In my last post, I commented on how the new features in Kindle 2.0 foreshadow Amazon’s intent to compete with RIM and Apple in the multi-function, mobile device sector. There was an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal this week about the difference between Apple and Amazon’s strategies with the devices. Apple’s goal with its iTunes, iPhone and iPod suite is primarily to sell hardware. Conversely, Amazon’s goal with Kindle is sell content such as e-books. We could debate the wisdom of the technology leader’s strategies with mobile devices for hours, but in this post I wanted to focus on what corporate marketer’s strategy should be with these mobile devices.
I think there are two primary implications of the rise of mobile devices such as Blackberry, iPhone and Kindle for marketers in technology firms:
- Mobile applications will become more and more popular in addition to traditional PC-based applications. Product managers in technology firms will need to have a strategy for ensuring their business applications and support interfaces can be used on a mobile device.
- Customer communications will be read on mobile applications. Consequently, technology marketers will need to increasingly ensure that web content, e-mail newsletters, RSS feeds, podcasts, video and mobile applications can be accessed through any of these popular handheld devices.
There are four strategies that I would recommend to ignite your marketing efforts using Kindle. These four are focused primarily on marketing communications. Product managers should be focused on mobile application development for the iPhone and Blackberry until Kindle 3.0 emerges.
- Ensure that your corporate blog content is available via Kindle. This process will be unnecessarily complex due to Amazon’s pricing and revenue sharing model for blog content, but worthwhile nonetheless.
- Ensure that your e-books can be read via Kindle. If you haven’t developed e-books yet, the growing popularity of Kindle offers another reason to start. If you don’t know what an e-book is you have a lot more work to do.
- Purchase a kindle to perform compatibility testing on the device for your blog and e-book content. When you are not in the testing cycle, put the Kindle device on display, pre-loaded with your content, in your Executive Briefing Center as an example of your forward thinking R&D approach.
- Issue a press release announcing the availability of your blogs and e-books on Kindle. If your corporate communications department balks at the idea, then just post a release to your web site without issuing it on the newswire. Most people reading your press releases are not in the media anyway.