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Three Things Marketers Need to Know About the New iPad

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Three Things Marketers Need to Know About the New iPad image ipadpostApple Senior VP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller talks about the display on the new iPad during an Apple product launch event at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on March 7, 2012 in San Francisco, California. In the first product release following the death of Steve Jobs, Apple Inc. introduced the third version of the iPad and an updated Apple TV. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

The new iPad is here –but, don’t make the mistake of calling it the iPad 3. Yes, it’s the third-generation model ofApple’s table computer. Yes, it follows in line directly after iPad 2. But, its name is just “iPad” because Apple execs apparently thought “iPad 3” would have been “too predictable,” according to the New York Times.

Predictable or not, it’s hard to believe we’ve already moved on to the third-generation iPad and that more than a year has passed since I first wrote about how the iPad will transform marketing. Back then, Dave Sutton, a thought leader in the technology and marketing space, called the iPad a “killer platform” poised to revolutionize the way marketers do their jobs. He was right, of course, and I’m continually seeing marketing teams ratchet up innovation with tablet technology both internally and externally. As Dave predicted, these devices are being used to enhance personal productivity and create new customer experiences, and clearly, we have only begun to tap their enormous potential.

But what’s new as of last Friday? What do marketers need to know about the latest iPad? Here are three things to keep in mind:

The new iPad boasts an advanced, ultra-high-resolution retina display. In his review at TechCrunch, MG Siegler describes images on the new iPad as an “absolutely stunning display of light and color.” With twice the resolution of the iPad2, “Web pages look almost as if they’re being displayed in a high-quality glossy magazine. Photos look like photos — the printed out kind,” he writes. “Text is razor sharp and crisp, just like print.”

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What does that mean for marketers? As digital images improve in quality, the visual gap between print and online advertising continues to shrink. Consumers are taking note, and their comfort level with digital images on the small screen (vs. the television) is growing. Watch for mobile campaigns to become more visually appealing, more interactive and more compelling than ever before.

In addition, at least one optometrist believes the improved resolution can ease eye strain caused by viewing a glowing screen. (I know I’ll appreciate that after a few hours of reading or number crunching online.)

iPads are becoming more affordable. The new iPad costs $499. That’s still a considerable amount for the average consumer. But, theiPad 2 has dropped in price to $399, and Amazon Kindles are now even less expensive ($79 -$199).

We’re going to see more consumers purchasing tablet technology, and that means it’s becoming increasingly critical for marketers to implement mobile tactics.

Consumers crave mobile. Apple says the company was “thrilled” with the new iPad’s sales numbers, which made for a “record weekend,” according to Information Week. I’m not surprised. Tablets are priced right, and consumers have embraced their mobility and portability, as well. Forrester expects more than 112 million Americans — one-third of the US adult population — will own a tablet by 2016. How will your message reach them?

As I have said before, ignoring mobile is no longer an option. The land-grab is on, and CMOs who hesitate now risk being left behind. Digital technology is reshaping the way we interact with consumers, and the pace of change is only accelerating. The evolution will continue, and ultimately, we’re going to see multi-channel convergence with the mobile device as the linchpin. It’s time to start thinking of mobile devices, both smartphones and tablets, as personalized digital ecosystems, each providing massive potential for expanded reach, real-time engagement and location-specific content.

Have you had a chance to test drive the new iPad? How are you incorporating mobile campaigns into your marketing mix?

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