Ever thought about Apple’s communication strategy? We highly recommend reading this article to find out shocking facts about Apple’s communication strategy with employees. Below is a thorough analysis of the major internal communication processes of the company.
Apple Inc is one of the leading manufacturers and distributors of electronic devices and software in the global market. The firm operates in consumer electronics industry. It also offers digital distribution services. The firm has over 450 retail stores spread across 16 countries (Cook 2015, p. 140). With over 98,000 employees directly employed by the firm, it is one of the leading employers in this industry. As at 2014, its assets were valued at 231.84 billion dollars (Cook, 2015).
The firm has its headquarters in Cupertino, California with regional offices in other cities in Europe, Asia and Africa. In 2014, Cook (2015) notes that Apple was voted the most valuable brand in the world, beating other popular brands such as Samsung. The firm is currently trying to deal with the issues of integrating its communication systems using emerging technologies. The next section will look at the aims and objectives of the study.
Aims and objectives of the report
In this study, the researcher’s aim is to determine how Apple Inc is using the emerging technologies to integrate its communication system. It also looks at operational strategies in order to produce better products at a lower cost and in a way that is friendly to the environment. The following are the objectives of the study.
- To determine how well Apple Inc can use the emerging technologies to improve its production and marketing operations.
- To determine how Apple Inc can use emerging technologies to reduce the rate of emission of harmful gases into the environment
- To determine how Apple Inc can use the emerging technologies to create an integrated environment that brings together its customers, suppliers, government, and all other relevant stakeholders.
The next section will look at the research methods for the study.
This is a desktop research that fully relied on the secondary sources of data from books, journal articles and other reliable online sources. This means that the primary data sources was not be used in this study. The researcher relied on the press releases and reports made by the company and reports from other sources. Part of the data was collected from the website of the company.
This helped in collecting the recent information about the firm. A series of questions have been developed to help in the collection of the data. The response to the questions will be based on the information available from the sources mentioned above. The sections below show the response to these questions.
As mentioned above, analysis of data will be done through direct responses to the questions. In this section, the researcher will analyse the responses to the questions in order to understand how best Apple Inc can manage the environmental forces and strategies it may need in this process.
Dealing with customers, suppliers and other business partners
The researcher was interested in understanding how Apple Inc deals with its customers, suppliers, and other business partners. It was necessary to categorise data used in this study. Apple Inc has developed a close relationship with its customers. According to Gregory (2003), Apple is always keen to understand the changing needs of its customers and always provides the products that meet their expectations. It has formed a strategic alliance with its important suppliers and other business partners to ensure that they all share a common vision of providing superior value to the customers.
Company’s Strategy, Structure, Tasks and Processes and IT Tools and Systems
Apple In is one of the early adopters when it comes to e-transformation based on the internal communication strategies currently used in the firm (Sutherland, 2014). According to Sutherland (2014), the firm has been keen on developing the strategies which are based on the current environmental forces. Data is seamlessly shared among all the departments to ensure that what is produced is what the market expects. It does this with the help of IT tools, systems and processes.
As shown in the above diagram, Apple Inc has developed a system that allows it to share important information with all the internal and external stakeholders.
As shown above, the systems are closely interrelated. Information flows freely from one unit to the other. Information from the market is made available to these stakeholders so that they can take necessary measures to improve value that is offered to the customers.
Apple Inc is just getting to the fourth stage of e-transformation. It has fully digitised its processes, making it one of the few firms to do so. That is why it has been voted severally as the best brand that offers its customers unique experiences (Jeffery 2013, p. 56).
Improvement and Change at Apple Inc
According to Aaker (2009), Apple Inc highly values improvement and change. The firm has an effective research team that helps it to understand the changing environmental forces. With its innovative strategies, it continually changes and improves its products and production methods.
Apple Inc’s goals for the future
As part of its sustainability programme, Apple has set a goal of its products being completely free of PVC materials and other materials considered harmful to the environment (Sutherland, 2014). Apple stands to benefit a lot by implementing this policy. The strategy will earn it a positive image in the market and this will strengthen its brand.
YouTube Videos Analysis
According to the message presented in this video, we are connected socially, economically, and socially in the current globalised world due to technology-based strategies used in various contexts. A problem in one part of the world affects others in the rest of the world in various ways.
Apple Inc, therefore, has a responsibility to be part of the solution in fighting environmental degradation in all parts of the world. For instance, traffic congestion in the United States causes $ 78 billion a year, 4.2 billion lost hours, and 2.9 billion of lost gasoline. Apple is directly affected by this loss because people stuck in the traffic congestion are their employees, customers, and sometimes their goods which are on transit to the market hence should try to be part of a solution to this problem.
This video emphasises on the relevance of connecting all the relevant stakeholders in an organisational context to share information seamlessly using electronic health records. Apple Inc, being an employer of over 98,000 people, should consider sponsoring its employees to various healthcare insurance policies to boost their morale (Keegan & Green 2013, p. 78). Given that it is a technological company, it can help the stakeholders in the healthcare sector by developing improved communication systems to enhance their operations.
The video talks about development of various modes of transport that touches all the sectors of economy. The biggest problem we face is traffic jam and disintegrated systems of transport. We can solve the problem when we gather data in the system and use it efficiently. Components of the transport system must work together. Apple Inc can play a role by helping in the development of integrated communication systems in the transport sector that will improve traffic flow.
This video focuses on smart ways to integrate systems and share information. Teachers can engage students anywhere and at any time. Even when a learner is not at school, learning can still continue. Apple Inc can develop systems that will ensure that their employees can learn even when they are in their workplaces. This will help in creating a pool of highly talented and knowledgeable employees at this firm.
This video talks about how to address the stress on energy. One of the most important areas in Apple Inc’s production process is efficient energy management.
As a huge consumer of energy, Apple Inc can use this technology to know when it is cost effective to use more energy and when it is appropriate to reduce the use of energy. As a solutions developer, it can consider developing software that can be used by other companies to improve their energy consumption. It can also help the power supplier to manage energy, detect leakages, and address the leakages automatically.
The concepts presented above can enhance the operations of Apple Inc in various ways. The concept of smart energy can help the firm cut its operational costs, hence improve its profitability. Integrated communication system will enhance the ability of the firm to coordinate its operations for a better productivity.
Industry Trends & Apple Communication Strategy
The emerging trends in the electronic market which require close interaction between Apple Inc and its customers will force this firm to implement new information system strategies that will enable it to communicate with its clients. In this industry, firms are forced to come up with products which meet the unique demands of the customers. To know these demands, it will need interactive websites that will enhance proper communication with the customers.
To improve and change, some business processes and tasks Apple Inc may need to be adjusted. For instance, the marketing unit will need to improve its online presence. The online community has made it easier for firms to communicate easily with clients (Temporal 2010, p. 73). Using YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook, the marketing unit can announce the introduction of new products into the market and gauge the response of the customer. These sites can also help the firm to know how the customers may want adjustments made on the existing products.
To deal with this business process, I suggest that the marketing manager should establish social media marketing unit within the marketing research department. This unit will be responsible for monitoring the online behaviours of customers and their opinions towards various products and brands of this firm. If these changes are made, only a section of the employees in the marketing department will be affected.
These employees may need to be taken through a training process in order to master the new concepts in social media marketing. A few employees may be redeployed to other departments when it becomes apparent that they cannot cope with the new system. In such cases, this firm will have to hire new staff who can handle the new systems within the marketing unit.
The nature of communication with important stakeholders such as business partners, customers, and suppliers may need to be adjusted if the above suggested changes are made. For instance, this firm may consider using digital communication system when transacting with organisational buyers instead of using traditional processes. This will improve efficiency and speed of such interactions. However, Gillam (2012) warns that people always fear and can sometimes reject change. For this reason, Apple Inc will need to make a gradual change that may not disrupt the current communication systems.
Apple Digital Marketing
Apple Inc will need to employ a number of strategies in order to market its products better through digital marketing. Instead of sending unsolicited advertisements, the online marketers of this firm should identify the potential customers who make frequent visits to online social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Yahoo or G-mail.
They should then design messages specifically for each individual target audience. The message should explain to the targeted customer why he should buy a given product from this firm, variety of products that the firm offers, the price of the products, and the stores where they can be found. Such messages will be considered sources of knowledge that can inform their buying decisions instead of being junk. The unit in charge of marketing will need to spend more money on the online media as a marketing strategy.
Apple Communication Strategy Improvements
The aim of the new system is improve the communication system between Apple Inc and its customers in the market. This is missing in the current system, but very important. When this new system is introduced in the marketing department, the following areas may need some adjustments in order to fit in the next context.
The marketing strategy will change given that a new unit within the marketing research team will be established to take care of all the social media marketing processes. This team will be working closely with the marketing research team to finds ways through which Apple Inc can meet the aims of its customers better.
A new structure shall be created within the marketing department. The marketing department will be larger and more integrated than it is currently. It may be necessary to expand the current structures, especially the communication systems, based on the market needs and the emerging market trends.
Tasks and Processes
Tasks and process shall be adjusted to be in line with the changes made in the marketing unit. For instance, the approach used in sending messages to the target customers- including the content of such messages- will be adjusted as discussed above.
IT Tools and System
This new system will need improved IT tools and system that will help the relevant employees to track the online behaviour of potential clients. This will help the firm to identify the potential customers who need information about various products available in the market.
The new system shown in the figure above is the most appropriate approach that the marketing unit should adopt in its operations. Currently, Apple Inc relies on a one-way communication system to handle its issues with customers. However, what is needed now is an interactive communication system (Phillips & Young, 2009). The suggested structure is a new interactive system that Apple Inc should consider using.
The answers to some questions should be made available in i-cloud where customers can access them at any time without having to communicate with a representative of the firm (Jain 2012, p. 34). As shown in the diagram, the communication through i-cloud should be interactive. As they get answers to their questions, customers will leave comments that the firm should take into consideration. The second approach of communication will directly involve the customers and a representative of the firm. Once implemented, Apple Inc will have capacity to interact with its customers in a virtual environment.
Apple Inc has been successful in its market operations because of its superior strategies of meeting the expectations of the customers. The firm is highly innovative, with a team of skilled employees who understand the changing needs of the customers. However, the firm can improve its performance by introducing new marketing systems that will improve the way in which it interacts with the customers, suppliers, business partners, and other relevant stakeholders. Having an integrated communication system will ensure that information flows seamlessly within the firm.
Report writing journey
In this report, the researcher started by reviewing relevant literatures from various reliable sources. The researcher then collected primary data by interviewing the selected respondent. The final stage was the process of writing the report.
List of References
Aaker, D 2009, Strategic Market Planning, John Wiley & Sons, New York.
Cook, J 2015, Understanding Marketing Strategy and Differential Advantage, Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 49, no. 2, pp. 137-142.
Gillam, S 2012, Steve Jobs: Apple icon, ABDO Publishers Company, Minneapolic.
Gregory, A 2003, Public relations in practice, Kogan Page, London.
Jain, S 2012, Marketing Planning and Strategy, Thompson Publishing, Mason
Jeffery, M 2013, Data-driven marketing: The 15 metrics everyone in marketing should know, John Wiley, Hoboken.
Keegan, W & Green, M 2013, Global Marketing, Prentice Hall / Pearson, Upper Saddle River.
Phillips, D & Young, P 2009, Online public relations: A practical guide to developing an online strategy in the world of social media, Kogan Page, London.
Sutherland, A 2014, The story of Apple, Rosen Central, New York.
Temporal, P 2010, Advanced brand management: Managing brands in a changing world, John Wiley & Sons, Singapore.