Apple Marketing Department Structure
Case studies on the Work & Co. agency, and Huge agency for Apple, and Frog and VMLY&R for Intel are provided in the brief below. Five insights are also provided into pain points and operational gaps in Intel's marketing structure.
- During the initial hour of research, information on Apple Marketing's organizational chart was not found. However, information was sourced pertaining to the overall marketing structure and an employee count for each level of the structure. For reference, information that was found for TBWA/Media Arts Lab was also included. The information can be viewed in the attached spreadsheet.
Case Study: Work & Co.
- Work & Co., founded in 2013, is an agency providing services in user experience, analytic s, product management, and design.
- Work & Co. was added to the Digital Agency Roster for Apple in 2015. No publicly available information was found regarding how the partnership between Work & Co. and Apple began.
- However, AdAge reported in 2015 that the win for Work & Co. was "likely in line" with the appointment of Casey Sheehan, a previous account lead for Apple at the Huge agency, and Global Creative Director Jon Jackson, who also worked at Huge previously.
- The company worked with Apple on the Today at Apple learning platform, providing strategy and definition for the Today program and the employee platform Hello, design and development of the Apple Wall and CMS, and art direction, motion graphics, video, and photography.
- Visitors to Apple stores were able to attend the stores and learn new skills, collaborate with startups and entrepreneurs, and enjoy live performances. Work & Co. also designed and developed CMS-enabled video walls as forum displays.
- Among the outcomes of the program are over 18,000 free weekly sessions offered since the launch of the program in 495 stores, over 70,000 employees on a single platform, and first place winner of the Titanium and Grand Prix at Cannes Lions.
Case Study: Huge
- Huge, founded in Brooklyn, New York in 1999, offers business strategy, user experience design, creative, content, and branding and brand experience services, among others.
- The company was added to Apple's roster of digital agencies in 2014 to work on "user experience and digital strategy", along with other items. The main outcome from this relationship was the creation of a separate ad agency located in San Francisco called Elephant.
- A spokesperson for Huge declined to give any insights into "why" Elephant was created, however, one reason offered for the move was to avoid teams working on competing accounts. Huge has also worked with Apple rivals Google and Samsung.
- At the time stresses in the relationship between Apple and Media Arts Lab, an agency the company has worked with for a long time, were revealed in the public domain when documents were released for a litigation matter.
- Initially dedicated to the Apple account, Elephant has expanded to service additional accounts and views itself as a close sibling of Huge.
- The work Elephant is doing for Apple has also expanded from the initial design and back end work to now include creative work for Beats by Dre and Apple.
Case Study: Frog
- Frog, founded in 1969, offers engineering, strategy, and design services to its clients. In 2009, the company entered a partnership with Intel to re imagine its retail offerings.
- The partnership came about after the then director of marketing and architecture for Intel's Embedded and Communications Group realized that his project to improve cash register performance lacked the expertise to change the user and customer experience with the product.
- In response Frog developed a blank chart outlining the issues that were to be considered through the life cycle of the system. Intel then determined where the work it had already done aligned with the elements of the chart, and what needed to be done still to ensure a product that was well-rounded.
- The final product brought about by this partnership, delivered enhanced content to life sized touchscreens, using Intel's energy efficient chips, placed in the retail environment. The kiosks and digital signage provided a personalized shopping experience aided by in-store way finding, and selection and product context.
- Among the benefits of the final product are energy savings of up to 70%, reductions in paper used, and improved customer experience.
- Further, the principles impacting the design process developed from this exercise has been applied to other Intel products such as medical equipment. The Industrial Designers Society of America awarded the Bronze International Design Excellence Award to the project.
Case Study: VMLY&R
- In 2014, Intel established Intel Inside, an internal creative group with approximately 90 employees. The primary objective of the group was to transform Intel from being a B2B chip maker into a brand innovator.
- Despite improvements to the company's ranking on branding lists, Intel took the decision to reduce staffing to approximately 30 persons in an exercise to "re calibrate" the company's marketing strategy to a focus on B2B and ecosystems.
- VLMY&R seized the opportunity to pitch its services to Intel to help the company address the gap that was created. Citing a "digital first" approach, access to globally diverse talent, and creative mindsets, after a six-month review, Karen Walker, Intel's chief marketing officer announced that VLMR&Y was successful in its bid.
- The account is valued at close to $1.4 billion and VLMY&R will be supported by other WPP agencies as it services Intel's needs across the APAC, Europe, Latam, and North American markets.
- Intel's social creative and media business will continue to be serviced by McGarry Bowen and Dentsu respectively.
INTEL Marketing Insights
- Intel's redefinition of its digital governance framework, which began in 2016, impacts governance of the company's marketing strategy. Governance of the company's marketing strategy included oversight of the content reduction initiative, as well as reviews of digital properties with legal, operational, and marketing teams.
- Recognizing that the role could be expanded from one of risk mitigation to influencing marketing execution, Scott Rosenberg, previous director of digital governance and operations at the Digital Marketing and Media operations at Intel, sought to shift the entry point of the governance function engaging with strategy to much earlier in the life cycle.
- To make it easier for the expanded team to adjust to the earlier entry point into strategy, the need to counteract the negative associations with the word governance was recognized.
- Intel underwent an exercise to identify alternative words to governance but failed to find a replacement, and opted to embrace the term by building a brand around the unique way Intel defined it. The team defined the positive values it wanted the word governance to be associated with, and focused on elements that would appeal to marketers in place of risk mitigation and process orientation, thereby becoming strategic partners in facilitating marketing that was amazing, reduced the time to market and protected the company brand. The digital customer experience from beginning to end was infused with the values identified and made execution of governance principles easier for marketers.
- Recognition is given to marketers who exceed expectation when partnering to ensure governance processes, policies, and standards are adhered to by leveraging the internal cash recognition system, recognition during staff meetings, and sending gifts branded with the governance slogan.
Improved Customer Experience
- Customer Experience was reviewed within the context of a digital governance strategy to ensure alignment to product and digital strategies, marketing technologies were being used efficiency, and adherence to governance policies and standards.
- This was done through the creation of a company wide, transparent decision-making forum that reviewed the customer experiences against the criteria mentioned immediately above.
- As a result of the creation of the forum, marketing teams within business and product divisions began to form their own governing teams, and a pragmatic approach was developed to evaluate the digital footprint at the account or site level, as well as at the page or content level.
- This resulted in a framework to assist with decision-making related to the creation or closure of a social handle or website.
- Data was deployed in the development of criteria that provided an objective framework to address content quality and a marketer operational ecosystem encompassing creative guardrails, approved channels, and the right technologies to leverage.
- Performance and engagement metrics, resourcing plans, and corporate priorities were among the inputs into the development of the criteria that was embraced by stakeholders as fair, transparent, and objective.
- Coupled with content ROI, resource support commitments, and strategic alignments to corporate priorities, the emotional element in decision-making was reduced when evaluating the continued role of particular pieces of content.
- When this mechanism was deployed in the evaluation of content that was considered end-of-life, the collaborative, data focused approach led to lower instances of escalations and emotional pleas from stakeholders. It demonstrated that content was not being reduced to reach a target, but to change the culture around how marketing is executed.
- This approach is in line with Intel's shift from being a PC-centric company to one that is data-centric.
- Former CMO at Intel, Steve Fund, cautioned against a too heavy reliance on data, stating that it can lead to conservative behavior that is too heavily reliant on the ROI.
- A major challenge that needed to be addressed was internal organizational structures coming into the view of external customers from digital experiences.
- Because developers and IT decision maker are often targeted across product groups, developing a "One Intel" customer experience to be used by sales and marketing teams allowed the company to put the needs of the audience first concurrent with a recognition of the wide array of relevant solutions available to different groups. The ability to do this was facilitated by the shift to an earlier entry point in the life cycle for operations governance.
- To achieve a common vision, the operations' governance team had to ensure executive buy in, and address stakeholder concerns about added bureaucracy, handicapped execution, and creative restrictions.
- Governance was viewed and handled as a brand, and the team was organized to reflect this. The result was a team where stakeholders were able to easily identify the correct point of contact for their engagement, who undertook a consultative, rather than coordinating role vis a vis the stakeholder needs.
- Governance became a marketing asset when unknowns were minimized, the best practices were widely known, and internal organizational efficiencies were achieved that led to a decrease in the time to market for marketers.
Current Sales Pain Points
- Intel markets its products through distributors and other third parties. These distributors and third parties can impact the execution of a marketing strategy when their material relationship with Intel changes, they experience an event that renders them unable to execute a service.
- When there is a change with distributors product expertise may take some time to be developed with new distributors, a process that some clients may not be comfortable with.
- Intel faces risks from competitive pressures when distributors sell competitor products, and concentration, credit and compliance risks when distributors face internal financial problems.
- The company also runs the risk of having its product be sold on the "gray market." When the products are sold on the gray market, Intel faces a reputational risk with users of the product, when the product is substandard.