From a Marketing Head to a Fellow: Check out how one marketer helped this tech giant become the company it is now! [Monday: Marketing Marvels]
Miles Everson’s Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more.
A Note from Miles Everson:
Happy Monday, everyone!
Let’s start this week with a dose of inspiration from one of the world’s greatest marketers a.k.a. “Marketing Marvels.”
As business owners and leaders, marketers, communicators, and independent professionals, I believe it’s good for us to gain motivation and fresh ideas from these “Marvels” by learning about their work, experiences, and insights.
In today’s article, let’s focus on a prominent figure in the world’s leading tech giant: Apple.
Keep reading to know more about this marketer’s expertise and contributions to make Apple the company it is now.
CEO, MBO Partners
Chairman of the Advisory Board, The I Institute
Tech giant Apple started out as a company that designed and built personal computers.
Its first successful product was the Apple II computer, a device that stood out from the competition with features such as a cell-based colored screen, efficient design, and great computing capabilities.
One of the advantages that made the brand stand out?
While other tech companies introduced new hardware and software, Apple focused on innovating existing technology.
This enabled the company to create new features and dynamic designs for its products, keeping them competitive AND easily recognizable.
Aside from its innovations, Apple became memorable for its marketing strategies and great marketing minds. One of the company’s prominent figures in this department is…
Schiller is one of the primary voices at Apple. As the company’s former Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing for 30 years and now an Apple Fellow, he makes sure all his works get consumers excited about the brand’s innovations and products.
He’s also one of the leaders who are not shy to defend, stand up for, and help Apple improve. As CEO Tim Cook said,
“Schiller has helped make Apple the company it is today, and his contributions are broad, vast, and run-deep.”
Let’s talk a little bit about Schiller’s history.
Schiller has been working at Apple since 1997, but this wasn’t the first time he joined the company. While he mostly works in the area of technology and marketing, his expertise and career background are wide-ranging…
Schiller graduated from Boston College in 1982 with a degree in Biology. Shortly after leaving college, he shifted from biology to technology and he became a programmer and systems analyst at the Massachusetts General Hospital.
In 1985, he became an IT manager at consulting firm Nolan Norton & Co. He didn’t stay long in that company, though. In 1987, he joined Apple for the first time―Apple in the years without Steve Jobs.
A year after working at the tech company, Schiller earned the job title, “Techno Rambo in Apple’s new Business Multimedia Group.” This was after he demonstrated an interactive presentation tool built with Apple’s Hypercard and Macromedia’s Videoworks.
In 1993, he left Apple and moved to work at fire protection equipment supplier FirePower Systems as the Director of Product Marketing. Then, in 1995, he transferred to software company Macromedia as the Vice President of Product Marketing.
Schiller didn’t last long in these companies either. In 1997, he was back at Apple where he instantly became a member of the tech company’s team of executives.
During his second tenure, the first thing he did was create a click wheel for the iPod. Before that innovation, rival MP3 players all required users to repeatedly tap a Next or Down button to scroll through their playlists. Schiller said he wanted users to have a one-handed way to scroll through music quickly, and so he came up with the click wheel.
This may now be forgotten as smartphones have replaced the once illustrious iPod. However, this is known to be one of Schiller’s stepping stones in his career at Apple.
Here’s one of the hit marketing campaigns the company created under Schiller’s leadership as SVP of Worldwide Marketing:
The “Get a Mac” campaign!
The Apple Macintosh a.k.a. “Mac” is the company’s line of personal computers. It’s one of the main products that generally sold better than its competitors. However, in the early 2000s, Mac sales started to decline.
To help improve the product’s sales, Apple created a unique marketing campaign that enabled consumers to know the Mac much better.
What exactly was the deliverable of the campaign?
A TV commercial!
The ad featured actor Justin Long playing the personified version of the Mac. Meanwhile, humorist John Hodgman played the personified version of an unbranded PC.
Both actors pointed out what makes their characters better. Long talked about the features of the Mac, while Hodgman talked about the features of the PC.
The commercial was simple yet communicated the message. It showed consumers why the Mac is the more exciting choice.
For example: Long emphasized that the Mac has built-in features that protects its software from viruses, spyware, etc. He also talked about how consumers can get a Mac and still run their Windows stuff on the Apple computer.
The best part about this marketing campaign?
It was soooooooo effective that Apple recorded a 40% growth in Mac sales in 2006!
Additionally, from 2006 to 2009, the campaign helped Apple secure net income increases each year:
- 2006 – USD 2 billion
- 2007 – USD 3.5 billion
- 2008 – USD 6.1 billion
- 2009 – USD 8.2 billion
See? The “Get a Mac” campaign is just one out of the many marketing strategies made under Schiller’s leadership. This shows that he is indeed an effective leader and marketer and that his contributions to the company are truly helpful.
Despite being mostly on the marketing side of Apple, Schiller’s role has never been simply about taking whatever product he’s given and making a nice poster of it.
He knows marketing, innovation, and design are deeply rooted within the company and so he makes sure his works as a marketing head for 3 decades are centered around these things.
Because of his significant contributions, Apple promoted him to Apple Fellow in August 2020. Schiller now reports directly to CEO Tim Cook, who said the newest Fellow will “continue to provide the incredible thought partnership and guidance that have defined his decades at Apple.”
We hope Schiller’s experiences and contributions at Apple give you motivation as you pursue your own career!
With passion, creativity, and dedication towards your work, you will be one step closer in achieving the goals you’ve set for yourself.
… and not just that!
In creating marketing campaigns that appeal to consumers, you not only help a business boost its sales and connect with customers, but you also boost your personal branding and help yourself develop the right skills to thrive in the industry.
Have a great start to the week!
(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.)
About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Monday Marketing Marvels”
Too often, industry experts and the marketing press sing the praises of some brand or company’s marketing strategy.
… only for the audience to later find out that its product was a flop, or worse, that the brand or company went bankrupt.
The true ROI in marketing can’t be separated from the business as a whole.
What good is a marketing case study if one can’t prove that the company’s efforts actually paid off?
At the end of the day, either the entire business is successful or it isn’t. And the roles of marketing and communication are always paramount to that success.
Every Monday, we publish a case study that highlights the world’s greatest marketing strategies, marketers, and communicators.
However, the difference between our articles and the numerous ones out there is that we will always make certain that the firm really did generate and demonstrate earning power worthy of study in the first place (compliments of Valens Research’s finance group) in keeping with a person’s leadership skills in the area of marketing and/or communication.
We’ll also study the greatest marketing fails and analyze what they did wrong, or what they needed to improve. We all make our mistakes, but better we learn from others’ mistakes—and earlier, rather than later.
Hope you found this week’s marketing marvel interesting and helpful.
Stay tuned for next week’s Monday Marketing Marvels!
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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