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Apple + Tech

Apple’s Hidden Marketing Channel

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Today I presented at an industry session in my role as the person who is rolling out Victoria’s implementation of the National Product Catalogue. If you’re interested, my presentation is here.

But the point of this post comes from one of the other presenters. This other presenter was also talking about data synchronisation, but he was from the organisation that runs the backbone of the system. His presentation was a “future roadmap” type of presentation.

Why do we preach?

This presenter kicked off with a spiel about his iPhone. He’d been an iPhone user for 6 months and waxed lyrical about how it has changed his life. Email, banking, navigation … “it’s changed my life”.

Similarly, at a (Vic) Government 2.0 presentation I attended a couple of weeks ago a senior public servant preached to around 300 others about her love for her iPad. It wasn’t the topic of the session, but the message was clear – “I love my iPad and you too should be using an iPad”.

Now if you’re an iPhone or iPad user none of this is news. You’ve probably preached in a similar fashion yourself. And we’ve probably all been in a presentation or a social situation where we’ve seen others preaching. It’s almost normal.

But step back a minute and ask, is this really normal? What makes otherwise perfectly intelligent, supposedly independent people preach about iOS devices to others? And preach in situations where they are supposedly representing their device agnostic organisation?

I don’t have any particular answer – heck, I’m one of the biggest preachers around. But I do know that other companies would love to receive this sort of praise – this sort of inadvertent promotion. Apple truly does have a hidden marketing channel: it’s credible, powerful and it costs them nothing.

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