An Overview of One Element of Apple’s Extended Marketing Mix – Promotion

According to Forbes, Apple was the world’s first most valuable brand in 2018. (Forbes, 2018) Apple uses both inbound (such as blogs, videos and social media channels) and outbound (such as TV advertisements, magazine advertisements, billboards and posters) marketing technics to promote and introduce their products. Apple offers a wide variety of innovative hardware and software products to their customers. Apple products are easily recognisable by their simple minimalist design and packaging as well as by the clear brand logo.

Apple and Social Media

Due to their wide range of products, Apple’s targeted market is diverse: different genders, ages, incomes and locations. As a result, Apple needs to utilise a wide range of different channels to reach their audience and stay relevant to them. Although, traditional marketing channels are taking a very important part of Apple’s marketing strategy, the role of inbound marketing channels is getting more and more important in the digital era. Compared to their competitors, Apple joined to social media platforms relatively late, nowadays, however, they rely on them heavily. For example, Apple are running several separate Twitter accounts to support different services: Apple Support, Apple News, Apple Music and working with social media influencers as well. Today Apple’s Twitter account has 2.68 million followers (Twitter, 2019), 13.8 million followers on Instagram (Instagram, 2019) and 8.4 million subscribers on their YouTube channel (YouTube, 2019).

Apple and Influencers

In 2017 Apple started to partner with trusted YouTube influencers to promote the brand and introduce their new products. (Everett, T. 2017) One of Apple’s key YouTube influences, for example, is iJustine (iJustine, 2019) whose YouTube channel has 5.7 million followers. She is creating short videos about unboxing and trying out the latest gadgets such as mobile phones, iPads, cameras and more while sharing her personal experiences.

According to Neil Patel ‘Apple relies most on two completely different strategies: product placement (especially with celebrities and in popular shows) and the buzz created by positive reviews in the media.’ (Patel, N. 2019) It means, instead of spending money for PPC on Facebook or Google, Apple’s aim is to approach positive reviews on the media. Today, Apple are working with trusted influences and celebrities on all of their social media channels such as Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. We can easily search for, compare and even analyse Apple influences by using online tools such as klear.com or followerwonk.com.

Apple and Celebrities

Popular celebrities often appear in Apple’s commercials. For example, Paul McCartney, Serena Williams and Oprah Winfrey appear in Apple’s video, entitled ‘Behind the Mac’ launched on YouTube in October 2018. (Apple (United Kingdom), 2018)

‘Shot on iPhone’ Campaign

One of Apple’s most successful campaign from the recent years was the ‘Shot on iPhone’ challenge. The aim of this campaign was to showcase the quality of the iPhone cameras by encouraging iPhone users to use #ShotOniPhone hashtag for a chance for being selected and featured on Apple’s social media channels as well as on giant billboards in the streets.

Keep It Simple

Another effective way Apple take advantage of, is simplification. Rather than using tech jargon or industry terms in their advertisements, website or even in the names of their products (iMac, iWatch, iPad) that can confuse and overwhelm their audience, Apple aspire to keep it simple. Using simple direct language (for example, ‘largest LCD ever on an iPhone’, ‘tap to wake’ function, ‘advanced algorithms to unlock new creative possibilities’ (Apple (United Kingdom) (2019)) in their advertisements and on their website, Apple make their customers feel comfortable by allowing them to scan the product features and easily learn about the benefits of the products. (Patel N., 2019) In this way, Apple’s message is clear and easy to digest. Maybe the best example for this is one of Apple’s latest video about Face ID. The 11-second-long video uses simple old fashioned emojis and a simple, one-sentence message explaining that ‘Face ID doesn’t store a photo of your face on iPhone, only a mathematical representation of it.’ (Apple (United Kingdom) (2019)

To conclude, Apple is using both inbound and outbound marketing channels successfully. Although, Apple joined relatively late to social media channels compared to their competitors, today Apple are utilising those channels very successfully by building community, sharing ‘how to’ videos and other useful contents for their customers and potential customers, collaborating with influencers and launching contests generating thousands of likes, shares and conversations every day.

 

Figure 1 – Apple community platforms are working successfully on Apple’s website. Customers are using these platforms actively to share information and gather useful tips from one another. (Apple, 2019)

Figure 2 – This photo showcases the latest iWatch Nike+, photographed on its own as well as in use, on Apple’s website. The light-coloured Apple iWatch Nike+ is highlighted on the model’s wrist by the dark background and the model’s dark outfit. The model is wearing Nike accessories highlighting the relation between Apple iWatch and Nike. (Apple (United Kingdom) (2019)

Figure 3 – This Apple store is located in Westfield, Stratford City, London. The store represents simple elegance. Apple iconic logo is clearly visible on the store front, which is made of glass, providing a clear view into the store. The interior design is simple wood furniture and displays highlighting the products. (Apple (United Kingdom), 2019)

Figure 4 – Demonstration of Apple’s skimming pricing policy. In September 2018 Apple announced their newest iPhones: iPhone X, iPhone XS and iPhone X Max. (Apple, 2018)

Figure 5 – Well-trained instore customer support team members are easily recognisable by their branded uniform. They provide quality customer service and support on the spot. (Apple, 2019)

Figure 6 – This image showcases the evolution of Apple iPhones over the years from 2007-2018. (iPhone Life, 2018)

Figure 7 – Here we can see an interesting and innovative way of advertising: an online photo contest appears on billboards. This giant billboard is showcasing a photo taken by an Apple customer using their iPhone and using hashtag #PhotosOniPhone. The campaign’s aim was to demonstrate the outstanding quality of iPhones cameras. (Leswing K., 2019) ‘Photos On iPhone’ contest 2019 was announced on 22nd January 2019 and ended on 7th February 2019. The winning shots came from a wide variety of iPhone models, from iPhone 7 to iPhone X and were announced on Apple’s website. (Apple, 2019)

 

REFERENCE LIST

TEXT

Apple (UK) (2019) YouTube ‘iPhone — Face ID — Apple’ [Online] Available at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXiNIunCw88 [Accessed 26 March 2019]

Apple (UK) (2018) YouTube ‘Behind the Mac — Make Something Wonderful — Apple’ [Online], Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EJl1b4fZsA [Accessed 26 March 2019]

Apple (UK) (2019) Introducing iPhone XR [Online] Available at:

https://www.apple.com/uk/iphone-xr/ [Accessed 26 March 2019]

Everett, T. (2017) LinkedIn ‘4 Brands That Are Killing It With Influencer Marketing’ [Online], Available at: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/4-brands-killing-influencer-marketing-tiffany-everett/ [Accessed 26 March 2019]

Forbes (2018) ‘The World’s Most Valuable Brands – 2018 Ranking’ [Online], Available at:

https://www.forbes.com/powerful-brands/list/#tab:rank [Accessed 26 March 2019]

iJustin (2019) YouTube Social media influencer, Apple fan [Online], Available at:

https://www.youtube.com/user/ijustine/videos [Accessed 26 March 2019]

Instagram (2019) Apple [Online], Available at: https://www.instagram.com/apple/ [Accessed 26 March 2019]

Patel, N. (2019) ‘7 Key Strategies That You Must Learn from Apple’s Marketing’ [Online] Available at:

https://neilpatel.com/blog/7-key-strategies-that-you-must-learn-from-apples-marketing/ [Accessed 26 March 2019]

Twitter (2019) Apple [Online], Available at: https://twitter.com/Apple [Accessed 26 March 2019]

YouTube (2019) Apple [Online], Available at: https://www.youtube.com/user/Apple [Accessed 26 March 2019]

 

FIGURES

Figure 1 – Apple (2019) Apple Community platform [Online], Available at: https://discussions.apple.com/community/watch/using_apple_watch [Accessed 25 March 2019]

Figure 2 – Apple (UK) (2019) Apple iWatch Nike+ [Online], Available at: https://www.apple.com/uk/shop/buy-watch/apple-watch-nike [Accessed 25 March 2019]

Figure 3 – Apple (UK) (2019) Apple UK retail store list [Online], Available at: https://www.apple.com/uk/retail/stratfordcity/ [Accessed 24 March 2019]

Figure 4 – Apple (2018) ‘Apple Special Event. September 12, 2018.’ [Online], Available at: https://www.apple.com/apple-events/september-2018/ [Accessed 25 March 2019]

Figure 5 – Apple (2019) Apple support [Online], Available at: https://support.apple.com/repair  [Accessed 25 March 2019]

Figure 6 – iPhone Life (2018) ‘The Evolution of the iPhone: Every Model from 2007–2018’ [Photo], Available at: https://www.iphonelife.com/content/evolution-iphone-every-model-2007-2016 [Accessed 23 March 2019]

Figure 7 – Apple (2019) ‘Apple highlights best photos shot on iPhone around the world’ [Online], Available at: https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2019/02/apple-highlights-best-photos-shot-on-iphone-around-the-world/ [Accessed 25 March 2019]