It’s amazing how identical themes sometimes emerge at the same time out of different discussions. Let’s just call it convergent evolution. The changing face of marketing is just one such example.
Patty Seybold regularly brings together a panel of customer-centric business leaders that she calls ‘Patty’s Visionaries’. The Visionaries recently got together and identified eight key patterns and themes in customer-centricity. One of the key themes was that online marketing is ‘dead’, having been replaced by search. Another key theme was the rise in influence of customer communities.
Peter Kim in a post on the Forrester Marketing Blog describes how the iPhone was taken to market by Apple. It provides the perfect example of how these two themes combine and how they are changing the face of marketing. Other than search and personal email ads, Apple has been relatively lightly present in traditional consumer goods marketing. Instead, it has relied upon the enormous reach and richness of consumer-generated content in online communities, including YouTube, Flickr and the many thousands of blogs (including this one) that have discussed the iPhone. The results were nothing short of amazing: Long queues at Apple and AT&T shops, over 500,000 iPhones sold in the first few days, 95% of purchases of the more expensive version and somewhat inevitably, problems with AT&T’s ability to get them activated. It is estimated that over 1% of all blog posts over the sales weekend were about the iPhone!
Irrespective of whether the iPhone is technically better than the competition (it isn’t), or whether it will reinvent the mobile handset market in the USA (it probably won’t), or whether it is just a passing fad (it might be), it is THE consumer product to have at the moment. And all that without a huge marketing blitz.
What do you think? Is the iPhone launch a sign of marketing things to come? Or is it just a feature of the current consumer hype surrounding Apple’s move towards consumer electronics?
Post a comment and get the conversation going.