My Wish List of IPhone Apps for Marketing Chiefs

How to Give Apple's Handset Some Corporate Cred

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I download new iPhone applications almost every day. Today I got something that lets me rotate 3-D models of molecules, and another one that reads my mood if I simply touch the screen. I'll never use either of them, of course, but it sure is fun. It's also partly why iPhone doesn't have BlackBerry's corp cred.

If Apple wants to crack more of the business market, it should get CMOs involved as evangelists by offering apps for various marketing tasks. So I asked a bunch of friends what should be on the starter list:

Jonathan Salem Baskin
Jonathan Salem Baskin is the author of "Branding Only Works on Cattle" and blogs about marketing at Dim Bulb.
PROMOMASTER: Just enter a sales goal and a due date, and this app will spit out your timeline for creative, testing, launch and duration. Customize it with your financials and those of your competition (it takes holidays into consideration automatically). The paid upgrade would add predictive AI, so you'd get your first-ever realistic estimates of profitability and repeatability.

SIMBRAND: This mini-RPG game would let you "play" your branding strategy and see how it affected awareness, trial, purchase and residual customer satisfaction. OK, that would be a blank screen, so actually this would be a driving game that let you smash your vehicle (or an image of your product, if you buy the paid version) into buildings, people and other brands.

ENTITLER: Imagine entering basics on a staffer -- name, favorite IM moniker, hair color -- and a quick swipe of your middle finger across the screen yielded a complete performance review. This app would leverage the iPhone's wireless capabilities to beam the review to your computer, which would then populate the appropriate form. A randomizer would make sure no two folks ever got the same feedback.

WHAT?: We have currency and measurement converters and numerous language translators, so why not an app that keeps us up to date on the latest digital buzzwords and ideas? It would be updated constantly, and the paid version would tee-up the most current, hip responses, like, "oh, that stalagmite requires more robust enhancement," or something else that you'd otherwise never come up with on your own.

HICCUP: So you get a text that reads "your celebrity spokesperson was just arrested trying to fingerpaint the windows at Heathrow," and it turns your brilliant new branding campaign into a bad joke. Imagine an app that tracked celebrity gossip, and then aggregated it into a real-time ranking of who was most likely to flame out? The paid version would let you sort by substance of choice, and calculate whether the exposure would be worth it anyway.

SLASH THIS: How about flipping the remote-control concept so that you can watch someone else's presentation? I'm thinking it would be cool to have that, say, secretive financial discussion appear on your iPhone screen, especially before you have to go in and pitch your budget. You could also use it to play your agency's other presentations, and learn how many other times they've pitched the idea you just got sold as uniquely yours.

I say enough with the games. Let's get serious with the iPhone and make it a tool to assist us in our technological leadership. Got any ideas for apps?

Let me know.

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