Saturday, April 3, 2010

iPad Lessons for Marketers - My First Take

Like most tech geeks I had to get my hands on the new iPad today, launch day April 3, 2010.

When I first held the iPad it was a bit heavier than I expected. Even though I had heard it was heavier than a Kindle it looks so much like an iPhone it feels heavy when you first pick it up.

Apple always amazes with their marketing, which is exciting given that we have been thrilled by them so many times in the recent past. The lines at the store were well organized and the store itself had a nice new clean fresh look. These iPad signs (below) are remarkably simple, yet incredibly clean and communicative. Apple hired four new employees for this store to manage iPad demand, I was very excited to see our summer intern started his first day at the Apple Store! Congrats @Zobey

The 1st lesson for marketers - launch new products with a bang! Make it special. Make it exciting. Make it a big deal!

Lesson #2 - think through the executional details. How are you going to handle lines, calls to your customer service department, FAQ's on your website. Apple hired new employees and set up speacial bootcamp training well in advance of launch. The 'Genius' who handled our purchase was well versed in iPad and familiar with the options and gave us a great demo.

The 3rd lesson for Marketers - look at your site on the iPad. When I looked at Ten Golden Rules (below) I found out that our Flash intro did not show up - oh yeah I heard that iPad doesn't run Flash -doh! (Note to self - create an iPad friendly version of intro.)

If your site doesn't work perfectly check out this Apple page getting Sites Ready for iPad.

The 4th lesson for marketers is that a lot of people might use the iPad vertically. Most of us trying it in the store start out this way. Why? Well you hold an 8 1/2 x 11 page vertically. You hold an iPhone vertically. The screen is incredibly crisp and clear and our site read very clearly. But we design most websites for a vertical layout. This may change for iPad users.

The 5th Lesson for marketers - think of everything. Apple has learned their lessons the hard way. The early iPods scratched a lot, now they launch with a full slate of accessories. The store was well stocked with cases, Bluetooth keyboards, and stands that double as chargers. The ingenious case also can hold your iPad in two angled positions one for typing and one for watching movies.

Lesson #6 - Be prepared to tie in to big events. The iPad launch is a big event for marketers. YouTube recognized this and launched movie rentals about ten days ago. iTunes Store also features movies very prominently. What can you do with iPad? Can you develop a cool App to bring your product to your prospects? How can you make it easy or fun to do business with you?

More thoughts to follow once I listen to our Internet Marketing Podcast and play with some Apps :)