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Steve Jobs’ Blueprint for Revolutionary Marketing

“1,000 songs in your pocket” isn’t just clever, it’s genius

Let’s Face It, Marketing Is Boring

It’s unoriginal, uninspiring, and often a blatant regurgitation of old campaigns — maybe with a tiny new twist, just to keep management and clients happy.

At least, most marketing.

Apple’s Cure for the Common Marketing Campaign

When Apple announced the first iPod, they launched a campaign revolving around a tagline people still talk about today.

“1,000 songs in your pocket”

Simple. Clear. Concise.

When Steve Jobs delivered the keynote on October 2001, he welcomed in a new era for Apple products.

The iPod dominated the market and became an instant best-seller, subsequently fueling iTunes to climb as one of the world’s top music platforms.

Most importantly, with the iPod launch, Steve Jobs established a blueprint for influential, revolutionary marketing.

And over the next nine years, Steve Jobs led Apple to launch several more market-dominating products, and those efforts eventually made it America’s first trillion-dollar company.

How Did They Do It?

Let’s zoom out real quick. What separates outstandingremarkablemarketing from the averageboring campaigns everyone else creates?

Is it simply better design, more money, more research, more color optimization? Maybe a sprinkle of magic fairy dust?

Or is it something else? Something deeper.

Could there be some shared DNA found in great marketing? Some distinct quality that can be dissected and replicated?

The real difference between “okay” and “amazing”

Marketing campaigns should be remarkable. And the best ones are.

They get people talking. And best of all — like the iPod — they get people buying. They become fuel for more product development and company growth (iMac, iPad, Macbook Air, etc.). The most impactful marketing campaigns share one thing:

They focus on the customer.

Rather than focusing on the company or the product features, they put their focus on the customer.

Apple’s blueprint for marketing through empathy

Fun fact: the iPod wasn’t the first or arguably even the best MP3 player on the market when it launched in 2001. Plenty of competitors were already selling similar products in the same exact space.

But do you remember any other flagship MP3 players? You’ll probably have to think for a few seconds.

When Apple announced and marketed the iPod, they didn’t talk about how many gigabytes of storage their player had. They didn’t talk about the screen size or the cool scrolling technique they’d developed. Those are all great features and definitely worth including in the documentation, but for the main message of the product? No way.

They needed something that would set them apart from the competition.

So they went straight to the consumer’s psychology to develop their campaign. They looked deeper and asked: What problem does this solve for our customer? And how do we clearly, concisely articulate that?

The answer:

“1,000 songs in your pocket.”

Apple built a product that was well-designed, worked great, and most importantly — they marketed it with a clear benefit to the customer.

Let’s talk more about that blueprint…

It all boils down to those two questions.

1. What problem does this solve for our customer?

Today’s consumers may not remember the days before iPods (and maybe even before iPhones), but before the iPod and other MP3 players, we had big, bulky CD players (and before that, even bigger cassette players — but those were largely obsolete by the time the iPod came around).

MP3 players solved the problem of lugging around a sleeve full of CDs and having to switch them out of the player, only being able to have so many with you at a time.

And they solved that problem by offering the ability to digitally store and listen to your library of music in a much smaller, easily portable device. All you had to do was choose a brand and an amount of storage.

And that was the problem no one saw.

2. And how do we clearly, concisely articulate how we solve that problem?

The market for MP3 players had a simple problem that no one even realized: people couldn’t easily visualize how much music would fit in 1, 2, 5, or 10 GB.

What did Apple do?

“1,000 songs in your pocket.”

They solved that problem then dominated. Period. By taking an empathetic view of their customers, they were able to see their current frustration with both the old problem of CDs and with the hidden problem of MP3 players’ marketing.

Most marketing messaging answers the first half of the blueprint but fails to answer the second half. The second half is where the magic happens.

How Do You Sell More?

Follow Apple’s example:

Clearly and concisely show what problem you are solving and how.

With their famous tagline, Apple clearly and concisely explained how their product succeeded where others failed.

Apple’s campaign actually said:

  • You don’t need a bulky CD player. You don’t need to worry about scratching CDs. You don’t need a portfolio full of CDs. You don’t need any technical knowledge to calculate storage.
  • Just answer one question: do you have less than 1,000 favorite songs?
  • Yes? Then all you need is an iPod —

— The simplest way to carry 1,000 songs in your pocket.


What Can You Do?

What can we take away from this? Taking our cue from Apple and Steve Jobs’ example, we should start to think about both how our products improve our customers’ lives and how we can clearly articulate that benefit using language our customers understand and that doesn’t leave them confused, asking questions.

We don’t want our customers to say, “What does that mean? I don’t even know where to start.”

We just want them to say, “I get it. And I want it.”

Now, take Steve Jobs’ blueprint:

  1. What problem does your product or service solve for your customer?
  2. And how do you clearly, concisely articulate that?

Source : Medium