Tablet advertising has to keep pace with the platform's growth
Tablet advertising has to keep pace with the platform's growth
A view from Craig Constantinou and James Ranson

Think BR: Transparency and tablets

Improved metrics are needed so that advertisers can really understand how their campaigns are working on tablets.

The media agency's view

Craig Constantinou, press planner, Carat

Publishers are rushing to release tablet versions of their titles. As mobile device usage is expected to overtake desktop usage by 2015, this is a smart and much-needed move.

There is an ever-increasing need for transparent reporting of readership and advertising performance. Advertisers still need to know they are getting value for money.

The tablet market is still very much in its infancy and it’s no surprise that there are many inconsistencies in reporting metrics from publisher to publisher.

It might just need an advertising body such as the PPA to step in and set official standards.

Publishers have begun to make strides with tablet-specific readership metrics, but the essential information on individual ads has remained slightly elusive and this is what we, as media planners and buyers, really need.

In recent months, both Hearst and Conde Nast have stepped up. Both publishers plan to provide advertisers with issue-specific data eight weeks after the on-sale date, using Adobe to help provide the data.

But it’s unclear what exact metrics advertisers will receive, and it may be that the information gathered is very narrow indeed.

Future, which uses Google analytics as its data provider, can offer statistics over and above that of standard tablet-specific metrics. These ad-specific details include total and unique interactions with your ad, dwell time, CTR and average visits to your ad per person.

These are exactly the kind of details that we need to build a better picture of what is working for each campaign and what needs to be changed for future activity. This also makes it far easier for agencies to promote the iPad platform as a medium that can deliver the kind of metrics sought after by clients.

All ads, in effect, can include these metrics and it is something that agencies should be demanding.

The existing third party analytics packages, however, aren’t quite hitting the mark with all publishers for varying reasons, with the most prominent being the cost to publishers.

Just as with any new platform, most issues will be resolved as the technology matures, standards are adopted and best practices emerge.

Common definitions will be critical here and this has to be at the top of the PPA’s agenda, if tablet advertising is to keep up with the general growth of the platform.

The media owner’s view

James Ranson, advertising sales director, Future Publishing

Tablet advertising offers the industry an exciting new option in terms of media placement.

Whilst still in its infancy, Gartner research indicates that there will be almost 950 million tablets in circulation by 2015 - so this is a platform which isn’t going away. And results we’ve already seen have proved this form of advertising to be extremely successful.

Consumers are most receptive to marketing messages on these devices which utilise their key USP - tactile interaction.

Agencies and clients alike must truly understand the use of such placements as part of their campaign planning processes in order to make the most of the medium.

Aligning tablets to the same metrics used in print or online, for instance, may not fully recognise unique properties we see time and time again, such as length of engagement and level of interaction.

For some clients, tablets are holding user attention on their advertising for up to four minutes. We struggle to find another platform that captures users’ imagination in this way and immerses them in the brand for this length of time.

However, the key to the tablet becoming an established media format is building trust in the platform between the brand publishers, clients and agencies.

Accurate, reliable and credible sharing of all campaign metrics can help this to become a reality - a challenge the industry as a whole needs to address.