Even if you didn’t watch the recent Apple announcement you probably heard about the company’s newest device—the Apple Watch. This is Apple’s bold move into the new wearable devices category. Will it be a success? The answer is it doesn’t have to be. Not everyone needs or will want an Apple Watch and Apple is OK with that. Just as the iPod wasn’t the first music player, the iPhone wasn’t the first smartphone, and the iPad wasn’t the first tablet, the Apple Watch isn’t the first smartwatch on the market. As long as the Apple watch becomes the must-have smartwatch, it will be a success in Apple land. And there is little doubt that it will become just that—even if you and I don’t purchase one.
The real story for marketers is not the Apple watch, but the Apple show. As in the hour-long commercial (er, keynote presentation) that Apple streams live on the Internet and posts to its website for viewing long after the event is over. Even if you are not an Apple fan, it’s worth it to watch one of these events because there are so many marketing tips to be gleaned.
Top three marketing tips you can learn from an Apple keynote
1. Market to your loyal customers first
Many small businesses only think about attracting new customers, believing their current customers will take care of themselves. No company on the planet has loyal customers like Apple. Yet it spends most of its marketing budget speaking directly to its fans.
How your small business can copy Apple: Do you have a monthly email that you send out to your current customers? That is a great platform of communication and can turn your customers into fans. Your fans will in turn be evangelists for your brand and bring new growth.
2. Let your product be the hero
Here’s what you won’t see at an Apple keynote: Song and dance routines, Hollywood stars, comedians, balloons, streamers and the like. Why not? Because that would take attention away from the real star of the show—the products. Want to see an example? Look at all the beautiful images of the watch on Apple’s website.
How your small business can copy Apple: Great marketing starts with great visuals. Do you have good photos of what you sell? If not, it is worth it to have an accomplished photographer follow you around for a morning and take photos of your products and services in their best light. Those photos will become the backbone of every piece of marketing you will do. Put them on your website, Facebook page, in-store posters, magazine and newspaper ads.
3. Speak in benefits, not features
Here’s an example of the opening sentence Apple uses to describe its newest laptop, the MacBook:
Pure invention. We designed the new MacBook to be not only thinner and lighter, but more functional and intuitive than ever before.
Notice what Apple didn’t mention: the processor speed, size of the hard drive, how much memory it has, and so on. Apple doesn’t hide the specs; you can find them on the website. But here’s the key—one that Apple has long known. Users care about one thing over all others: How will this new laptop benefit me?
The answer to that question isn’t a number, but a feeling.
How your small business can copy Apple: What is the newest product or service your business has introduced? Take a look at the marketing material that describes it. Is it a list of specs and features? Take each spec and answer this question: What is the key benefit to my customer?
That question may be harder to answer than you think. If so, ask three of your loyal customers why they have purchased from you. Their answers are pure gold. Put those answers at the top of your next marketing campaign and watch your sales climb. Look what it has done for Apple.