Apple - An iPod IMC Plan
The Apple iPod is huge. For the company to continue this success, I wrote an a sample IMC plan in late 2004 for my Direct Marketing class at West Virginia University. All content is © 2004-05 Peter Graber. Executive Summary
A major retailing story this holiday shopping season - especially in consumer electronics - is Apple's iPod portable digital music player. News reports released yesterday by Reuters point to expectations that Apple will double sales of the previous quarter, possibly selling over 4 million units. The iPod might be the biggest holiday 'must have' since the Cabbage Patch doll or the Rubik's Cube. Even at these levels, the player and its related consumables (music) account for over 25% of the company's revenue. To build on this momentum, the following integrated marketing communications plan seeks to educate creative consumers about the benefits, convenience and practicality of iPod use and ownership. The plan assumes that Apple will introduce a player at a lower price point than the current iPod mini, which should attract a new segment of users. For existing iPod owners - approximately 10 million to date - the plan also seeks to engage this segment further. Because a large percentage of the iPod user base has only recently purchased the player, significant opportunity exists in the areas of music downloads, accessories and related services. These all help Apple's bottom line. Brand Background
Apple Computer has long been known as the world's most innovative personal computer company. Many of its products - both past and present - are credited with helping to shape how people use and interact with personal computers. Apple began in 1976 and was founded by current CEO Steven Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ron Wayne. After a successful start with the trailblazing Apple II in 1977, the company went on to introduce the Apple Macintosh in 1984, a product that featured a new and revolutionary operating system, along with a series of easy to understand metaphors like the "trashcan", the "note", and many others. This introduced mass-market consumers to the convenience and ease-of-use of a graphical user interface and changed the nature of personal computing. The whole personal computer industry would follow Apple's lead. Unfortunately, many of Apples accomplishments in terms of product design and development have been overshadowed by the dominance of the Microsoft Windows operating system. Ironically, the personal computer revolution that Apple helped create largely bypassed the company. While the company was quickly embraced by the creative industries through its early focus on desktop publishing and media creation, business and home users predominantly chose the Microsoft platform because it was cheaper, more widely used, offered greater software selections and was easier to acquire. Apple's worldwide operating system market share peaked in 1986 at 16%, but is currently estimated to be less than 3%. Aside from these issues, Apple continues to leverage its innovation skills to create new opportunities. A recent example of this has been the Apple iPod, a portable digital music player introduced by the company with tremendous success. To date, the iPod commands over 90% of the market for digital music players. Dovetailing with this success is Apple's groundbreaking iTunes Music Store (ITMS) - the first service to offer legally purchasable digital music downloads. Since its launch in April of last year, over 200 million songs have been purchased and downloaded through the service. These numbers are expected to increase along with greater numbers of iPod users. Because of the iPod and the iTunes service, Apple has witnessed a huge increase in the number of new users to its products and has created a strong channel to drive further revenue growth. Beyond revenue, however, these developments suggest that Apple can maintain relevance to consumers in new ways, ones not strictly centered on their...
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