Marketing is quite important for any organization. It is through this that awareness about the existence of the organization among the relevant clients is made. It mainly involves getting to identify the customers who require the company’s products and or services, coming up with methods of informing them, satisfying and keeping them. It involves making strong customer relations and maintaining them. Different companies, therefore, use different marketing methods.
Marketing communication is quite important in the creation of brand recall. Companies are started to make sales, and therefore generating profits. For this to be achieved there should be constant communication between the service or good producing company and its clients. This is one of the main ways of building strong customer relations, thus trust and confidence (Blythe 2006, p. 234). The client is usually considered an asset to the company and should be satisfied with the goods and services he pays for. Where there are complaints that the company doesn’t address, and then it may lose the client to competitors. It should be noted that many companies are not monopolies; hence there will always be competitors in the market. The different competitors use different brand names. It is, therefore, a competition of brands, and therefore if a product is to gain standing and acceptance in the market besides the competition, effective market communication is needed.
This report looks into the marketing communication used by Apple. It looks at the external audience the company communicates with, the tools and media it uses, and evaluates the various methods used to communicate with one particular audience. It further assesses the company’s ethical and social responsibility policy. It concludes by recommending ways the company could improve its marketing communications.
Apple is an American multinational company, which was established in 1976. It is based in California.. It is licensed to design and manufacture computer software, consumer electronics, and commercially used servers. The Macintosh computers, iPods, iPhone, and iPad are some of the hardware products it produces. Some of the soft wares are Mac OSX operating, iTunes media browser, Aperture, logic, and final cut studios. The company operates retail shops in different countries. As of January 2010, it had 284 retail outlets within 10 countries. In addition, it also runs an online store for both hard and software. Due to the diversity of the products it produces, the clients are diverse and this calls for different communication tools (Egan 2007, p. 92).
The external audience of Apple Company
The company communicates with two major external audience major external audiences: agencies and customers. Agencies are responsible for conducting market research for the company as well as determine how the company is performing in the market. This means that the company has to keep close contact with this audience to be able to align its strategies with information it gets from the agencies. The second major group of audience the company is its customers which include the working group and the students. Among the working group, the company looks for the technology required, specifications needed by customers as well as designs. This ensures that they have come up with products that best suit their audience.
Professionals that are in the field of media and design also form a part of the target audience. These deal with shooting digital photos and video. People interested in fun associated with technology also form part of the audience. The middle and upper earners and those who love technology fun form the biggest part of the target audience. They can appreciate design and are not interested in carrying CDs around. The range finds its market in mp3 players, audio and sound systems. Their popularity is on the rise especially amongst travelers, teenagers, students, and fitness fanatics. In the recent past, they have also found a market amongst professionals (Carbone 2008, par. 2).
Communication tools used by Apple Company
There are several communication tools used in market communication. These are advertising, leaflets, and promotional giveaways. The company comes up with numerous leaflets that are supplied to its customers. These leaflets clearly outline products manufactured and sold by the company. Through this method, the company can harness its potential customers as well as increasing the purchase rate of its incumbent customers. In some instances, Apple Company uses promotional giveaways as a method of attracting and retaining its customers. Various products such as iPhones are given to customers for free or after participating in a minor exercise. Through this method, potential customers get an opportunity to use its products before deciding on whether to purchase its products (Pogue & Schorr 2003, pp. 143-152).
Another tool used is an advertisement. Apples’ success in the use of this tool has been attributed to the ability to use humor combined with honesty and presenting their products as classy and trendy with an alternative sociable image. The effective advertisement goes all the way to post purchasing. Apple has succeeded in this, especially in the ‘mac’ campaign. Its advertisement campaigns have been distinct. The packaging of a product is a marketing tool. Apple has maintained a trend of uncompromised aesthetic packaging of its hardware products.
Students as the particular key target for the company
Students make one of the major consumers of apple products. The desire for students to go with technology makes them the major audience for the company. There is a tendency of students to make use of new products whenever they come across them. This leads to Apple Company coming up with new products regularly to cater to this group. As this group has no regular source of income, the company comes up with quality and cheap products to help them afford. To access this group of audience, Apple Company uses various modes of communication and these include advertising through different electronic and print media. It also prepares questionnaires that are sent to students with the prospect of getting feedback from them on features they would like to be incorporated into their products. The company sends a direct e-mail to students informing them of its latest products and the discounts it is offering on the products. Apple has established a website through which students make their requests about features they would like to see in different products. Other methods used by the company to attract students include offering them products at a higher discount than other consumers as well as giving them a one-year warrant for products they buy. At the beginning of term, students are issued with free products from the company.
Social and ethical responsibilities of Apple Company
For a long time, most companies have not been able to keep to their social and ethical responsibilities. The social responsibility of Apple Company deals with ensuring that employees are treated well in the company and all their well-being is taken care of. This goes beyond adhering to terms and conditions of employment to recognizing their employees as human beings. The company ensures that all employees in various departments are treated equally concerning the number of hours every employee works for. In 2006, a newspaper in the United States reported that one of Apple’s branches in China responsible for manufacturing iPods was abusing its employees. They were forced to work overtime and the company accommodated them in congested rooms. These made the company respond by sending a team of experts to investigate the matter and take the necessary measures. Apple Company communicates its social responsibilities in the company by enquiring from employees about problems they encounter when conducting their duties within the company. All employee complaints are addressed accordingly and with immediate effect (Carbone 2008, para. 6).
The company is responsible for ensuring the health and safety of its employees at all the time. This is by making sure that their working environment is free from any elements that may pose threat to employee safety or health. At times, company management may not be able to identify all these hazards. This is the reason why the company has asked its employees to always be willing to report any health or safety problem they experience in the company. Maintaining ethical and social responsibilities within Apple Company does not only build the company’s image to the employees. It also makes its customers loyal to the company. This is the reason why the company insists on its suppliers demonstrating ethical responsibilities when dealing with customers.
Recommendations on methods of improving marketing communication
As development in technology continually improving, demand for products such as computers, iPhones, and iPods is also increasing. Different companies are also in need of software that will help them in improving their sales. This means that there is still a wide market that Apple Company has not been able to access. Apart from using merchandising, sales promotion, exhibition, and packaging, the company needs to make use of e-marketing. As Apple’s products are not only sold locally, it requires having a communication tool that will help it reach the international market. Development in technology has led to people establishing social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Currently, many people make use of these social networks per day. To improve its communication, Apple Company should advertise its products through these social network sites. This will help the company reach some of the potential buyers who could not be aware of the products it offers (Yeshin 2006, pp. 127-143).
The company will also benefit from the numerous techniques employed by e-marketing in putting across an advertisement. At times customers may assume advertisement boards or fail to recognize the packaging used by the company. However, e-marketing ensures that it presents its advertisements in a way it catches the eyes of all customers regardless of whether they make use of the product being advertised. In this way, Apple Company will be able to improve its market share. As every household owns a mobile phone, advertising its products through mobile phones would help the company reach a wide range of audiences. Apple also needs to focus on developing more advanced software for game players. Engaging in public activities is another method that the company needs to use to increase its communication.
Blythe, J., 2006, Marketing Communications (3rd Ed). London: FT Prentice Hall.
Carbone, J., 2008, “Corporate Social Responsibility Report: Buyers audit suppliers’ ethics”, Web.
Egan, J., 2007, Marketing Communications. London: Thomson Learning.
Pogue, D. & Schorr, J., 2003, Macworld Macintosh SECRETS. San Mateo: IDG Books Worldwide, Inc.
Yeshin, T., 2006, Advertising. London: Thomson Learning.