I’ll admit it, I’m late to the game when it comes to understanding the potential of Amazon’s Kindle, or any so-called “e-reader” for that matter, but as the tech progresses, I’m beginning to understand the immense marketing potential associated with the concept.
Google has created an infinite goldmine by way of collecting the worlds information, organizing it and serving up highly targeted advertising alongside it. That method has proved very beneficial for digital content, but printed material is a different story altogether. Google has begun to digitize books and other printed material in hopes of extending its advertising reach away from Web content, but it’s a slippery slope to climb.
That’s where the Kindle and the concept of e-readers come into play. The idea is to make content previously only available in print form, such as books, newspapers and magazines, available digitally via specifically-designed mobile devices. These devices are built to acquire content and allow consumers to read them on-the-go with little other functionality, if any at all. Believe it or not, that fact alone makes the Kindle an incredible marketing medium.
The Kindle has been designed as a very simple device with one simple purpose- to allow users to find, download and read books and other periodicals. To allow users to search for and download books, the Kindle includes a connection to a 3G wireless broadband network that looks to have comparable coverage to AT&T’s 3G network. The kicker is that access to 3G wireless broadband via Kindles is completely free of charge.
Since the Kindle is made to do one thing only, you can’t use the 3G access for browsing the Web or reading email- only for searching and acquiring books and other content. This is how Amazon can rationalize the fact that they pay for 3G coverage for every Kindle user without charging the user a monthly fee. What’s interesting about this concept is that Amazon could easily allow for the serving of advertisements alongside the content downloaded to every Kindle.
As Amazon sells Kindles, they’re creating their own ecosystem of connected consumers. These connected consumers are ripe for marketing, and Amazon is developing it’s plan accordingly. Amazon was issued some 30 patents several months back, and several were relating to advertising models surrounding the Kindle. One, for example, is described as “incorporating targeted advertising in on-demand generated content.”
The opportunities Amazon has created for itself in terms of advertising are plentiful, and it’s only a matter of time before they pull the trigger. As more and more books, newspapers and other printed content become “digitized,” Amazon can create their own Google-like ecosystem of highly targeted contextual advertising and grab a piece of the highly profitable pie.