MacBook Pro-13-inch is a product that Apple launched in May 2020. The upgrade had various improvements in the RAM, keyboard, internal storage, and graphics to ensure that the demand for customers was met when personal computers increased due to the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Though the product faces competition from other competitors with similar qualities, the brand equity of Apple Inc. and the high level of customer loyalty offer a perfect market advantage to maximize the sales of the Apple MacBook Pro-13-inch model. The goal is to create awareness among the target audiences about the new product and the upgraded features to attract consumers. Apple will achieve this through aggressive advertising in print and digital media, offering product promotions, and engaging in beneficial public relations activities. The success of the Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) plan depends on the ability of the company to realize more sales and increase brand awareness.
Integrated Marketing Communications Plan for Apple MacBook Pro-13-inch (2020 M1) Model
Review of Marketing Plan
The Personal Computer (PC) Market experienced one of the highest growth periods of all time in 2020. During the last quarter of the year, estimates show that the market will experience a consistent growth of 35% every year (Canalys 1). As organizations worldwide make adjustments to working from home, the outlook for the PC market for the year 2021 and beyond indicates a predictable, consistent growth. Among the organizations that contribute to addressing the supply chain disruption in the PC market is Apple Inc., a major player in the industry. Apple Inc. is an information technology firm that offers a wide range of products such as computers, cellphones, tablets, wearable devices, and television products (Greenspan 1). The company’s products target high-end customers who desire aesthetically pleasing products with high-quality status. Since it was established in 1976, the company has transformed into the manufacture of several technological products and opened many retail stores worldwide to give its customers an improved buying experience.
Apple operates in a competitive industry in which the buyers have high bargaining power. The company approach relates to market trends and consumer preferences and applies them in making decisions regarding prices and designing their new products. The primary objective is to edge competitively in innovation while ensuring that their pricing keeps up with the market rates.
Apple MacBook Pro-13-inch (2020 M1) model was brought to market in May 2020 by Apple and had a redesigned keyboard and a highly improved RAM. The updated 13-inch MacBook Pro exhibits previous models’ form factor, though it comes with updates to the internal specs and a change in the keyboard design. The new keyboard design is a significant update in the model. It uses a scissor mechanism and has key travel of just 1 mm to improve the comfort in typing and provide a highly stable feel (Canalys 1). The company also added to frequently requested physical escape key on the keyboard. The processor is another feature with significant improvements in the model. The 13-inch MacBook Pro offers 8th generation and 10th generation Intel Core processors. The configurations go up to the quad-core, tenth generation Core i7 with a clock speed of 4.1 GHz (Canalys 1). It is also significant to note that the model offers an 80% rise in graphics performance speed through the integrated Intel Iris Plus Graphics.
Apple updated the RAM and storage. The model offers a 32GB RAM configuration, an upgrade that the users have previously requested regularly regarding memory options. For internal storage, the company doubled the amount offered within the entry-level models, and the model now offers the lowest storage of 256 GB. Other model configurations include 512 GB, 1TB, 2TB, and 4 TB. Currently, the 13-inch MacBook Pro for 2020 can be ordered online or purchased from authorized Apple stores worldwide. The pricing begins from $1,299 for the entry-level model with a RAM of 8 GB, internal storage of 256 GB, and uses the 8th generation Core i5 processor. The RAM, Storage, and CPU configuration options determine the prices for various other products of the same model.
The target market of Apple’s products is often individuals who have a few different traits. The primary market is often the middle- and upper-class individuals, as they can pay higher premium prices for the company products (Gaille 2015). They are ready to pay a little extra for higher quality, as their income gives them the ability to do so. About 94% of the users of the company’s products are more well-off than those who purchase other competitors’ products (Gaille 2015). Millennials, especially those who are hooked to technology, make the highest portion of the target market. Gaille (2015) states that most people who have been consuming Apple’s product are middle aged people between 35 to 44 years. Moreover, professionals within the design and media fields prefer Apple products because of their creative functionality.
Apple Inc. faces a significant force of rivalry and competition from the industry, as the competitors significantly influence the strategies formulated and implemented by each other. The company’s direct competitors include software and hardware products such as Samsung, Microsoft, and Google. All these major competitors, including Apple Inc., invest heavily in research and development and marketing to keep up with the others and develop strategies that would help access a larger market share. The products that currently give 13-inch MacBook Pro direct competition include HP Spectre x360 and Lenovo ThinkPad x1. While the products target similar customer groups and are priced almost within the same range, the 13-inch MacBook Pro has a strong preference, as the Apple Brand equity is higher in the market. Microsoft suffers four, and Apple iPad Pro, among other hybrid laptop and tablet brands, offers direct competition to the 13-inch MacBook Pro. However, the upgrades in 13-inch MacBook Pro make the product different from them and thus more preferable to interested buyers. Apple’s competitors rely on online and retail stores when selling their products to the consumers.
Analysis of Promotional Situation
The major purpose of Apple is to create products with the ability to enrich the daily lives of people, which is often achieved by developing new products and upgrading the existing categories as technology changes. Apple often uses a unique value proposition (UVP) marketing strategy, which is an admirable design that functions through the use of the company’s brand equity (Moorman, 1). The promotional program of Apple is structured to ensure the company takes part in advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, and public relations. Some of the strategies used by the advertising department include showcasing Apple’s products in the network of Google digital advertising and on technology news websites.
Apple uses personal selling to offer specific information to convince store visitors to buy the products. Sales promotion ensures that the sales of the products are maximized. For instance, when newer products overshadow the old ones in particular stores, promotional offers are given to the older models to increase their sales levels. Apple employs public relations and as press releases as part of its brand positioning (Moorman 1). As a result, Apple recorded a 15.86% increase in revenue from 2017 to 2018. For example, the recent rise of 5.51% was between the end of 2019 and 2020 (Macrotrends 1). A comparison between the first quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021 recorded a rise in revenue by 21.42%. Every time Apple implements these elements, there is success in product positioning.
The campaign will be aligned with the vision and mission of Apple Inc. It will ensure that marketing Apple MacBook Pro-13-inch is in line with the luxurious status of the brand through the communication of the message of providing high-quality products that meet the perfect value demands of the consumers. Apple MacBook Pro-13-inch will be marketed as a new model that meets the needs and desires of middle- and high-class customers in the contemporary world. The campaign will target Millennials whose use of PCs is on the rise and are currently searching for products that have appealing appearances, have high internal memory levels, possess incredible speeds, high graphics, and contain a higher RAM.
The general objective of the integrated communication plan is to raise the Apple MacBook Pro-13-inch by 20 percent by the end of the first twelve months of the campaign. The specific communications objectives include:
- To increase the traffic on Apple’s website by 5% during every month of the campaign.
- To intensify the discussions of Apple MacBook Pro-13-inch in social media by 40% within the first 12 months of the campaign.
- To increase online sales of Apple MacBook Pro-13-inch by 2% during every month of the campaign.
- To raise brand equity and awareness by 5% during the campaign.
To ensure that the objectives of the integrated marketing plan are perfectively achieved, the company will spend 250,000 USD.
Table 1: Campaign Budget Breakdown
|Designing of the Adverts||Average Costs (USD)|
|Creating and developing Concepts||$2,000|
|Advert Production Fees||Estimated Costs|
|Designing and Printing Billboards||$44,000|
|Designing and printing of Banners||$26,000|
|Fees for Placement of Adverts|
|Adverts placed per month||1|
|Charge per advert||$1,000|
|Adverts placed per month||2|
|Charge per advert||$4,000|
|Adverts placed per month||2|
|Charge per advert||$ 1,700|
|Adverts placed per month||2|
|Charge per advert||$2000|
|Adverts placed per month||3|
|Charge per advert||$6000|
|Period (Months)||6 months||$56,800|
|Events per month||2 per month|
|Charge per Event||Variable. Averagely $4000|
The communication elements of this campaign include advertising, the use of the internet, public relations and personal selling, and sales promotion. Advertising will inform the target consumers about the new features offered by the Apple MacBook Pro-13-inch model and how the product meets contemporary customers’ demands and adds value more than the direct and indirect competitors. Advertising will thus create awareness about the availability of the Apple MacBook Pro-13-inch model and how it has addressed the company’s needs. With the concerns diverting towards comfort and speed in typing, computer graphics, speed, RAM, and internal memory capacity, advertising will mainly help inform the consumers about such improvements in the Apple MacBook Pro-13-inch model. Hence, the firm will assist the customer see the value that the product will add to their experience with the PC and thus influence their decision-making. Adverts will be run on televisions, radio, and newspapers.
Public relation is a useful promotional tool. The press releases will inform the consumers about the availability of the products and indicate the users’ experience. The company will organize other corporate events to celebrate the product’s success by launching various projects and sponsoring events. The internet plays a significant role in the campaign. Social media is influential in the direct marketing of the products to the target consumers and collecting their feedback regarding the Apple MacBook Pro-13-inch model (Finne and Christian 41). Comments through the company’s website and online sales will offer a platform for communicating with consumers about the product. Sales agents will play a significant role in informing the consumers about the product’s features and collecting their feedback regarding how they perceive it and their likelihood of purchasing it. Sales promotion targets consumers such as students, people in the military service, and professional workers who will be given the products at a discount.
This campaign aims to increase the sales of the Apple MacBook Pro-13-inch model by raising awareness among potential customers. Since Apple has had success in attracting and retaining its customers through the production of quality products and maintaining a favorable brand image, giving the information about the product will play a significant role in influencing its sales (Finne and Christian 41). Therefore, the upgrades of its features have been of great concern and will solve the considerable demands of modern PCs. Through the use of multiple channels in informing the buyers, Apple is highly likely to achieve and surpass the objectives of this IMC plan.
Specific Media Objectives
The objective of using the media is to reach as many consumers as possible. The use of print and digital media will target platforms with the largest audiences within the United States. After evaluating the budget and the charges within various print and broadcast stations, the executive management team will select the platforms that offer favorable prices and reach a large population within major cities in the United States. As such, Apple will focus on using popular newspapers, radio stations, and TV stations within primary audiences in major cities such as New York and Los Angeles. Hence, it will place adverts to ensure that the highest number of target audiences is reached within the campaign period.
Evaluation of IMC Program
Monitoring the sales of the Apple MacBook Pro-13-inch model will play a fundamental role in observing how consumers respond to the messages delivered during the campaign. Sales per region will be recorded and analyzed as the campaign continues to determine the rate at which the information reaches the consumers and how they respond to it. Moreover, visits to the company websites and social media pages will also provide insights regarding the responses to the campaign (Finne and Christian 41). The rise in the rate at which people visit the company website, the increase in the subscription to the company’s social media pages, and the rate at which people discuss the Apple MacBook Pro-13-inch model in social media will show the impact of the campaign on the target audiences.
The demand for PCs has been on the rise due to the introduction of online schooling and work. The developments have emerged as a major opportunity that Apple Inc. can use to maximize the sales of its Apple MacBook Pro-13-inch model. Though the product faces competition from competitors with similar qualities, the brand equity of Apple Inc. and the high level of customer loyalty offer a perfect market advantage to maximize the sales of the Apple MacBook Pro-13-inch model. Thus, the goal is to create awareness among the target audiences about the new product and the upgraded features, thus getting consumers interested in purchasing it. Therefore, the company will achieve this through aggressive advertising in print and digital media, offering product promotions, and engaging in beneficial Public Relations activities.