iPad and Direct Digital Marketing

Dutch HollisThe announcement finally came how and when it was expected. We already knew Apple would be announcing a tablet on January 27, 2010. What we could only speculate on (or hack at with Photoshop), was what it might look like. What would the details and specs be? What will it cost? And, of course, those answers came as well.
Like any much-anticipated announcement, some found the hype too much and were overcome with "so what" while the expectations of others were surpassed. The reaction in both cases might have been similar: Either, “Awesome, it’s like an iPod Touch only bigger!” or “Sigh, it’s just like an iPod Touch only bigger.”

Both of these are valid reactions depending on where you fall on the scale between Apple “fanboy” and skeptic. Another 90 days and some sales figures will tell the tale of how successful the iPad is. My guess is that it will be big… very big. Here’s why:

  • If the iPhone is any indication, there’s a market for Apple innovation
  • Pricing is right – $499 – $840 depending on features
  • While there is an AT&T data “deal,” you won’t get locked into a contract
  • It further leverages the powerhouse iTunes distribution platform and adds books to it

So the iPad is great for Apple partners and investors, but why should marketers care? The answer is simple. The primary function of the iPad is media consumption. Web, music, movies, books, games – the iPad is tuned for all of these. But it is not a productivity powerhouse in a small package. It will compete with Netbooks and other tablet computers like the one recently announced by HP. Make no mistake, the iPad is very much an iPhone/iPod Touch with a larger screen and much longer battery life.

The iPad is another goes-everywhere, have-to-have-it device with a voracious appetite for media. As the iPhone gave smartphone innovation a shot in the arm, so too will the iPad spawn a rush of products aiming to take part in an energized tablet market.

Marketers now have an audience that is always connected to a fast Internet, through a device that will present their message beautifully, at a size larger than 4-inches on a side. Direct digital marketers have more opportunities to reach the target audience with robust, relevant Web, mobile and email experiences and interactions well beyond the confines of the mobile device.

Time will tell if Apple has again changed the game. If so, I still say “game on.”

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2 Comments

  1. rivervalley
    Posted February 1, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Magazines & periodicals could be a secret beneficiary. Quite often the advertisements produced in these things are of equal interest to the feature articles, and the ad agencies seem to have sorted the industry appeal in the design and presentation, from farming to architecture to musical instruments and everything in between.

    SO the advertising revenue is still there for the journalism industry. What is not there is print and distribution via road/sea/air.

    Lets face it, the amount of money business pays on advertising is extraordinary, and their budgets are not bottomless. So a device like this for the mag market is a well focussed vehicle for readers that like the ads as well, not as on the net where its just visual clutter to avoid. On a tablet the ads could be more tasteful infomercials as little extra physical cost ( designers and layout artists, you have plenty of work in the pipeline )

    I could pay the same or less for – say – Architectural Digest and not have to wait the extra month for it to come to Au, and not worry about the burgeoning bookshelves with all that cellulose for insects and rodents

    • Posted February 1, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      Do you think the iPad suffers from the same issue as the Kindle, where it is priced as a high quality “identity” product, but really only offers convenience?


2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] 3.iPad and Direct Digital Marketing: What would a yearly recap be without mentioning the iPad? In this post, Dutch speculates on how the iPad will impact the direct digital marketing industry, and how marketers can reach consumers that are always “on the go. […]

  2. […] our own Dutch Hollis mentioned in his iPad post earlier in the year, marketers now have an audience that is always connected to a fast Internet, […]

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