Amazon Releases New Kindle, Brands Look to Reach Digital Consumers

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Online retailer Amazon has released its latest version of its Kindle ebook reader. With the announcement comes in tow big brands like Visa, Buick and JPMorgan Chase seeking an easier way to reach the mobile consumers.

Thomas Szkutak, Amazon’s chief financial officer, revealed on a conference call yesterday that it supported the Kindle with higher “broadscale advertising” spend during the last quarter. This strategy can be directly related to the ebook reader space becoming highly competitive, which is clearly squared up against the tablet market. With that market brings direct competition from the big boy in the room, Apple, and its Apple iPad. The darling of the tech companies, Apple has amassed a market position that has people standing in line for a white version of one of their products, almost a year and a half behind schedule.

The most recent iteration of Amazon’s ebook reader gadget, the Kindle with Special Offers, has replaced the screensaver.

The integration of Special Offers (read: deals) into the ebook reading experience allows consumers to access a full list of those Special Offers at any time. A consumer also has the option to favorite an ad, and then the best ads are populated on the ereader screen thanks to the dedicated AdMash application. The digital itch that we saw begin in July of last year, is snowballing. So this shift in advertising is a very business savvy tactic in the digital consumption market. As mentioned previously, the financial behemoth JPMorgan Chase is a launch partner for the Kindle with Special Offers, and expects to gain some impressive insights as a result.

We gleaned this quote from our friends at Warc:

“It’s a learning opportunity,” Chris Conrad, JPMorgan Chase’s marketing director for the Amazon Rewards card. “We will be just more rapidly able to understand what messages resonate.”

The elephant in the room is this new advertiser-funded model. Will it be introduced and integrated into Kindle apps for smartphones and tablets? Will consumers like this new ad placement campaign? The former is almost a no-brainer yes, but the latter remains to be seen. The fact is that data, news and information consumption platforms are evolving at an alarming rate. The opportunity for advertising has changed dramatically over the last year.

Visa, also an early adopter, outlined that this gives them an additional avenue to provide their cardholders increased offers and promotions. An avenue, quite frankly, that the credit market in general painfully needs. Paul Wilke, the firms senior business leader, global corporate relations elaborated further:

“More people are going online and downloading digital content, and more people are using products like Kindle to get ebooks and other digital content, so we want to reach people through this channel.”

What we are seeing is big business is finally catching up to consumers and their consumption habits. Traditional markets and the metrics that support those markets have changed, seemingly overnight. Generation Y has more access to information, and a very “what have you done for me lately” consumption pattern. This Facebook generation is truly wrapped in the shiny-new-thing character trait: participate first, ask questions later. Well now that big business has started to catch up digitally, the ebook reader space becomes a very interesting platform for the during-consumption advertising and subsequent tactics we’ll see tested over the next 12 months.

For Amazon, increasing its advertising possibilities through its Kindle, Amazon.com or its third-party sites, presents good opportunities. However the new digital consumer is a very fickle consumer. What we enjoy with our morning coffee today, might be considered obtrusive and unfollow-worthy tomorrow. Digital marketing and advertising is a cat and mouse game these days, more so than ever before. The best cheese will win.

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