Whoever saw the iPad launch recently will appreciate the critical role of Apple’s strategic marketing plan. In fact, Steve Jobs delivered a presentation so informal it seemed there was no marketing involved at all. He came onstage with jeans and spoke with a carefree, matter-of-fact attitude. And, frankly, that’s what was so effective about it.
So let’s see what was really going on behind the scenes with the effective marketing and business strategic planning for the iPad. First off, Apple performed a thorough competitive marketing analysis of the e-reader/netbook arena and concluded that there was room for something different. They also identified a need to adjust their positioning strategy and update their marketing plan from the “Think Different” slogan since the company had shifted to become the No. 1 provider for mobile computing.
For the iPad in particular, Apple focused on identifying the requirements of their target market with a thorough competitive marketing analysis and market research, which saw them developing a device that answers the dreams of a modern, on-the-go business people. They branded the product inline with their other products (iPod, iMac, iPhone), giving it the same look and feel, and much of the same functionality.
In the presentation, you’ll see Steve Jobs demoing photo libraries which appear haphazardly arranged. This apparently random selection is anything but random, and is actually part of an ingenious overarching marketing work that was prepared well before the launch of the iPad. The Web browsing demo and the iPad gaming capabilities are directly linked to deals with leading partners, book publishers, newspaper publishers, and leading mobile/gaming applications that were negotiated in advance. Such partnerships are, after all, part of good business strategic planning to block the competition.
But, during all of this, where was Amazon? The answer is nowhere. Amazon was not on guard to receive such a tremendously successful launch from Apple. While Amazon now holds 60% of the e-reader market share, they failed to leverage their existing relationships with those same publishers as part of their own strategic marketing plan before the launch of the iPad. Instead they butted heads with some associated companies, severing relationships.
Now that the ground is falling out from underneath Amazon, they have announced the purchase of a touch-screen company, clearly looking to update the Kindle with the same touch functionality as the iPad. They are also looking to tempt publishers with a higher commission percentage. Imagine how much damage might have been avoided had they employed this competitive marketing analysis last year, in preparation for the Apple launch.As today’s market evolves faster than ever, you don’t want to be left behind. Don’t risk losing market share! Conduct competitive marketing analysis well ahead of time to equip yourself with the proper strategic view, an effective product launch, and successful market penetration.
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