In 2008, Steve Jobs was quoted in Fortune magazine saying that “Apple is a $30 billion company yet we’ve got less than 30 major products. I don’t know if that’s ever been done before.” In addition, in a Wall Street Journal interview, current Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked about what he learned from Jobs. Cook responded, “Focus is key … that you can only do so many things great, and cast aside everything else.”
Recently, Cook has been quoted as saying, “We are in one of the most prolific periods of innovation and new products in Apple’s history.” These new products include Apple Maps, the iPad mini and the MacBook Pro with Retina display, as well as updates to hits like the iPhone and iPod lineup. In addition, Apple is rumored to be developing a radio service as well as a TV product.
Just a few short years ago, the effectiveness of a company’s web presence was dictated solely by the strength and prevalence of its website. But as companies across the globe have begun embracing social media, an interesting phenomenon has occurred over the past year. In some cases, company Facebook fan pages have received more unique visitors than the company’s corporate website counterpart. See the specific example from a Webtrends whitepaper titled, “The Effect of Social Networks and the Mobile Web on Website Traffic and the Inevitable Rise of Facebook Commerce”:
[Webtrends] analyzed the website traffic of Fortune 100 websites based on ‘unique visits.’ The study revealed that 68% of the top 100 companies were experiencing a negative growth in unique visits over the past year, with an average drop of 23%.
On April 30th, Apple released their first draft of the iAd framework reference document. Although this document is written for developers and not advertisers, it gave some insight into how advertisers will be able to use the iAd program.
Below are some key points -
- Developers will be able to embed ads in their apps using the AdBannerView object. After developers embed ads in their apps, they will start earning revenue.
- iAd will use an ad network. When adding iAd to an app, developers will choose to display their apps among different segments available in the ad network.
- iAd includes standard ad sizes including 320×50 for portrait banner ads and 480×32 for landscape banner ads. The ads are shown in the background of an app.
- The iAd program can be enabled and disabled. App developers can recognize if iAd is loaded by bannerLoaded property while cancelBannerViewAction allows applications to cancel displaying iAd.
- Because developers can shutdown iAd at any time, revenue wouldn’t be calculated by PPC or PPV but instead a new way that is to be determined by Apple. Apple mentions that revenue can be lower if developers let apps close iAd frequently.
- Lastly, this technical document only covers the iPhone and iPod touch but not yet the iPad.
We are eagerly awaiting more details on iAd as they become available.
Social media marketing, advertising, and PR are all important components of an effective marketing strategy. However, those components lose their effectiveness, and even become detrimental, when the brand itself is faultering. Advertising is about increasing brand awareness, but when people think negatively about your brand, increasing awareness does not help. Similarly, the social media landscape is where people are communicating among each other about you, about your competition, and about everything else. But again, when people have negative thoughts about you, encouraging more conversations is counterproductive.
Successful brands are those that are singularly focused on delivering the best products and services in markets consumers demand. Consider companies like Apple. On top of their other successes, their iPad is on target to being the fastest product in history to reach the $1 billion mark. Although Apple invests in marketing (principally advertising and minimally in social media), it own’s the public’s perception as a company that delivers the most innovative and desirable devices. Apple is focused on product and customer first, which then enables effective communication options.
On the other hand, companies that cannot consistently meet and exceed their customers’ expectations will faulter no matter how much attention is paid to the remainder of the marketing mix. Their focus should instead be on their products and service. Once those are on the right track, companies can once again employ communication tools to regain growth.
Domus is a marketing communications agency based in Philadelphia, focusing on fundamental marketing strategies that employ wide ranges of communications media and delivery. For more information, please visit us at http://www.domusinc.com.
Apple’s iPad had an impressive launch, and many people believe it has the potential to be a game changer in the way we consume media. But possibly more important than the iPad is Apple’s introduction of iAd, its new mobile advertising network. The iAd platform will enable dynamic ads that can be viewed from within Apps, allowing the user to return to the App when finished with the ad – no more jumping off to an advertiser’s web site. Apple plans to share the revenue stream from these ads with App developers (60% to Apple’s 40%).
Think about how many people have been conditioned NOT to click on ads for fear that they will take them away from what they’ve been doing, bring them to a site that generates annoying pop-ups, download a virus, etc. Think about people’s trust in Apple. And think about 4 billion apps – and counting – already downloaded. This might be a massive revenue stream for Apple and App developers. But it might also be one of the most engaging ad platforms for advertisers.
Marketers should take note, though. Apple users expect something special from their Apple products, and that will include the ads that they see run on their Apple products. So, plan to advertise, but plan to make your ads a step above the rest.
OK, so I’m a little bit of a technophile (OK, a big one), so excuse my enthusiasm. But today is the end of the last week before the Apple tablet is introduced (hopefully – they haven’t actually confirmed that that is what their January 27 announcement will be about). After next week, computing as well as information and media consumption will begin its dramatic shift into a new era. This week is the end of the old era.
Strong predictions, but consider that virtually every major Apple introduction (when Steve Jobs has been at the helm) has fundamentally changed some aspect of our lives. Apple’s first machines ushered in the personal computing era. Apple’s MacIntosh ushered in computing’s graphical user interface. Apple’s iPod changed how we listen to music, iTunes changed the entire music distribution industry, and the iPhone/iTouch changed our concept of mobile phones. Apple wasn’t always the first in a category, but their innovative products consistently propel nascent industries into integral parts of our lives.
Companies (Microsoft and its partners in particular) have tried for years to make tablet computers a successful market segment, but they’ve always come up short. Next week, however, Apple is ready, and (according to rumors) not just with a product but with partners and supporting services to make the offering another potential market changer.
As marketers, there are so many lessons we can learn from Apple, from their ability to create innovative and exciting products, to their marketing efforts. Mostly, though, I’m in awe of how so thoroughly and completely they’ve created a branding position, and solidified it year-after-year in an industry where 10 years is the equivalent to a lifetime in other industries. When you think of Apple, what do you think of? Innovative, cool, must-have products? Is there anyone, anywhere who doesn’t share that image of them? I’m sure even Al Ries tips his hat to Steve Jobs.
Domus is a full-service marketing communications agency based in Philadelphia. For more, please visit our web site at http://www.domusinc.com.