How Apple Manages E-Marketing - An Analytical Assessment Dissertation

Length: 50 pages Sources: 88 Subject: Business - Advertising Type: Dissertation Paper: #47510835 Related Topics: Memes, 3m, Tesla, Dissertation
Excerpt from Dissertation :

¶ … E-Marketing Strategies at Apple

Orchestrating rapid new product development cycles that in many cases deliver products and services that create new markets, while at the same ensuring the continual strengthening and fidelity of a global brand is a daunting strategic challenge. Incorporating the most effective approaches to Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) strategies today across a spectrum of established and emerging e-marketing channels must be managed with goals in mind first, and guided to fruition using analytics and metrics (Strategic Direction, 2011). These strategic challenges are what Apple faces daily in orchestrating its broad product mix, keeping its new product development and introduction (NPDI) process, IMC, e-marketing, selling, highly profitable retailing and services business units tightly integrated and functioning well together (Cusumano, 2008). Of the several catalysts that keep Apple functioning so effectively as an ecosystem, the tightly synchronized nature of its IMC strategies are by far the ones that scale the quickest, deliver the greater lead generation, ensuring lead generation and ultimately sales across all market segment served (Wonglimpiyarat, 2012).

With Apple's IMC strategies being essential to their continued profitable growth across all distribution channels they compete in, tracking their effectiveness is crucial to the future success of the company. The goal of this dissertation is to evaluate the effectiveness of e-marketing campaigns at Apple within the context of their IMC framework which is considered one of the best in the field of marketing (Caemmerer, 2009). The IMC framework Apple relies on to orchestrate e-marketing strategies is specifically designed to scale or flex to the unique requirements or needs of each individual new product launch strategy. Apple has also designed their IMC framework to allow for inclusion or exclusion of specific elements from their broad base of e-marketing applications, strategies and tools. Unifying all of these elements together is Google Analytics, a cloud-based analytics platform that provides Apple senior management, marketing, sales and market research teams with the insights they need to create new campaigns (Apple Investor Relations, 2015). Apple has a very analytics-driven culture that thrives on dashboards that provide new insights into marketing campaigns. With Google Analytics providing the baseline measures of broader e-marketing performance, Apple also relies on Salesforce globally to orchestrate their lead generation, selling and service strategies. HubSpot, the cloud-based marketing automation application, is used for generating e-mail blasts, defining new campaigns, and measuring them, measuring the impact of social media campaigns, and defining personas that are used throughout the selling process. The tight orchestration of Google Analytics, HubSpot, Salesforce and the many Apple websites is what forms the foundation of the analytics reporting system for the company. E-marketing effectiveness is measured across each of these systems with dashboards created containing specific key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics of performance for determining which campaigns are the highest and lowest-performing. Further, Apple has an extensive level of self-service Business Intelligence (BI) software created on their own operating systems, providing managers, directors and executives with real-time updates on their specific areas of responsibility and interest. Apple therefore pushes accountability and responsibility deep into their organizations globally, which is one of the primary determinants of how effective the company is at launching new products (Abetti, 1996). The analytics platforms that Apple relies on for evaluating e-marketing effectiveness are so effective, Apple Engineering, Supply Chain Management (SCM), Professional Services and Retail Services are starting to adopt the analytics applications based on Google Analytics, Salesforce, HubSpot and website data.

Apple's heavy reliance on analytics makes measuring their e-marketing effectiveness more effective than any other competitor in the consumer electronics markets they compete in. Benchmarking each phase of their e-marketing campaigns provides the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), Marketing Vice Presidents, Directors and managers needed information to best understand how to price, promote and reposition when necessary each product they sell (ABA Journal, 1990).

Apple has moved quickly beyond the four Ps of marketing in their analysis of e-marketing effectiveness too. Using the combination of their websites tailored to each nation they sell into. Apple operates stores in 16 countries and has their web-based online store available in 39 stores (Apple Investor Relations, 2015). Using Google Analytics and website traffic in each of these nations gives Apple marketers the opportunity to better define the 4 Ps of marketing for each country. Apple learned by doing this that each product also has a definite lifecycle that varies by nation too. The sales of MacBook Airs and the latest iPad may skyrocket in the U.S. And western...

...

While the U.S. And western nations drive the majority of revenue in the early phases of any new product launch, foreign nations have significantly longer product lifecycles. Apple discovered this from their e-marketing effectiveness metrics that showed the U.S. And western nation launches gaining sales at a 3X to 4X accelerating rate then quickly moving to a growth state of the product life cycle. In foreign nations, Apple was seeing a less rapid rate of sales, but the products stayed in the growth phase far longer (Zahra, Chaples, 1993). The lesson learned was that Apple products sell differently across the 4 Ps of the product mix depending on the specific cultural aspects of the markets they are selling into (Strategic Direction, 2004). The product, price, promotion and place of Apple strategies are today dictated to a large extent by the analytics and insights gained from their reliance on e-marketing effectiveness measures. Apple product marketing and the CMO's office has become so adept at using these advanced analytics tools to evaluate and continually track performance that they can now define the price elasticity of demand for specific products by category by nation (Bangert, 2013). According to interviews published with current and previous C-level executives at Apple, the CMOs often remark how effective their pricing strategies have become by concentrating on the price curves or price elasticity of their products. Apple executives during these interviews make no apologies for realizing their products are highly inelastic, or not driven by price declines. Instead, they realize the value they sell, often defined by initial customer surveys to begin with, is what drives the success of new products (International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 1999) (Wines,1996). All of these insights are possible for Apple due to their heavy investment in e-marketing effectiveness measurement software. Integrating their Salesforce, HubSpot, Google Analytics and wide variety of websites together is delivering insights and intelligence that gives the company greater ability to respond quickly to changing market and customer needs. This dissertation critically analyzes the current state of IMC strategies from the standpoint of e-marketing effectiveness. Apple has a very unique structure of its IMC framework which further allows for greater flexibility and agility in defining new marketing indicatives. In determining the e-marketing effectiveness of the company, understanding the IMC framework is essential. That aspect of their business model is covered in the Literature Review.

Literature Review

Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) frameworks continue to go through a rapid maturation as their role as a strong catalyst used for unifying advertising, public relations, marketing, selling and service communications strategies continues to accelerate in all industries (Anwar, 2014). Nowhere is this more prevalent than in high tech, where tight synchronization of every aspect of marketing strategies is essential for the successful completion of complex marketing strategies. Apple's IMC framework is tightly integrated to its Google Analytics platform which generates key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics of performance from the many websites, HubSpot e-marketing campaigns that are running concurrently on a global level, in addition to the broad cross-section of e-marketing campaigns that are Web-based.

The Apple IMC framework relies on analytics to gain greater insight into each campaigns' performance over time. What differentiates the Apple IMC framework from many others is also the integration with financial data from the company's accounting systems as well. It is common to find IMC frameworks that have the capacity to measure overall effectiveness in attaining Return on Investment (ROI) performance by marketing campaign. While this area of IMC frameworks is still evolving, Apple has found a method for capturing the cost per lead across all e-marketing campaigns. This is one of the most valuable sources of data, as the cost per lead can be quickly used for prioritizing which specific e-marketing strategies are the most and least effective. Rank ordering the specific e-marketing channels by the number of leads produced, knowing the cost per lead, and also creating a trend line of these costs over time all give Apple a competitive advantage that is difficult to overcome by its smaller and less well-financed competitors.

During the process of completing this literature review, key insights were gained of the broader IMC frameworks in use today. There are also many studies of the future direction of IMC frameworks as well, and insights gained form these studies are also included. An IMC framework has varying definitions and its role as a foundation for evaluating e-marketing…

Sources Used in Documents:

Bibliography

Apple, Investor Relations (2015). Investor Relations. Retrieved July 7, 2015, from Apple Investor Relations and Filings with the SEC Web site: http://www.apple.com/investor/

"The TV game: how will Apple, Netflix, Hulu and Time Warner play?," 2011, Strategic Direction, vol. 27, no. 8, pp. 5-7.

"BlackBerry still a favorite tasty treat," 2009, Strategic Direction, vol. 25, no. 5, pp. 5-7.

"In from the cold," 2008, Strategic Direction, vol. 24, no. 3, pp. 13-16.


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