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Marketing Technology Letter October 2005 – NO.9 Wheels Wings for the mind and for the
Marketing Technology Letter
October 2005 – NO.9
Wheels
Wings for the mind
and
for the legs

How do you explain some- thing that never existed before?

How do you explain some- thing that never existed before? "Using a computer is like riding
How do you explain some- thing that never existed before? "Using a computer is like riding

"Using a computer is like riding a bicycle. It gets you to and from places with great speed and efficiency; it's like

getting wheels for the mind."

Steve Jobs

“A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any other invention in human history, with the possible ex-

ception of handguns and tequila.

Marketers who have to create and harness new markets by introducing radically new products or services face an extra challenge: market ‘education’. How do you explain something that never existed before? This happens quite often in the high-tech do- main where we talk about disruptive technologies that revolutionise ways things are done and, of course, engender new paradigms.

And, as technologies become increasingly sophisticated, the ‘education’ requirements become more complex. In the late 1800s, the automobile was introduced as a ‘horseless carriage’ and it had less than ten ‘commands’ - on/off, accelerate, brake, clutch, change gear, petrol/air mix (automatic and computerised nowadays). Today, many hi- tech products are fairly complex and rather hard to use. And marketers struggle to describe the benefits of a growing number of new ’things’ such as broad- band Internet, WiFi, 3G, MMS, video streaming, digital TV, satellite radio and so on. Are analogies adequate to explain basic principles?

As part of the team that created Apple Computer Europe in the early 1980s, I had the privilege to witness the results of an ad campaign we ran in Europe’s main busi- ness newspapers. The ad featured a picture of a bicycle illustrating the concept of “wheels for the mind” Apple was using in 1981 to explain the benefits of a personal computer (the Apple II). The analogy was quite powerful … and successful.

If you live in the middle of nowhere, in a house providing shelter and food, and if you have a bicycle, you can, in one day, explore more territory around the house than if you do it on foot. With a computer, by analogy, you can analyse much more data within a given time, or handle a fixed amount of data much faster. So, the personal computer gives you ‘wheels for the mind’.

the personal computer gives you ‘wheels for the mind’. ” Mitch Radcliffe In the present context,

Mitch Radcliffe

In the present context, this PC-bicycle analogy suggests several remarks and, maybe, new analogies:

Wings for the mind

Wings for the mind

 The price of power In comparison with the early 1980s, personal computers have become as fast

 The world at your fingertips

and as versatile as airplanes - wings for the mind - but they are more difficult to use and, especially, to manage and maintain, like airplanes.

Connected to the Internet, they are also ‘wheels for the legs’ - you can shop around the world without having to get out of your house.

 Your ‘world’ at your fingertip With a program like iTunes, you can store all your CDs on a PC’s hard disk and have your favourite music at your fingertip - ’wheels for the arm’!

** www.migosoftware.com

 Computers are becoming truly personal Finally, pocket/palm-sized devices that you can ‘wear’ all the time - high- end cellphones, PDAs, iPods - are the first breeds of truly personal IT systems, al- beit not yet convenient enough (do you enjoy typing an SMS with a numeric keyboard?). But with software like Migo** you can now carry your desktop (files, settings, email, etc.) in your pocket - ’wheels for the wheels’?

Hi-tech keeps evolving. Market education needs never disappear. Isn’t IT still fun?

CONTACT US : IC 3 Limited www.IC3marketing.com tel : +44 (0) 20 8339 0709 e-mail
CONTACT US :
IC 3 Limited
www.IC3marketing.com
tel : +44 (0) 20 8339 0709
e-mail : Henri@IC3marketing.com
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