Mobile Ecosystem

App Marketing Conversations: How to Think About Tablets

Alex Klein

Welcome to the newest installment of App Marketing Conversations. In this episode our CEO, Ian Sefferman (@iseff), talks about Apple Pay and how it will impact apps and app marketing. He is joined by Ryan Morel (@ryanmorel) of Gamehouse (@ghpartners) and Robi Ganguly (@rganguly) of Apptentive (@apptentive).


Ian Sefferman: Good morning, and welcome to another installment of App Marketing Conversations. As always, I’m here with Ryan Morel of Gamehouse, Robi Ganguly of Apptentive, and I’m Ian Sefferman of Tune.

There was the recent announcement of the iPads that we haven’t yet covered, and I think it’s probably important to do so to make sure that all marketers are on board with what’s going on in that world and how they can think about tablets, sort of the macro strategy as well as the micro strategy and micro what actually was launched here. You probably are the biggest Apple fanboy in the room, which means you probably know the most about what was actually launched. You want to give the rundown there?

Ryan Morel: I may be the best person to give this rundown, but probably the worst person in general. From my perspective it was, like you said, a hardware refresh – thinner, faster, lighter, and maybe a better battery.

I thought, at least from an announcement perspective, there were two interesting things for me. One was their hard core focus on the camera and people’s use of the camera in the iPad. The first one didn’t even have a camera, and now they’re really focusing on it. The second was Apple trying to do a better job of spotlighting developers who are creating unique experiences and applications for the iPad, which isn’t necessarily what they’ve done before. I think it speaks to them trying to identify what are the actual use cases for the iPad other than being a bigger phone or a more convenient laptop.

Ian Sefferman: That’s actually fascinating, because I think in my world using the camera for anything other than FaceTime on the iPad is like what are you doing. Every time I see somebody out there with an iPad taking a picture…

Ryan Morel: Well, it sounds like people use it a lot as a view finder. Maybe there are some hardware attachments that go with it, or they plug it into an actual camera. But, gosh, looking at something on a big screen and then choosing to take a photo with a real camera, that’s pretty cool.

Ian Sefferman: That is cool.

Ryan Morel: I think that is more of a [Inaudible 0:02:18]

Ian Sefferman: Yeah. And?

Robi Ganguly: I was just going to say I see lots of tourists using it. You go to scenic places in Seattle and tourists are doing it, and it just seems like… We might think it’s silly, but maybe in many parts of the world that’s the best thing you can buy in general is an iPad, and then it comes with a great camera, so you don’t have multiple discretionary purchases around a camera and an iPad and then something else. It’s like, okay.

Ian Sefferman: Yeah.

Ryan Morel: Well, if you think about it, I was actually talking about this last night, it’s amazing how much better your pictures on your phone have gotten over the last three or four years.

Robi Ganguly: Seriously.

Ryan Morel: But, not everyone… There is still a large percentage of the population that uses a flip phone, so that means they don’t have a good camera phone, one. Two, D.S.L.R.s and good digital cameras are still relatively expensive. Three, an iPad in lots of cases is a replacement for a television and a laptop. All the sudden you combine these three or four things into this one device, and it also takes pictures.

Robi Ganguly: It makes a lot of sense.

Ian Sefferman: What do you think about the sort of macro tablet world?

Robi Ganguly: I think we were talking about this a little bit before. It seems like a lot of people are up in arms that quarter over quarter or year over year growth in iPad sales doesn’t look amazing for Apple, but the macro is that they’ve sold over a quarter of a billion iPads. Several years ago, about four, tablets were like yeah, that’s silly, why would you need a tablet. Now, Apple alone has sold 250 million of these things. It seems like a big deal.

Ian Sefferman: Yeah. I think my biggest question… I’m still a tablet skeptic, especially with phablets now like the 6 Plus. It feels like there’s a shrinking world for the tablet. The other piece of that is the MacBook Air is getting so light and so good. Where does that fit in? If you are a marketer today, what would you be focused on?

Ryan Morel: I think the phone is still the biggest opportunity for the broad market, but I think there are interesting opportunities for tablet that don’t exist on phones or maybe are smaller on phones, like productivity office type software. I think camera and photo editing and things that really require a large screen are really good opportunities for developers and marketers, despite the fact that they’re a little saturated. No matter what, when I go to look at photos, looking at them on a tablet is better. Editing them on a tablet is better than on a computer, because it’s right there. And, in the game space, tablet users continue to be the highest spenders, at least from our perspective.

Ian Sefferman: Interesting.

Robi Ganguly: Yeah, I think if you’re an ecommerce marketer, if you’re listening to this and you’re a marketer in an ecommerce company, if you don’t have a tablet app yet, you should be spending time and money on getting a good tablet app. Because those people in ecommerce are spending a lot of time on their couches or wherever they are actually doing business with you.

Ian Sefferman: That’s true, actually, and supported by Zulily yesterday in their earnings said that… Zulily, clothes, stuff for moms and kids. They said that over 50% of their sales now are from a mobile device, which is incredible.

Robi Ganguly: Right, and I don’t know if you caught this on their earnings call. I thought this was interesting. They said that there was some disruption in the quarter due to interruption in their ability to provide email and push notifications to their customers. In the earnings call, they talked about essentially how they’re communicating with their customer base, had an interruption, and they said this impacted the quarter in a negative way.

Ryan Morel: Really?

Ian Sefferman: That’s fascinating.

Robi Ganguly: Yeah.

Ian Sefferman: Wow.

Robi Ganguly: I was like all right, I’ve got to write that down.

Ian Sefferman: Yeah, exactly.

Ryan Morel: Who’s their push provider, I wonder.

Robi Ganguly: I think it’s in house.

Ryan Morel: They built it themselves.

Ian Sefferman: Yeah. I bet you they have a messaging system if [Inaudible 0:06:28] down, too.

Ryan Morel: Yeah.

Robi Ganguly: Yeah.

Ian Sefferman: Anything else that we should be thinking about from a tablet perspective?

Ryan Morel: My only other thing here would be that I think this has become a two horse race, and it’s not even a race anymore. It’s like Apple’s playing one game and Amazon’s playing another game. I think focusing on any tablet outside of those two ecosystems, or anything other than those two ecosystems, is a waste of time.

Ian Sefferman: Yeah.

Robi Ganguly: Yeah. For now, that’s [Inaudible 0:06:57]

Ian Sefferman: Cool. Well, thank you for watching. Be sure to watch the other installments, and do all those great social things like share this video. Thanks.

Alex Klein

Alex is a Marketing Operations & Intelligence Analyst at TUNE. Prior to this role, he worked in Demand Generation and was with MobileDevHQ before it was acquired by TUNE and became App Store Analytics. He is a graduate of University of Washington, and has passions for marketing, tech, and sports.

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