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Four things your marketing team can learn from the underwhelming launch of the iPad Mini

by Roxanne Bridger | 03.01.2013
Me: When’s the iPad Mini coming out?

My Friend: It’s already out I think.

The answer is actually the 23rd October. And almost a month later I had no idea. I completely missed it. Granted, I’m not Apple’s number one fan (I only own an iPod from 2007 and an iPhone 4!) but the above conversation was one I never expected to have about the latest Apple product. If it’s not something my gadget obsessed friends are talking about then I’m usually reading stories about people camping out all night outside the Apple store. But no. None of this!! And this got me thinking, how did this pass me and so many others by, and what lessons can I learn and marketing teams learn from this.

Here are four things we can learn from the underwhelming launch of the iPad Mini to help stop your great ideas getting overlooked by your audience.

1 – Hype

With previous launches, there’s always been a bit of a build up. Whether it’s a story about the designs of the iPad getting lost and potentially leaked online, or some amazingly inventive suggestions about what the latest Apple product will look like (This one’s my favourite), there has always been hype surrounding the launch and this gets everyone involved, even if you’re not planning on buying the new product, you’re probably talking about it or sharing a funny viral video online. For the iPad Mini I rarely heard news about it pre-launch, not even a hype story that was so obviously started by Apple themselves!

Takeaway: Give people something to be excited about. A tweet announcing the upcoming launch of a new feature to your followers or a sneak preview of your latest ideas to your members would be a great way to get people involved and excited beforehand.

Miniture iPhone

Pre-launch speculation usually surrounds Apple launches

2 -Differentiation

There are probably quite a few things different about the iPad Mini but if you asked me to tell you what they are, I’d be lost after the fact that it’s smaller. That’s the extent of my iPad Mini knowledge. For most the selling point is that it’s cheaper and therefore more accessible. But why has this not been shouted from the Apple office rooftops? How your content / product/ service stands out from your competitors is key to increasing market share and if you have something different to offer, let people know!

Takeaway: Make people aware of the benefits of your offering over anyone else’s. “10 things you can only do with XYZ” is an example of how you can start but make sure your brand messaging is continually reinforcing this.


Don’t be afraid to shout about your brand

3 – Follow up

So you’ve put your product / content out there for the world to see. Now what? At lot of people know the value of social shares and recommendations but expect this to all happen overnight. After the launch of Siri and the 4S, there were tons of posts and even sites created especially for the funny things Siri has said. This cool feature was a talking point for months after the launch. The worst thing you can do is give one big marketing push and leave it at that.

Following up is an important way of capturing people’s attention you might have missed the first time around and keep people talking about your brand. Launched a new tool, why not analyse the data and create content around how people are saving time / money with the tool. Could you turn your company’s twitter photos into a slideshow for your site? The idea of COPE (Create Once, Publish Everywhere) has long been around but a lot of people fail to really make the most of all the different ways you can repackage the same content to target as many people as possible.

Takeaway: Great content isn’t easy to create so make the most of everything you produce.

4- Repeat

By evaluating the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, you can find out what works best for your brand and develop a strategy for the future. Apple’s product launches have been a lot more memorable in the past and the speculation and build up to these have no doubt helped drive sales. But why didn’t they do the same with the Mini? Maybe they’ve become complacent and just expect the product to sell itself? I guess we will find out when we see what activity they do around the next product launch. In any case, if you find marketing tactics that work for your brand, make sure you use them.

Takeaway: Always make sure you evaluate and evolve your marketing strategy.

So what do you think? What brands do you think do their marketing particularly well? And are there any further lessons to be learned from the launch?