9 Marketing Tips for 2019 Learned From Apple

Have you been struggling to come up with new ideas or planning marketing campaigns for 2019? Why don’t you try looking for some inspiration by looking to the past? Let’s discuss 9 marketing tips for 2019 you can become a marketing genius lickety-split.

1. Get a Mentor

For me, the single greatest marketer ever is Steve Jobs. And while, yes, Jobs was an absolute genius, one of the smartest things he ever did was find people he could learn from.

The connections Jobs made very early on led to his success at Apple and Pixar and as a marketer. For me, my mentors are Jobs, Tim Ferriss, Noah Kagan, and Malcolm Gladwell.

Every successful marketer needs a mentor. Someone who’s been there and done that. That’s why the greats like Jack Canfield speak so highly of mastermind groups.

2. Make Products People Want

Social Media expert and best-selling author, Guy Kawasaki, who worked as a brand evangelist at Apple, said that Steve Jobs understood it’s really hard to market garbage. So he knew the first order of business was to create really, really great products.

After all, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.

3. Make Sure You Stand for Something, Even if You’re Standing Alone

Apple decided very early on that it would stand for only 3 things…

First, it would empathize with its customers.

Second, it would focus on doing a few things really well and ignore everything else.

There’s a funny story about this where Jobs was on stage with Nike founder, Phil Knight. Knight did not ask Jobs for advice, but that didn’t stop Steve from giving his two cents.

He said, “You know, Nike makes a lot of really great products. You also make a lot of crap. Stop making crap and focus on the good stuff.”

Third, Apple’s values of simpleness and high quality would be seen in everything it did — not just the products, but the packaging, the stores, the logo, the brand.

4. Spend That Money

In 1984, the Super Bowl featured an Apple ad called, “1984”. This George Orwellian ad was for the new Macintosh computer, but you’d never know it from the ad. In fact, Apple and the Macintosh are not even mentioned until the last 5 seconds in the ad (more on that later).

As always, Jobs decided to go very, very big with this campaign. He hired Ridley Scott, the director of Alien and Blade Runner, and spent about $2 million to create and run the ad —  that would be $4 million in today’s dollars.)

This was a huge risk for the company, especially since it wasn’t clear that the ad would succeed. In fact, Apple’s board hated the ad so much they didn’t want to run it at all.

But the big bet paid off. It generated huge sales and today is still known as one of the best ads of all time.

5.  Create “WOW” Experiences

Every keynote and product launch Jobs ever did turned into a bonafide road-show or world-tour. People would go crazy over Apple’s product launches and keynote talks, waiting in lines overnight just to get in the building to see him present.

Unboxing an iPhone became like a right of passage. The packaging of the box itself was like unwrapping something that was meant to go to space. By the time you got to the phone, you already felt special and that you were a part of something much larger.

6. Keep Secrets While Building Mystery and Anticipation

People would line up at Apple events because Steve Jobs was a master of suspense and surprise. There was always the hope that he might unveil something else even more amazing that what they had shown up for.

Jobs was also famous for his “One more thing” gesture, similar to Billy Mays, “but wait there’s more” approach with infomercials. Just when you thought the press conference was over, he’d say, “Oh, and one more thing,” and then pull out a surprise that completely blew everyone away.

The lesson for you dear marketer is this…

While most marketers rush out to tell everyone as much as they can about their product, Jobs did the opposite — he held back information to get people excited.

7. Keep Your Friends Close and Your Enemies Closer

Whether it was IBM, Adobe, Microsoft, or Google…

Apple’s message was ALWAYS exactly the same.

The big, bad wolf wants to take over the world and destroy it, and we are the only ones that can stop this from happening.

We are the revolution, the change makers, those that dare to think differently. Join us in changing the world to make it a better place, or get swept up by the evil empires.

8. From Prospect to Evangelist

Possibly the biggest thing Jobs did for Apple turning his prospects into customers and its customers into passionate advocates for the brand.

Think about the white headphones, the Apple symbol that lights up on the outside of the Mac, the sleekness of its products, etc.

Think those people who line up outside Apple stores every time there’s a new iPhone are acting like sheep? Think again. At least in their minds, they’re part of a movement, a mission, a revolution, and something much larger than themselves.

9. Don’t Talk About Your Products – Nobody Cares

As mentioned earlier, 1984 commercial contains not a single image of the Macintosh. It vaguely mentions Apple and the Macintosh in the last 5 seconds. And yet it created huge demand for Apple.


Because people want to discover your products on their own. If it resonates with them, don’t worry, they will find it.

Apple knows what all great marketers know, “Sell the sizzle, not the steak.”

For example… take a look at the ad below.

From this article.

This ad contains 10 words. That’s it.

It mentions zero features and zero benefits. And check the timestamp, 1978 – it’s not like Apple was a major player or a well-known commodity. It was not the juggernaut it is today. And even today, on its website and advertising, Apple devotes tremendous effort to say things in as few words as possible.

Partly it’s because Apple at its core (get it!?) values simplicity above all else. But it’s also because Jobs realized that images are much more powerful storytellers than words.

People resonate with stories, pictures, and powerful emotions. So if you want to become a better marketer, do yourself a favor and take a bite of the apple.

Kevin is Brandetize’s Email Specialist. He spends his mornings writing killer email copy and his afternoons consist of optimizing funnels while staring at excel searching for outliers and anomalies until his eyes dry out. Kevin’s evenings are mainly a combination of sports, investing, meditating and keeping his French Bulldog, Aix, entertained.