Mobile Focus: Convergence Camp

  • by June 24, 2010

Taking full advantage of the iPad

The iPad has the potential to provide an all-in-one device that people are going to use everywhere - from their couch to vacation to all points in between. The ability to add in video, multimedia and other interactive components can provide marketers with an opportunity to create a rich and immersive mobile consumption experience for consumers.

So how can you take advantage of the iPad as a brand?

1. If you haven't invested in an iPhone App by now, that's the place to start. That said, it's not the worst idea in the world to begin planning ahead for a time when enough of the people who matter to you are taking advantage of rich, immersive and mobile multimedia experiences on screens larger than the palm of their hands.

2. Think like a publisher. Apple has created a well-oiled vertically integrated machine that will allow you to be a true storyteller (finally!) and who knows, maybe even sell more stuff in the process. Why try to make the most of your "print advertising," i.e., enhance your flailing magazine and newspaper ad spend, when you can serve up the entire experience? Content is King. Who knew?

3. The return of podcasting: What was once a subscription-based "video podcast" living on the outskirts of Fringeville is now front and center. The team over at "Will it Blend?" are going to spend less time destroying iPads and more time delivering their compelling video through them!

4. Another unlikely comeback is going to come from the Conver-gence camp. A magazine is no longer a magazine, especially when it has interactivity and video. The same applies to the opposite end of the spectrum, i.e., the medium formally known as "television," especially when a viewer can become a reader at the swipe of a finger, and in doing so, learn or find out more, or become better informed and educated about your product.

5. The creative renaissance that began with the iPhone App Store is going to get a whole lot bigger. New rules. New context. New usage scenarios may tweak the formula, but the end product is going to have even more consumer empowerment and utility. Brands have a lot to contribute and gain here.

Couple the iPad's ability to create unique, interactive content with the platform's mobile capabilities, and brands have a real opportunity to provide a consumer experience like never before. As users continue to cozy up to location-based services, the iPad has the delivery mechanisms in place to engage customers by their interests and physical position.

Currently, consumers can receive special location-based offers on mobile devices that include brief descriptions of the deal being provided. With the iPad, brands can now include more detail on their offers or even exclusive content. Two examples:

1. A clothing retailer offers video of summer fashion and includes expert tips based on body type along with popular styles for a customer's current region.

2. A big-box retailer partners with a movie studio to provide a sneak peek at an upcoming blockbuster and lets purchasing customers know how to view a prescreening of the movie.

Granted, it's still early in the game, but like the iPod Touch and iPhone, the iPad community will step up to provide context, content and most significantly, the platform upon which to grow the equity- and value-exchange associated with the investment. Brands that take notice early will be in a great position to change the way they interact with customers by taking advantage of the devices' all-in-one capabilities.

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