Jingle Bengal

27 December 2010

Marketing Prediction: The Invasion of the E-Books

by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Futurist in Training; photo by Kim Tronic…

I was recently asked to contribute some mad prognosticatory science to Social Media & Content Marketing Predictions for 2011. My temptation: to unveil cold hard honest nuggets like, “Thanks to social media, American productivity will drop to levels not seen since the War of 1812…” But that might bum social media junkies out, and that wouldn’t be good because they could talk about me. So instead, I decided to tap into the GAGF (Great American Gadget Fetish), and talk about tablets and other e-readers. Here’s what I wrote…

With all those e-book readers stuffing stockings (make that large, rectangular stockings), consumers will need content to fill them. Free content, that is, ’cause free is good. But not just digitized versions of classic books that they didn’t read when they were in school.

Rather, smart marketers will provide branded reference books: cook books, car care manuals, fashion tips, bartending handbooks, etc., all sponsored by a relevant product or company. Since they’re reference books, consumers will turn to them again and again, creating more brand impressions and — ideally — a positive feeling toward the brand.

Some of these e-books will come with supplementary digital media, such as videos and music, for a complete experience.

The result: some consumers will devote e-readers to certain purposes alone: a kitchen Kindle (or would that be a cook Nook?) filled with recipes from various brands; an iPad for the bachelor pad filled with cocktail ideas and lounge music; a Corvette tablet containing guides on customization, repair and even performance driving, with tunes for the road.

Any interest or profession can be catered to by marketers through branded e-books, which can be updated readily (or even regularly, like e-magazines). I’m personally hoping that Meow Mix or Fancy Feast publishes a guide on how to herd cats — the sooner the better.

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Freddy is the Founder & Creative Strategist of Atomic Tango. He also teaches graduate-level marketing communication courses at the University of Southern California (go Trojans!), shoots pool somewhat adequately, and herds cats. Freddy received his BA from Harvard and his MBA from USC.

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