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TDS Recon™

Integrated marketing campaign helps rugged TDS Recon make a big splash in the Pocket PC market

Additional Information

When Tripod Data Systems entered the market for Pocket PC handhelds, they wanted to make a splash. They had the right product: the TDS Recon is an extremely rugged Pocket PC handheld built for use in challenging outdoor and industrial environments. It meets the tough MIL-STD-810F military standard for drops, vibration and temperature extremes, and it comes with an IP67 weatherproof rating. It survived multiple torture tests, including 38 drops onto plywood over concrete from four feet up, immersion in water for 30 minutes and operation in temperatures from -22 °F (-30 C) to 140 °F (60 C). Sanda's job was to get the word out about the Recon, both to end users and the media.

Life-size insert grabs attention in Pocket PC magazine

To reach the user market, Sanda worked with TDS to place advertising in several targeted magazines. For the biggest target—the 168,000 readers of Pocket PC magazine—Sanda created a die-cut insert of the Recon that ran with the ad. The insert was a first for the magazine, and gave readers a life-size cutout of the Recon with product specs on the back.

TDS announced the Recon Pocket PC, along with its new AA PowerBoot Module™ and Extended CF Cap™, at two major trade shows. AUSA is the largest military products trade show; the Pocket PC Summit/CTIA Wireless show is the largest event for the Pocket PC market.

"Wireless Widgets" winner gets trade show exposure

As part of the Pocket PC Summit, Sanda entered the Recon in the "Wireless Widgets" competition. Out of more than 50 applications, judges picked the Recon as one of only 13 new wireless devices to be showcased in the Wireless Widgets booth and pitched to the media. Sanda backed up the pitch with press releases, media interview coordination and follow-up.

Being chosen as a Wireless Widget generated even more interest in the Recon. Sanda scheduled 11 interviews during the Pocket PC Summit, including big-name media such as CNET, Into Tomorrow with Dave Graveline (a national radio show rebroadcast on military radio) and Pocket PC magazine. And TDS got the splash they wanted. The Recon made the front cover of the show's two daily newspapers. It was featured in a video interview on CNET/ZDNET and on the Into Tomorrow radio program.

Product reviews, case studies prove ruggedness

After the two big trade shows and multiple new-product features on the Recon, Sanda followed up with a number of product reviews and application case studies. To date, 25 product reviews have appeared for the Recon, including reviews in Outside, Pocket PC magazine, Business 2.0, PDA Today, Pocket Now, PDA Street, PDA Buyers Guide and Point of Beginning (POB).

The case studies also proved the Recon's ruggedness in real-world applications. A story in the May 2004 issue of Pocket PC magazine took the Recon underground, showing how it offers cave explorers more efficient and precise mapping while surviving a perpetually damp environment as well as being dragged through the mud. At the opposite end of the spectrum, a case study in the August 2004 issue of Point of Beginning followed the Recon to an archaeological expedition in Egypt. There, it survived blowing dust while a professional land surveyor used it to collect data for recording reliefs and inscriptions as well as mapping the tombs in the Abu Bakr Cemetery on the Giza Plateau, about half a mile west of the Great Pyramids.