By 2016, 50% of all major marketing automation vendors will develop applications specifically for Apple's iPad, according to Gartner.
As more consumers purchase and use media tablets, such as the iPad, they are becoming increasingly prevalent in the workplace and business vendors are responding accordingly.
"The initial use of iPads and tablets by marketers will be the extension of existing marketing applications, such as campaign management and marketing resource management (MRM) functionality, to be supported by the device, either disconnected or connected to the network and home-based application," says Kimberly Collins, managing vice-president at Gartner. "By 2014, 65% of major marketing automation vendors will extend 25% of their functionality to the iPad. MRM vendors will lead this charge with adaption of functionality for reviews and approvals. Marketing fulfilment vendors are likely to enable access to content via tablets as well."
"The biggest benefit includes the ability of marketers to work remotely while travelling, enabling them to complete tasks and projects faster, and in a more timely fashion," Collins says. "They also have fast access to content and collateral in the field. Cycle times can be greatly reduced, yielding increased staff productivity and decreasing programme/campaign costs. Chief marketing officers (CMOs) and creative users will have the biggest need for remote access, followed by campaign managers and designers."
Analysts say CMOs and senior marketing leaders are the most likely to move to iPads exclusively for their work over the next couple of years, due to their visual appeal when meeting with other executives and more-limited processing requirements. Other personnel will be more likely to buy the tablets themselves in the short term, and to request support before the tablets become corporate standards.
Over the next three to five years, next-generation of iPad and tablet usage by marketers for internal tasks will focus on the development of existing or new applications to be fully used on the tablet, as opposed to partial functionality from existing applications used in the office. New marketing vendors may develop iPad-only applications for internal use by marketers.
E-commerce organisations are also being lured by the appeal of tablets and e-readers. E-commerce tablet and e-reader applications are nascent and evolving quickly, creating a new set of selling options for organisations. Gartner said that by 2014, 95% of e-commerce websites will have a tablet or e-reader presence. However, 40% will fail due to a lack of customer-understanding of their usage.
"It's crucial for organisations to understand what type of buying experience is needed by their users for tablet- and e-reader-based sales," says Gene Alvarez, research vice-president at Gartner. "They will need to determine how many devices they will support, as they will be faced with not only supporting browsers and tablets, but also other mobile customer touch-points. As a result, an organisation’s analysis of its customer base, and its usage of various different touch-points are critical to its success in the new mobile world."