5 things #Applelive meant for marketing

While the world remains abuzz with the recent product launches by Apple, the brand unveiled its long-anticipated smartwatch. The watch integrates features of an iPhone onto a smaller screen. Meanwhile, the recently launched iPhone 6 boasts a larger screen than its predecessors, along with the iPhone 6 Plus which has an even bigger 5.5-inch screen. The products also promise to have longer battery life for an additional $100.

On its digital wallet front, Apple has called its new payment system Apple Pay. This will allow consumers to use their phone cameras to capture a photo of their cards and Apple will help verify it and add it to the phone’s Passbook account, it said.

While no doubt innovative, what do these products mean for the marketing industry? Industry experts weigh in on some of the lessons we can learn from these products.

Here are some key takeaways from the advertising industry:

1. Personalisation is key

“While the world marvels at the shiny new toys out now, what stood out to me was a tangible shift from attention to details to attention to personalisation. This future space now is meaningful personalisation for unlimited experiences,” says Joshua Kwah, director of strategy and growth at SMG Singapore.

Kwah says “classic Apple behaviour” talks about the purity of its design, with consumers at the heart of everything it creates. This episode shows a dramatic emphasis on enabling consumers to do more that matters to them.

He also gave three key tips on how brands can personalise experiences:

  • Involve consumers in co-creating content, not just consuming content.
  • Collaborate with opinion leaders in experience design, not just experience amplification.
  • Talk about examples of personalisation, not just expanding on price tactics.

2. Incite curiosity in consumers

Simon Bell, executive director of strategy for Southeast Asia and Pacific at Landor, says that originally these events were designed to update enthusiasts and analysts. However, over time this has shifted and these events now serve to update and inspire a broad range of consumers.

“These events have become the ultimate form of branded content. It’s like Super Bowl on steroids with the coverage the brand receives on and offline. This is an interesting perspective and it aims to preload and tease consumers with possible products/new technologies,” Bell says.

3. Always-first mentality not a must

Interestingly, adds Bell, Apple usually waits for its competitors to “play their hands” first, then responds.

“By example, only now are we seeing Apple’s watches. Samsung and Motorola launched their models some time ago. This approach allows Apple to de-position other products and in a sense make them irrelevant,” Bell says.

Kwah also adds while “Apple may appear to critics as laggards in technology” the attention to personalisation and simplicity is definitely a lucrative long-term strategy to entrench and fortify the company for years to come.

4. Data is here to stay

Meanwhile, Laurent Thevenet, technology director of Proximity Singapore, says that thanks to Apple’s UX simplicity, this new device could result in a large number of consumers starting to track their health data. Coming full circle to Kwah’s point on personalisation, he adds data collection will be much easier when consumers can relate to the devices.

“We will be able to use the data through Apple’s existing HealthKit to bring an even higher level of personalisation in our work. Apple’s HealthKit, which was announced at the last WWDC in June, centralises and shares health data in between apps.”

5. A push for NFC

While the new form and scale of the iPhone 6 is nothing new, Apple’s involvement will provide a good boost to the industry in terms of awareness and adoption, says Prantik Mazumdar of Happy Marketer.

“There has been a lot of talk about NFC-based payments for more than a decade, but Apple’s involvement will provide a good boost to the industry in terms of awareness and adoption,” he says.

“I am sure other device manufacturers and service providers will enter this space soon. I am personally excited about the iWatch as I feel it’s by far the best smartwatch option available in the market – a far cry from the alternatives from Pebble and Samsung.”

Also, the Apple Pay mechanisms are expected to give a new lease of life to the Apple brand and open up interesting and scalable revenue streams. For developers and consumers, this will open up a new ecosystem to tap into in the domain of M2M communications, mobile payments as well as the internet of things, adds Mazumdar.