What’s that sound you might have heard coming out of Cupertino last night? Maybe it was Apple management giving a collective sigh of relief over their earnings report. Narrowly beating Wall Street estimates, Apple may have dodged a bullet this time. But, if the Apple-shunning youth of the world are any indication – maybe it’s time for Apple to get their cool back.
Every company, even one with a long history of good performance like Apple, needs to introduce fresh marketing energy to fight the inevitable forces of cool-decay. Here’s what the hep-cats at DMA would do:

1. Color by Data
Don’t let your projections for next quarter’s modest growth color your vision in rosy tints. Consumers today are discerning – and unpredictable. Let their purchase decisions and transaction behavior color your understanding of their needs, desires – and whims. Data and information are your main strategic advantage. Use them to identify opportunity – no matter what color it is.

2. Embrace the Crowd
It’s a WIKI world. Everyone is a source for creative input. Now is the time to seek input from the people and leaders outside of Apple who have faced these crossroads before and have gone on to achieve competitive advantage. Their experiences will help you define new boundaries for your marketing team that will enable greater creativity, quality and commitment. By embracing the data-driven marketing community, you will gain greater command of what really matters: results.

3. See Data Differently
Facts are friends. Look for information and insight in data points that will not only provide more relevant context for your marketing, but also provide more effective guide posts for performance. Identify new KPIs that will elevate your marketing decision-making beyond opinion. Accountability is the most creative word in advertising today. Maintaining more accurate financial controls over your marketing spend will enable greater creativity.

These are tough times for Apple – and any other marketer who finds themselves in a position to have to manage their business in a market where growth no longer comes as easily as it once did. To succeed, Apple must excel at both – the “science” and the “art” of exceptional marketing practice. They will find them both at DMA2013- where Blue Sky meets Best Practice. So will you.

Find your blue sky at dma13.org.

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