Healthcare Marketing: Steve Jobs a Traditionalist?

 Jobs was an innovator but when it came to advertising he was extremely traditional.

As we mourn the death of Steve Jobs, there is much being written about him.  He was a visionary.  He was brilliant.  He was a genius.  He understood people.  And he had a keen understanding and sense of marketing.

Steve Jobs taught us about digital and how it can effect, impact and change our lives.  Jobs was on the forefront of technology.  He was always one step ahead.  Maybe more.

So isn’t it ironic that this visionary who understood how to communicate and connect with people was a huge traditionalist when it came to his approach to advertising?  Look at Apple’s media buying.  With a budget of $420 million in 2010, over 90% was spent in traditional advertising. Television, newspaper, magazines, circulars and outdoor made up the majority of Apple’s media expenditures.   Apple in fact, was in the top 10 in the nation for expenditures in outdoor.  Less than 10% of their advertising was digital.  And what little digital advertising Apple utilized, the majority of it was an extension of their television campaigns.

And equally as ironic, is the man who understood and connected with the consumer had almost no presence on Twitter and Facebook.  Apple only recently established a YouTube channel but has comments turned off.

So what does this say to healthcare marketers?  The principle thing is obvious, traditional media is not dead.  In fact, to build a strong brand traditional can be extremely effective.  This is not to say digital advertising or social media efforts are useless.  But it is to say traditional advertising methods are still workhorses.

Steve Jobs taught us that success consists of simplicity, clarity and a big idea.  Sounds old school doesn’t it?  But the genius of our generation used old school to change our lives and our culture.    When it came to advertising, the man who taught is to go digital went very traditional.


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