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Frame Your Future: 4 Keys to Avoiding Mac’s Marketing Missteps

0128_mac-800x480TAKEAWAY TUESDAY Take it away! This is the eighth in a series of posts that will be featured on Fonteva’s blog highlighting important strategies associations can take away from other industries. In today’s sixth-degrees-of-separation world, your members are assessing your association not just in comparison to similar organizations but in relation to the totality of their experiences as consumers. As such, we want to help you stay abreast of key trends and best practices, those takeaways that may benefit your association. “The Mac was meant to blow minds and change the world. And it did. But not right away,” writes Associations Now Social Media Journalist Ernie Smith. When the original Apple Macintosh made its debut in 1984, it didn’t get rave reviews from business customers. And there are some lessons to be learned from Mac’s initial mistakes in marketing this then cutting-edge device. When associations introduce new products and services that don’t seem to be immediately embraced by members, the need to remember to:
  1. Be patient. “Something that gets lost in the vats of digital ink spilled about Apple over the years is that although the benefits of the Mac’s landmark graphical interface were certainly clear, it took a long time for those benefits to reach the general public,” Smith observes.
  2. Create a mechanism for frequently communicating about their benefits. According to Smith, “with no blogs to drive enthusiast interest, Apple also played a pivotal role in launching a magazine for the budding platform, the still-active Macworld.”
  3. Put a sufficient support system in place. “For all the Mac’s innovations, it just didn’t have the ecosystem to make it a viable business offering,” Smith notes. “Apple was the first mover on the graphic user interface (GUI)—the Lisa, released a year earlier, got there before the Mac, but it was insanely expensive and not insanely great—but at the time Apple didn’t have the apps or the vendor lock-in that made it a smart move for a business to push an entire department to the Mac then and there.”
  4. Narrow their market and think long-term. “And if you look back 30 years, you’ll see Apple’s biggest early Mac successes came from marketing narrowly—in industry sectors where early buy-in meant long-term influence,” according to Smith. “It focused its early efforts on universities, which led to entire generations of home users buying Macs because they got hooked at school.”
As I consider these lessons, they echo some of the advice that we give our customers when they first implement their member portals. This is one of the most popular features of Fonteva For Associations; yet their members may not necessarily to take to it like fish to water. In most cases, careful marketing and promotion will be needed for them to fully leverage this valuable tool. Original Article

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