An Apple a Day is a Nice Way to Play
By Shane O’Neill, Vice President
By now, most of us are pretty familiar with the various types of digital media options available. From social media, paid search, retargeting to digital display and YouTube advertising and so on, most retailers are actively incorporating some or all into their marketing mix. Less obvious to most is the constantly evolving of these marketing tools in the background. Sure, most of these changes are simple updates to the various platforms offering new options or targeting, or even the new social channel du jour. Yet, there hasn’t been any revolutionary jump in digital marketing in the past decade. Things are much more evolved and effective, but nothing has forced us to fundamentally change our view of online marketing. That may be changing and it may come as soon as 2023.
Not long ago, I wrote an article on the potential game changing aspects of Netflix and Disney launching ad-supported options to their streaming packages. While those won’t roll out until late 2022 or early 2023, those “ads” may look and function much differently than typical pre-roll advertising that we are used to seeing. For example, if someone chooses to select the ad-supported option, why not have them fill out a simple form to determine the type of advertising they would “like” to see? I would imagine engagement and ad recall would increase…isn’t that the goal? That might even create more opportunities for a service like Amazon Prime. Since Prime members’ accounts are connected to the streaming feature, imagine seeing ads of products you’ve viewed or already use? And if you use Alexa to stream Amazon Prime, the ad might say, “Just say ‘Add to Cart’ to place your order.” Now, Amazon hasn’t released anything like this, but they could and I think they will in some form or another. These examples alone would mark huge jumps in the digital marketing landscape. However, all of this may pale in comparison to another company that could be just what the doctor ordered for your digital marketing…Apple.
As a marketing agency, our job is to analyze data to look for actionable insights. Connecting those dots are key to finding new opportunities or shifting strategies. Sometimes those dots lead to things not currently actionable. Case in point; website traffic. Most independent jewelry retailers have somewhere between 55% to 70% + of their overall web traffic coming from mobile devices. A closer look at your analytics will tell you that an overwhelming amount of that mobile traffic is coming from Apple devices: upwards of 80% or more, in most cases. What does that mean? Well, for example, if 70% of all your web traffic is coming from mobile devices and 80%+ of that traffic is from Apple devices, Apple users might be a key audience to target. That said, we already know that Apple has about a 55% market share in the US smartphone market. We also know that luxury consumers tend to own more Apple devices. (Apple iPhone users have a median income of $85,000, or 40 percent higher than those with Android devices, according to ComScore) So, the question is, how much of your website traffic is coming from Apple users? I bet it’s a lot. Now, what can you do with that? While there are various ways to target Apple OS users, unless you have some type of specific strategy, it probably doesn’t make sense to exclude all other users, especially if you can deploy income targeting. Unless the ad platform itself only targets Apple users.
While Apple currently delivers ads in apps like the App Store, News, etc, including recent launches such as during Apple TV Friday Night Baseball streams, its ad platform certainly doesn’t hold the market participation others do. However, it “appears” Apple is quietly building a better ad platform, as hiring for their Ad Platforms division has significantly increased this year. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but maybe that’s part of the reason Apple tightened its grip on “privacy” for its users to the detriment of other platforms like Google and Facebook? I think it’s just a matter of time before AppleTV follows its peers in offering an ad-supported subscription and expands its ad platform. Afterall, they have their users’ data, the same data they are trying to keep out of the hands of their competitors. That makes sense. Especially if Apple is trying to disrupt the ad market, just like they did with the ‘cell phone” market by launching the iPhone in 2007.
Like I said, it’s been well over a decade since a major disrupter has impacted the digital advertising market. I think we’re due and I think Apple may strike again. As a luxury retailer, depending on what that looks like, it might fundamentally change where your marketing dollars go.
Then there’s how all this integrates within the Metaverse…but that’s a different story.