I hear a lot of people talking about how great Apple’s marketing is. And they’re right—Apple’s marketing is incredible. But what is the real secret to Apple’s marketing success?
The real secret is product marketing.
So what is product marketing? Product marketing is exceptional products that contribute to marketing objectives in place of traditional marketing such as print ads or billboards. Product marketing is similar to content marketing, a term used by Copyblogger to describe using content such as a blog posts to accomplish marketing objectives in place of traditional advertising.
With product marketing, the product is so good, it does work that traditional advertising usually would do. Thus, the success of the product is not due to exceptional commercials or fancy billboards, but instead, it’s due to how great the product is.
This is largely due to the power of word of mouth marketing, which is considered the holy grail of marketing because of it’s effectiveness.
Why is it so effective?
It’s effective because people trust what other people recommend. If I suggest a Zune mp3 player to a friend, I’m not recommending it because I’m getting something out of it. Microsoft doesn’t send me a check for recommending the Zune. A salesperson on the other hand does get paid, and people take anything that he says with a grain of salt.
In other words, we trust things that people recommend more than we trust what companies recommend. People we know are more trustworthy and don’t have ulterior motives.
So what’s the best way to tap into the power of word of mouth marketing? The answer is product marketing.
The objective of product marketing is to provide the best products possible so that people will recommend it to their friends. Whether it’s a physical product or service, if it’s awesome, people will recommend it. When they do, it’s much more effective than a billboard or commercial ever will be (to read more about this check out my first written for this blog titled “Why Your Product Needs to be Awesome“).
This doesn’t mean that you won’t ever need to do traditional forms of advertising or marketing. Apple still has T.V. commercials, magzine ads, etc. You will still need to advertise and make cold calls.
This is because traditional advertising and marketing increase awareness for your product. More people knowing about your product is good.
The difference is that if your product is good enough, you won’t have to rely solely on traditional advertising and marketing. Instead, your product will do the selling.
Back to the example of Apple, the success of iPods, iPhones, and Macbooks isn’t due to amazing commercials. Sure, the commercials are cool, but is that why people buy Apple products?
People buy Apple products because they are beautiful. They buy them because they are cool. They buy them because their friends have them, love them, and recommend them.
Lately I’ve been tempted to buy a Macbook, even though I personally dislike the idea. I don’t like trends and prefer instead to go against the grain.
So why would I buy a Macbook? I would buy one because every Macbook owner that I talk to says to get one. It’s that simple.
It’s not because I was convinced by Apple’s ads. It’s not really because I like Apple or want to like Apple. It’s because they’re product is so good, people recommend it.
Macbooks also happen to look really good.
Here’s the point: what made Apple successful was beautiful, exceptional products. It wasn’t persuasive ads or Steve Job’s salesmanship (although both of these are positive factors). It was beautiful products that were awesome.
So whether you have a cleaning service or an online retail company, how can you employ product marketing to increase your business success? How can you make your product awesome?