Under former CEO Steve Jobs, Apple marketing strategy was unique in a way that instead of conducting market research to identify consumer needs and develop products and services to satisfy them, the company created needs for its innovative products and services. Innovative products such as iPod, iPhone and iPad can be mentioned as examples to justify this point.
As illustrated in figure below, Apple advertising budget has been increasing consistently since the takeover of Tim Cook as CEO in 2011 to reach a record of USD 1.8 billion in 2015. Interestingly, Apple chose not to disclose the amount of its advertising spending during the financial year of 2016 in its annual report. This is possibly due to further increasing advertising spending of the business and willingness of the management not to share the data with its competitors.
Changes in Apple advertising expense
Apple 7Ps of marketing is marked with a particular focus on the product element of the marketing mix and the company’s segmentation targeting and positioning initiatives are aimed at targeting users of premium products. Moreover, marketing communication mix of Apple Inc. places greater emphasis on print and media advertising and personal selling in Apple Stores and the company rarely uses sales promotions as part of its marketing strategy.
Apple employs viral marketing strategy with an impressive level of effectiveness. The most notable Apple marketing videos such as commercial video clip titled ‘Think Different’ and Apple’s first Macintosh commercial from 1984 have been watched in social networking sites more than one million times with positive implications on brand image of Apple. Product placement also plays a substantial role in Apple’s marketing strategy and the most memorable cases of Apple’s product placement relate to movies Transformers 4, Birdman, The Verge, Birdman and Boyhood.
Apple Inc. Report contains a full analysis of Apple marketing strategy. The report illustrates the application of the major analytical strategic frameworks in business studies such as SWOT, PESTEL, Porter’s Five Forces, Value Chain analysis and McKinsey 7S Model on Apple. Moreover, the report contains analyses of Apple leadership, organizational structure and organizational culture. The report also comprises discussions of Apple business strategy and addresses issues of corporate social responsibility.
 Source: Business Insider, Available at: http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-stopped-disclosing-ad-spend-2016-11