Wednesday, September 23, 2015

How Secretive Should You Be About Your Marketing Strategy?

Initiating a new marketing strategy can be overwhelming. There’s a lot to consider when deciding on a new launch strategy. Paid advertising. TV commercials. Social media campaigns. Radio spots. The list goes on and on.

For reference’s sake, let’s look at Apple.

Apple has a reputation of fostering a culture of secrecy within its walls and out. Former employees have stated that departments were not allowed to discuss projects with each other lest they collided. Information was received in a top-down method from a single executive group. And employees couldn’t speak to anyone outside of the company on an upcoming project without risking termination.

How Secretive Should You Be About Your Marketing Strategy?

It’s not difficult to see how this can foster an environment of fear. But thankfully, not every company is Apple.

They’ve mastered the art of tease to build hype before a new release, making it the perfect case study when considering how much (or how little) you should tell the public.

For one, Apple has tapped into word-of-mouth promotion. The best way to gain popularity is to put out a solid product that can speak for itself. In their case, surrounding media says what they as a company don’t need to.

This has its ups and downs. Startups have a lot to prove in the realm of credibility and reliability, and obviously don’t have a breadth of experience to rely on. Knowing your core client base and how your target demographic operates online really helps with promotion.

Another tactic Apple uses is its “scarcity”. We usually hear from external gadget sources that Apple will be releasing it’s new (insert Apple product here). This effect is comparable to Black Friday on a first-come-first-serve basis.

These methods have risked backfire in the past. When avant-garding their entire new product, the Apple Watch, Apple opened itself to risk: competitors who were able to deliver a similar product for a more affordable price.

How Secretive Should You Be About Your Marketing Strategy?

Part of Apple’s appeal is never really showing what is going on behind the scenes. Only after years of repetition do we have an idea of when the next iPhone will be released. And while this strategy may seem appealing to some, it lacks a sense of responsibility to its customers. There isn’t much of an incentive to remain loyal to a company that never really tells you when your operating system will become obsolete.

In this case, a little transparency might go a long way.

Not only does this ease the minds of a company’s employees, but maintaining a safe environment also helps with the flow of creativity. Living in constant fear of the unknown can be stifling to your company’s creative marketing strategy. And while it’s unlikely that your company would keep its own internal communication under wraps, it is important to determine who this strategy should, if at all, apply to.

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