A few quick takeaways from the WWDC keynote address, in which Steve Jobs asks you to spend more of your money on Apple products.
Image courtesy of Engadget
FaceTime video calls: very slick. The stealth winner in this is if you and your customer both have iPhone 4 units. Very few people are capable of screencasting, not because they lack the technology but just because it’s intimidating. Now imagine your customer service representatives being able to call a customer and if the customer has the capability, just tell them to turn on the video camera so that support can see what the customer sees. This won’t be a huge game-changer immediately as the iPhone 4 has zero market penetration, but start thinking down the road a few years when video calling is ubiquitous.
FaceTime has some potential as a sales tool as well, though I’d foresee greater use for sales managers and their remote sales teams than for salesperson to customer communications. For doing demos of products, however, there’s potential if the customer simply can’t make an appointment in person – or a sales person is trapped on the road in some forsaken airport.
iAds: another way to reach the consumer. I’d expect to see all App Store apps start running these ads very quickly as developers can find another way to monetize their work. Depending on how well Apple can segment audiences for applications, some verticals will be able to microtarget their audiences very quickly. Good stuff for advertisers and developers, but consumers are about to get a flood of more ads.
Image courtesy of Engadget
iBooks and PDF support: This is the dark horse of the day. Native, simple built in PDF support with synchronization from desktop to mobile units and back, all free. You know all those sales and marketing eBooks you’ve been writing in PDF format? You know all that work you’ve put into them? Get ready to make greater use of that content. The super-stealth play here is in email marketing of PDFs. iBooks will seize a PDF from email and load it into your bookshelf for viewing, bookmarking, and synchronization without the end user having to do very much at all. With permission of your subscribers, you can now ship PDFs that will get stored in a bookshelf for iOS users.
So what? For the mobile road warriors, especially in B2B, how many times have you been stuck in an airport/airplane/somewhere with limited signal and absolutely nothing to do? Now suppose you just jumped into your bookshelf on your iPhone or iPad to pass the time while waiting for the mass transit system of your choice to un-screw itself. What will be in your bookshelf? Probably a few books, probably some random manual… and someone’s sales or marketing eBook, if they did a good job of getting it to you. When the choices of reading are the ingredients on your airport meal or a marketing PDF, chances are you’ll take the marketing PDF.
There’s a small gotcha for content creators: with the newer screen technologies, you can’t make crappy, sub-standard PDFs and expect no one to notice. Near-print quality screens on the new devices will show glaring imperfections, especially in graphics and photos, so be ready to recut your existing PDFs to a notch higher in quality.
None of these features is completely revolutionary – Skype video and iChat video on the desktop have been around for years, PDF viewing capability has been on most of these devices via an app or two, and AdMob was doing mobile ads. The difference will be that these features will ship with the units themselves, requiring no additional user intervention – and thus drastically expanding their reach.
What were some of your sales and marketing takeaways from the new iPhone 4 and iOS announcements?
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