How effective is Promotion Within Apple’s Extended Marketing Mix?
Promotion is a core pillar of the marketing mix ensuring a business reaches its target audience, with the right product at the right price, time and place. The core elements of the promotional mix are; Sales Promotion, Personal Selling, PR and Advertising (QUORA).
Apple’s Promotional Mix
The key elements in Apple’s promotional mix (Panmore institute) are: Advertising, Personal Selling, Sales Promotion, and PR.
- Advertising Apple uses a range of communication mediums to promote its brand, from traditional ‘ABTL’ (Above the line) such as TVC, Print, Billboard, to the digital options available today. A recent example of advertising – the latest TVC campaign ‘Behind the Mac’ promoting individual stories of creativity.
- Personal Selling With over 492 Retails Stores in 19 countries across the world
Apple’s Store Employees are key in Apples Promotional Mix.
- Sales Promotions Apple uses a range of sales promotion techniques. Examples include, short-term campaigns such as money back guarantees. Apple also uses Strategic Partnerships for cross promotion. For example, Ticketmaster. Purchasers of concert tickets can purchase the artist’s album for $1 off the iTunes Store price. Upon purchasing the combo, customers are provided a direct link to the iTunes Store where they will be allowed to download their album.
- PR Whether it’s giving a new product to a group of popular YouTubers pre launch, distribution of Press Releases or hosting launch events, Apple uses PR to maximise its brand profile and in the process create much hype.
Effectiveness of Apple’s Promotional Strategy
The fact that Apple is ranked the most valuable brand in the world (Forbes 2018) is a clear signal that Apple’s Promotional Strategy is effective. Part of Apple’s success is that it reaches & holds its target audience on an emotional level. Rather than promoting a specific feature, Apple promotes the emotional outcomes of consuming an Apple product. For example, ‘The Think Different’ campaign 1997 – 2002, (SV staff). This creative execution made Apple users feel unique, empowered, that they too could change the world.
Another key reason why Apples Promotional strategy is so effective is its People. Yoni Heisler writes “Apple’s customer service is its secret weapon”.`
Indirectly, Apple Customers & Strategic Partners are also essential in Apples Promotional strategy. A recent example of a Strategic Partnership (that had a multitude of promotional spin-offs) was the exclusive content deal Apple signed with Oprah Winfrey. Oprah is famous across the world, has a huge following, thus expanding Apple’s global reach. When the deal was announced (BLOOMBERG) it made headline news across all platforms, publicity, a further benefit of such a partnership.
Apple have been effective with PR. In particular, ‘being seen’ to address customer problems. A recent example of this was the development of an App to ween apple customers off the additive nature of their phone. (BLOOMBERG). This story made headline news, and for customers made them feel that Apple cared further cementing brand loyalty.
How Apple has evolved its promotional strategy
Over time Apple has constantly evolved the way it promotes its brand. In the early days, (1980’s) it used ABTL campaigns to promote its brand for example, the historic 1984 Advert played (SEE BELOW) at the 1984 super bowl game, an example of using Iconic events to promote the new Macintosh (BLOOMBERG).
Whilst Apple uses traditional media today, it also leverages social media channels effectively to create viral hype through; celebrity endorsement, digital influencers/bloggers reviews etc. An example, Apple iPhone X launch was released to digital influencers months before launch (SAM BURNS).
From opening up the first retail store in 2001, to 492 retail stores worldwide today, Apple is the fastest growing retailer in history (Humayun Khan) evolving its personal sales force capability dramatically.
Apple has evolved its strategic partner network over the years too, maximizing the benefits of cross promotion such as; extending its reach, enriching its promotional offerings and strengthening its USP (unique selling proposition).
Ranked the worlds most valuable brand, (Forbes) I believe Apple has effectively used key promotional components (Roberta Greenspan, Panmore institute) of Personal Selling, Sales Promotions, Advertising and PR to ensure it reaches its target audience, with the right product, at the right time and the right place.
My 2centsworth … what do you think?