Monday, November 7, 2011

Steve Job's belief in the basics.

         When I moved to California, I immediately set out to get new clients for our ad agency. The easiest kind of new business to get was high tech. Or so I thought.

         I was up against a wall I never faced in Chicago or Detroit.

         People I met in high tech seemed convinced that the product was the marketing. Just focus on the product, explain its features, and you're done. That was advertising. It was completely alien to me because I was brought up learning that people were more important than products. To me, the only thing that mattered were the benefits, not the features. What a product could do for you.

         So I contacted Regis McKenna, the high-profile Silicon Valley public relations guru. He urged me to stick with what I was doing; he felt the same way and was doing exactly that in P.R.

         The October 10, 2011, issue of Advertising Age brought it all back to me. It said that when it came to marketing, Steve Jobs was an "exceptionally bold traditionalist".

         To quote: "At a time when marketers obsess over the virtues of targeting, 'likes', dashboards, platforms of all stripes and sophisticated social media marketing schemes, Steve Jobs kept it simple: tell the story of how an amazing product can change your life, in the best environment possible."

         Apple spent $420 million in advertising in 2010. It was the ninth largest spender on outdoor ads in the U.S.

        Allen Olivo, who worked at Apple and now teaches marketing at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business, said "Steve not only liked advertising, he understood the value of advertising as part of building a brand, selling products, and creating an entire customer experience".

        To quote Mr. Jobs, "Even a great brand needs investment and caring if it is going to retain its relevance and vitality."

        Nobody does it better than Apple, and now it's up to their ad agency to carry Steve's torch.

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