Steve Chazin, a former Apple marketing and sales exec, has identified 5 of the things that make Apple such successful marketers.
This little 8 page eBook is absolutely brilliant.
I believe that there is one, underlying thing that Apple is doing, and I wonder if Steve Jobs has realized it:
All of the great, wildly successful products, services, companies, institutions of the last decade or two have all done one thing at the root. They have helped the customer make Better Decisions Faster: not only faster in buying, using, recommending the product itself, but also helping the customer use that product to make better decisions faster in their lives.
For instance, Apple makes it faster to get on the Internet; operate a computer; organize, find, store, carry & access their music, photos, etc.
Amazon has done the same for books, eBay for collecting, Google for searching & reaching the customer at the exact point of interest, Yahoo for accessing certain types of content, Prius for making a certain social statement, Toyota in general for making it easy to buy a more reliable car, etc.
An the root of all successful marketing these days, is helping the customer make Better Decisions Faster. I have always been able to find several major ways to make it faster for your customers to decide on your product, if your product is the better decision.
When you enable customers to make better decisions faster, you accumulate customers faster, your customers get to be better users faster, they feel better about the whole experience, so they spread the word faster.
In the Age of Overload, time is more than money.