Ipad Killer?

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Mircosoft made a ton of noise yesterday about their impending announcement that will take place on Monday June 18th in Los Angeles. It only took a few more hours for the story to leak that their announcement will most likely be about the release of a new tablet they’ve been developing. The quote that’s been floating around the internet goes a little like this: “[An] individual with knowledge of the company said that Microsoft would introduce a…tablet at the event…put[ting] the company in direct competition with giant rival Apple.” Along with rumors of a new Mircosoft Office Suite and the tablet carrying Windows 8, we at Two Twelve Direct have come to a conclusion.

Our conclusion is not about what Mircosoft is going to say at their big conference on Monday, rather, about how they are saying it now. Give Mircosoft credit for their Apple-like attempt at creating a story around the release of this new product. It’s no secret to those in the marketing world that everything Apple does around a new release is planned down to the very last detail, even the “accidental” leaving of a iphone prototype in a coffee shop (the first time!).

An iPad Killer! Killer, what a buzz word! And most likely thought up by someone in marketing at Mircosoft and then leaked to a blogger. But that’s ok! That’s what they are supposed to do! It means Mircosoft is on the right track. They know they need to create interest in their new product by creating a story around its awesome power to defeat, nay, slay the evil Apple iPad. As we have mentioned in previous posts, the success of this product will ultimately depend on design, an area where Apple has consistently out-witted them. Functionality/technology is not main factor in the American consumers purchase decision any longer. referring to this new undescribed product as an iPad Killer was an amazing idea because just using the word “iPad” evokes feelings of great design. This leads us to believe that the only way this new product could “kill” the real iPad is by having a way cooler, simpler, design and user interface.

Either way, Mircosoft figured out that it was going to need a lot more than the product specs to create genuine interest in a new tablet and took their main competitor head on. We aren’t sure anyone can “kill” the iPad, but we definitely want to see how this story plays out, and we bet you do to.

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NFC Technology

Two Twelve Direct is a full service integrated marketing company, which means we like to do it all when it comes to direct marketing. This also means we like to cover a wide range of topics on our blog, ultimately relating them back to direct marketing. One of the hottest trends in marketing, regardless of what you are selling is technology. It’s almost impossible for us to keep up with all of the technology that is emerging and usable for our marketing purposes. Whatever you happen to be selling, the core issues always remains the same, you need people to buy your product. But as we move into the future, the way that consumers purchase your products is going to change drastically.

The major change in technology that I am most excited for is NFC technology, or Near Field Communication technology. This is the technology that gives our devices the ability to communicate at close range. There are a ton of cool uses for this technology and we are excited to see how it can evolve, but the most imminent effect it will have on our society is the creation of the mobile wallet. NFC technology isn’t exactly brand new, but the mobile wallet idea has not been supported by many large merchants and has only been available in the US as the “Google Wallet” via Sprint on Samsung phones since 2010. Interestingly Sprint also just announced that it is working on its own NFC wallet which will create something of an awkward situation for the longevity and life span of the Google Wallet. This is because At&T, Verizon, and T-mobile have formed a joint venture to distribute their own mobile wallet called “Isis” and will begin rolling out in Austin, Texas and Salt Lake City,Utah this summer. For those who are interested in the politics and more detail, check out this article from the NFC Times

In terms of direct marketing, NFC technology represents a step towards the ease at which consumer will have ability to purchase directly through their televisions. People with Smart TV’s can already access the internet and use apps like Netflix or Hulu to stream video. Imagine a world where your audience watches your infomercial and then has the ability to order it instantly by holding their phone up to the remote control. Credit card number, shipping information, everything already stored and transmitted seamlessly.

It will be interesting to see how NFC technology affects the invention of new products that will all have the ability to communicate with one another through common API’s. What are your thoughts about NFC technology? How do you think NFC technology could be use to make your life easier? Do you trust a mobile wallet?