IDG Connect recently launched a white paper entitled “iPad for Business Survey 2012which highlights global trends for its 60 million users world-wide. Specifically focused on useage trends with business and IT professionals, 51% of IT decision-makers say they “always” use their iPad at work, with a further 40% saying they “sometimes” use it at work. In Asia Pacific, the useage figures are significantly higher than the rest of the world, with 90% of business and IT professionals buying less physical information – books, newspapers and DVDs. The three areas where the iPad is used intensely for work-related activities are Web browsing, reading and news consumption.

The important statistics coming out of Asia:

  • Social media useage on iPads is very high, while useage for personal and work related communication (primarily email) is very low
  • Asian professionals are “more likely” than global peers to say their iPad has “completely” or “partially” replaced a laptop or PC
  • Asian professionals are fully engaged by the iPad’s powerful effects on content consumption patterns. Nine out of 10 Asian professionals say they have purchased fewer newspapers and books since taking delivery of an iPad
  •  Considering the high useage by Asian IT and business professionals, surprisingly only 10% of employers supply iPads to employees (compares to 24% worldwide)

But ANZ is quite different…

  • Only 40% see their iPad as a complete or partial replacement for a laptop (compared to 64% worldwide)
  • Professionals in ANZ are also far less interested in using iPads as substitutes for PCs
  • Levels of useage on the move are the lowest in the world

The conclusions?

  • IT and business professionals certainly use their devices at home (which is the global norm) but they also use their devices in a similarly intensive way at work
  • They also use them on the road more frequently than other iPad users
  • The three predominant text-based/work related useage areas, as mentioned above, are Web browsing, news consumption and reading – now considered the “killer apps” to have transformed the iPad into a viable business tool
  • Connectivity seems one of the biggest issues and a striking finding is that with 79% always using their iPads on the move, but not many going online (only 40% incorporate 3G), users are reading previously side-loaded or downloaded documents
  • What kind of documents? Excel, Word, and PPT files, as well as “must-read” PDFs like vendor whitepapers

So the question is this – does this open up significant possibilities for technology marketers? And in Asia Pacific, considering the high useage statistics compared to the rest of the world, should a mobile content strategy be a higher priority if it isn’t already? Obviously a discussion on tablets goes beyond the iPad, as other locally-grown tablets (e.g. Samsung Galaxy) gain traction in this region, which I expect are also utilised at the highest rates in the world.

This research supports a lot of “ideas” being discussed in marketing circles these days, but one aspect is really important – it defines the how and when customers and prospects consume information. Therefore, to ensure marketers are maximizing on this opportunity for mind-share, a mobile content strategy is certainly vital – especially in Asia.

As IDG Connect summarises, “the prospect of gaining access to decision-makers who are in reading (or lean-back) mode while at home or on the move between locations, is intriguing. At the very least it deserves further investigation.”

Apart from all of the other implications this research brings to the fore – like advertising – is it likely to change the way you deliver content? And do you expect to increase the frequency of your high value content and how you market it?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. It’s certainly going to be a hot focus area for marketers moving forwards. Maybe Asia can lead this one?

Cheers

Andrea Edwards

Managing Director

SAJE

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