ByÂ Jacquie Annand. Researcher and writer.TSBC
Public transport is amazing, not because it is a breeding ground for all sorts of nasties in the winter months, but because it becomes a place where new technology finds an audience.
I remember the day that I sat on a Melbourne tram in 2010 curiously, yet surreptitiously, trying to catch a glimpse of my seat-neighborâs snazzy new iPad. I had never seen one in real life and was fascinated. I wanted so much to look at what he was doing, but I didnât want to be âthat weird personâ on the tram who talks to strangers or makes eye contact. I felt like a kid in a candy store, but I wasnât allowed any candy.
The thing is, I wasnât the only one. I noticed everyone sneaking glances; from behind their emo fringes, newspapers, or peeking up from their smartphones every once in a while.
In only three years since the first generation iPad was released, US statistics show that over a quarter of adults now own a tablet computer (1) and almost half the adult population have a smartphone. (2)
Already, there are mini versions of the tablet computer and schools are encouraging students (or more likely, parents) to purchase tablets to enhance education and increase engagement in the classroom. Retailers are using tablets at the check-out and tablets and smartphones are now commonplace in any conference or seminar room.
The availability of apps for use on mobile devices is ever increasing â by the end of last year, there were already over one million apps available from Appleâs App Store. (3)
This rapid expansion of technology made me consider how up with the play businesses need to be and how quickly marketers need to adapt their content to keep up with the pace of changing technology.
The advent of mobile technology has altered the way people access web content; you donât have to be sitting at your desk to be able to access the Internet; you donât even need to be inside. People essentially have the world in their pockets, 24/7.
Businesses need to take this into account, and think about the transient nature of the technology and the content displayed on it. Content can no longer be long and verbose and unfocused; people on the go want to access information quickly and are using much smaller screens to do so. The hunger for apps also shows just how entertained and engaged people want to be.
The point is, people love this new technology. It is so easy to use and they take to it like ducks to water. Even my mum has a tablet, and she didnât even know how to email 6 months ago!
If businesses continue on the same path with similar online strategies they were using in the early or even mid-2000âs, they are going to be rapidly left behind.
More thought, and budget, needs to be directed into content marketing for all online channels and developing mobile applications to appease the users of these high-tech devices. The earlier you get involved, the easier and more cost-effective it will prove to be when it comes to adapting again, and growing to meet the future changes that technology will no doubt bring.
If you donât believe me, why not take public transport once in a while and see for yourself.
For more information on why content is awesome, see our white paper âWhy your website needs contentâ.
 Lee Rainie, â25% of American adults own tablet computersâ, Pew Internet and American Life Project (2012) [accessed 30 October 2012]
 Pew Internet and American Life Project, âSmartphone research: Infographicâ, Pew Internet and American Life Project (2012) Â [accessed 31 October 2012]
 Seth Fiegerman, âApple has approved 1 million apps for the App Storeâ, Mashable (20120) Â [accessed 24 January 2013]