For hardcore Mac users like me, the anticipation of a new update to our iOS devices and operating systems is the 'adulting' version of Christmas Eve as a child. Designers, photographers, developers, and marketers wait anxiously around the soft glow of their Apple logos, thoughts of new UI, and UX, and desktop wallpapers dancing in their heads, filling the void from when we found out Santa wasn't actually real, but Tim Cook is...he may be a robot, TBD.
This year, Christmas came early [for non-beta users] this Fall when Apple started shipping out the final version of High Sierra, its latest creation from the elves in Cupertino. Included in the update were a few beautiful additions: APFS filesystem, which will free up space on your Mac, increase speed, and make backups better. Also included was a new HEVC video codec, as well as external GPU and VR support. It was clear that the VR capabilities overshadowed many of the other updates, after all, it's the first time that Mac is getting VR support.
All things considered, Apple had done it again and made us all happy little children...unless you are in digital marketing. With High Sierra came two new features that we love as customers, but as marketers are certain to have a huge impact on some brands digital marketing strategies. Heres how:
1. Apple Kills Auto-Play Video
Let's say you're Lexus, and you advertise on the New York Times website with your auto-play video banners at the top of a page. Well, it's time to rethink this form of advertising since Apple has squashed auto-play. It's no secret that consumers have been disabling auto-play themselves for years, but for many, this was still a regular part of their online experience.
2. Apple Kills Cross-Site Tracking Data
This is a big one, folks. Yes, these ads are obnoxious and sometimes creepy, but for many online retailers, it's a core sequence of their overall marketing strategy. For brands, the click-through is often low and can be off target, but they do offer low cost to entry and top-of-mind success.
What You Should Do Now
To be honest, I'm not a fan of either one of these marketing tactics. Both are intrusive and archaic in the world of digital marketing that we are now living. These types of advertising opportunities were birth way back at the start of the internet when yellow page ads were a primary effort in most companies marketing plans...see the similarity?
For many brands, this could be a great time to start rethinking the way that you are reaching customers. This reminds me of mailers. We know what its like to go home, open our mailboxes, and toss out all the junk without giving it a second look only to then sign on to mailing programs for our companies to reach clients...why!?
Yes, I agree Armie Hammer. If your company is still using Auto-Play and especially Cross-Site Tracking Data, I would suggest you start thinking of other ways you can reach customers. One of the most successful ways could be content marketing if it supports our overall strategy. When implementing a content marketing strategy on your owned media channels you are creating value for the end users, and you keep them coming back.
Here's an Example
You own a local barbershop and your job is to keep the same butts coming back to the same seats, regularly. After analyzing your core demographic you find that the typical customer is a Male, 25-35, cares about style, and looking good [let's call him Jeremy]. What can you do to provide Jeremy with value when he's not getting his monthly high and tight? You may have guessed it already, provide him valuable content that keeps him engaging in with your brand in his everyday life. By simply implementing a blogand Instagram page you can begin developing content around Jeremy's interests. Something like The 5 Must Have's For Ever Man's Fall Fashion or a quick video tutorial on your latest Pomade products. By cross marketing these valuable pieces of content on your owned digital platforms you can reach your followers more honestly, and regularly.
Take a look at Magnolia by Chip and Joanna Gaines, their marketing plan is impeccable. After having a successful television show and growing their customer base, they have continued to provide value and engage with users by providing tips and tricks to overhauling and decorating your home. Now with a huge group of engaged followers coming for the value, they have parlayed that into their very own line of furniture, paint, and decor items in which they sell to those very users. [Insert slow clap].
At the end of the day, there are hundreds of ways to go about marketing to customers, but you must start by sitting down and creating a solid strategy. Only then can you choose the current platforms and opportunities for your company to reach the Jeremy's in your brands World. In closing, Apple may have just done us all a favor. They have helped push business owners in a direction they needed to go. By taking your digital marketing programs more seriously it improves user experience and the bottom line.