If you had $10 million, how would you promote the Tablet PC?


How would you improve the marketing of Tablet PCs? Would you pick a few areas to focus on? Make a broad push?

If I could snap my fingers and give you $10 million, how would you allocate it to increase Tablet sales?

What if the amount was only $1 million over a one year period?

What if the amount was $1? Yep, how would you encourage the adoption of Tablets with just one single dollar to spend?

How about this….

With a $10 million budget: I’d focus in two areas: high school graduates continuing on to college and resellers. I’d discount both heavily. The goal is to get Tablets into the hands of as many high school graduates as possible. I’d hand out “Tablet scholarships” to 1,000 graduating students ($1,500,000)–yes, 1,000 Tablets free and clear. And I’d offer another $300 Tablet scholarships to another 10,000 high shool graduates entering college to purchase a Tablet ($3,000,000). How do the students get chosen? Two steps: They have to blog as to why they want a Tablet. And two: They pick themselves–partially. Anyone gets to vote on who should get a Tablet. This makes up 50% of a scholarship score. The other half of the score comes from rankings made by a combination of college adminstrators and foundation workers. Let’s say 200 people volunteer to provide rankings. Each gets for their effort, guess what? A Tablet. ($300,000)

Now this would leave about $5,000,000. What would I do with the other half? Commercials? A contest? Nope. I’d focus on resellers. Not the super retailers. The ones that sell the most computers…the VARs, the local computer shop, the smaller internet retailer. Why go after this group? Because they can touch many people. Vertical customers, horizontal customers, family members, friends, neighbors, and on and on. Here’s what I’d do: Buy one Tablet and get one free–up to 3,000 Tablets ($4,500,000). They can use the Tablet for anything they want–except sell it online for a period of one year. They can sell it in a store, to a customer, or use it for themselves. They can only sell it to a customer they can touch. Or better yet, they can save it for themselves. I imagine, though, that there will be lots of Tablets unclaimed so the promotion would have to adapt. Maybe give Intel ICC attendees a chance to purchase a Tablet for $300. Any remaining money would get eaten up adminstering these two efforts.

I realize two events for $10,000,000 isn’t much. But it would reach two critical areas of the market.

OK. Now what if the amount to spend is only $1,000,000? I’d use a blog promotion again only this time open to “anyone.” Over a 45 day period, write a blog entry–one entry per week–saying what you would do with a Tablet. Again, other bloggers vote on who should get one in combination with a “judging” committee of “A-list” bloggers or well-known people that get–guess what a “Tablet” for their efforts. Schools, individuals, non-profits–anyone–can enter (For legal reasons I presume this would be limited to the US, but maybe not.) At 10 Tablets per day, that’s another 450 Tablets plus 50 for a rotating judging panel. That leaves about $250,000 to put the program together and manage it. I wouldn’t spend one dollar advertising it though. It should spread all by word of mouth.

Now what if I only had $1 to market Tablets? I’d blog, blog, blog, doing my best to get Scoble or anyone else to read and link to me.

How would you spend your $10,000,000 marketing money?


  1. Being someone who DESPARATELY wants one, and ALMOST bought one in the past 24 hours but did not, I think I’m qualified to speak on this:

    First and foremost – Get the units INTO the Best Buys and Circuit City’s. I was just at BB within the last hour and the only unit they had on display was an older Toshiba the the pen was MISSING. Even if you don’t have BB stock them, at least buy and install kiosks to demo them on.

    I really wanted to buy the Motion LE1600. In the end, the price is about $1000 more than I’ll pay. The price has to come down before this will ever be in the mainstream. Even I, a self proclaimed gadget geek, could not even fathom shipping $3000 off to some internet merchant that I know nothing about for a device that I CANNOT RETURN, having never seen or been able to play with the device.

    The same holds true for a Macintosh. I probably would have bought one of those a few months ago if I could go into the store and play with it. Alas, there isn’t anywhere around me (Fort Wayne, Indiana) to see one.

    Show people how cool it is and they’ll at least be more interested in the idea.