Event marketing is a promotional activity that involves hosting or participating in an event to showcase a new product, inform or educate attendees, engage with potential customers, attract media and public attention, or build and maintain relationships with different stakeholders. Events are an integral part of the promotion mix and greater marketing strategy of Apple. These are also part of its public relations strategy.
Key Principles in and Lessons From the Event Marketing Activities of Apple: How the Company Uses Events as Part of Its Promotion Strategy
Apple mounts and hosts trade shows and conferences to introduce new products or inform its stakeholders about product-related developments. Its Apple Special Event is held each year to introduce refreshed generations of products like iPhone and MacBook while its Worldwide Developers Conference is a dedicated information technology conference that showcases new technologies and software to developers and other relevant stakeholders.
Events have been essential to the success of Apple because of the amount of media coverage that they receive and public interest that they generate. The company is one of the few organizations that have demonstrated maximum utilization of the advantages of event marketing. Its events not only promote its products or brand but also help in fostering relationships with its customers and other relevant stakeholders like media organizations and business partners.
Below are key the principles explaining how Apple approaches event marketing:
• Create Excitement and Speculations Before an Event: Apple is a master of buzz marketing. Brand equity is one of its strengths and a source of its competitive advantage. Its events naturally attract attention. However, despite this, its PR strategy takes into consideration its specific influencer marketing. Apple builds and maintains relationships with media organizations and content creators through exclusive albeit limited access to information and actual event invites. These digital influencers help in drumming up interest and speculations about its upcoming events.
• Speak the Language that the Audience Can Understand: The company uses words like “faster” or “better” to describe the hardware performance and “longer” or “bigger” to describe the battery performance of its newer-generation devices. It refrains from using technical terminologies or jargon to avoid overwhelming its audience. Using simple terms allows easier digestion of marketing messages and makes it events relatable to the people. This is essential in keeping its audience interested and informed.
• Use Compelling Storytelling and Enticing Visuals: Apple events are experiential. The company further demonstrates its expertise in event marketing through the use of compelling storytelling and enticing visuals when describing new products or announcing relevant developments. The entire presentation is a narrative. Products are launched using palatable descriptions and graphical images or visual aids that allow its audience to understand new product features and benefits.
• Recognize the Importance of Creating Production Value: Producing events involves creative and technical expertise. A particular event is evaluated by its production value or overall creative and technical merits. Apple ensures that its events have the highest production value through the use of audio-visual content, proper sound engineering, a suitable choice for event settings and venues, and even the overall look of its presenters to positively impact the experience and engagement of its audience.
• Generate and Sustain Public Interest After Each Event: The entire event marketing strategy of Apple does not end with the event itself. The company needs to generate and sustain interest after an event commences. This involves lifting product embargo that would allow media organizations and digital influencers to publish product-relevant content like previews, reactions, and reviews, rolling out ads on limited channels, and publishing relevant content on its social media platforms.
• Complement Event with Other Promotional Activities: It is important to underscore the fact that creating excitement and speculation before an event and generating and sustaining interest after the event involve the use of different promotional tactics and activities. The company utilizes integrated marketing communication to create a coherent marketing campaign built around a particular event. The entire promotional mix is a critical element of the specific event marketing strategy of Apple.