Apple is on the list of Fortune 500 companies, positioned at number 5 in 2014. They manufacture and sell products that have become very popular with the public. Some of their products are Ipad, Ipod, Iphone, Icloud, Imovies, watches, Mac, Apple TV and accessories for their products, to name a few. Even though their products are expensive, they have managed to maintain their market share over the years by creating innovative applications and continuously upgrading their products. On their website, Apple has chosen to include tutorials on how to use each of their products with videos and other infomercials that are aimed at engaging their customers.
The main aim of the website was to allow consumers to validate their new product offerings, but has also solicited insights and new ideas from customers. They have provided e-commerce capabilities for their customers. “eCommerce has radically transformed some industries. Perhaps most radically affected have been those industries where the product itself can be delivered via the Internet (e.g, music, software, and, increasingly, movies)”(Fox, 2006). The creation of the internet was primarily for education and military purposes, it was never intended to serve the purpose that it now does, one of networking, communication and money maker.
Advertising online has caught on like the proverbial “hot bread,” but the inclusion of spam mails have made it a literal nightmare for many. Spam mails are used as advertising tools; approximately 85% of the mails that people receive are spam mails and the effectiveness that they provide in selling, or even promoting products is very low. The first advertisement that appeared online was in 1994 and this prompted the start of online advertising as we know it today. It was primarily an experiment that was carried out by publishers and advertisers and pioneered on the formats for the ads, coupled with technology. One of the very first technologies for serving ads was formed, it was called DoubleClick. From inception, advertisers were aware that advertising online was different from the traditional ways in which people advertised. They performed researches into their target markets, but the media was a misunderstood tool (Kotler & Armstrong, 2010). It was not until several years afterwards, that the mechanics and effectiveness of the medium was fully understood.
Apple provides information on the development of, and effective handling of their products, the way in which customers’ personal information that they collect is dealt with and why it is collected. They provide updates about the level of privacy that Apple provides on an annual basis and highlights the changes if any are made. They provide a great customer experience through their website. They provide a straightforward business model, the software was designed to improve upon their devices. They also have iAd, which is geared at advertisers. The iAd network provides information on their business model to app developers as a way of supporting their endeavor.
Their plans for expanding their knowledge center is to use blog mining and ethnography, as well as experiments with new techniques. They have also chosen to revamp their current methods in new and exciting ways. They plan to maintain a competitive edge by relaxing he rules of engagement that they have with customers. Their aim is to tap into their customers’ minds to get the products that they need from feedback that is provided on their website. To focus on their customers’ unmet needs in order to interpret and design new products, or perform the product upgrade that they need. While the research that they traditionally conducted provides an essential base, it is not needed to create a competitive edge, so they are now using a different thought pattern to engage their customers. Apple’s approach of combining the data that they collect for insights is now coupled with experiments of non-traditional and untried approaches to create innovative products.
Fox, M. (2006). Introduction to special issue #6: Commercial applications of the Internet. First Monday, 0(0). doi:10.5210/fm.v0i0.1578
Kotler, P., & Armstrong, G. (2010). Principles of marketing. Harlow [etc.]: Pearson custom publ.