for you and your client base.

Macro View

Expect the Fed to drive the nervous nellies (aka profit takers) on Wall Street crazy for a few more weeks. But the underlying economic indicators continue to point upward. Slowly and surely upward like the last stages of a high altitude mountain climb or bike race—but the key word is “up.”

Housing starts rose 6.8 percent in May according to the Commerce Department this week and builders applied for more permits to build single family homes that at any time in the past five years. Government data shows that new home construction has risen 28.6 percent since May of 2012, bolstering hopes of a full-fledged housing recovery. We’ve got plenty more data if you need it.


At the end of the day, your clients, prospects and stakeholders are migrating to an always connected mobile mindset. Just remember that the device they use for phone calls, emails, instant messages and snapshots is not necessarily the device they use to engage with your thought leadership content. If you’ve got something important and substantive to share with your target market, first consider which device they’re going to use to read/view/download it. Is it something that fits into their briefcase—or the back pocket of a tight pair of jeans?


Tags: Housing starts, building permits, housing recovery, tablet ownership,
iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Google Nexus, Kindle Fire

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