Marketers: What Would Steve Jobs Do? 6 Marketing Imperatives for 2010 (part 1 of 4)

What Would Steve Jobs Do? This is the first of a four part series for Consumer and Pharma/Healthcare Marketers looking to tame the rigors of 2010…by taking a closer look and asking ourselves what three incredibly successful people and companies in business today would do…

The genesis for this series first came while reading Fortune’s CEO of the Decade and The Decade of Steve, and thinking about the question that Apple executives asked themselves over and over during Steve Job’s six month leave of absence in early 2009: What would Steve Jobs do? Recently, I picked up What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis (great book)… I hope you’ll stay tuned for What Would Google Do? And What Would Jake and Rocket Do? And What Might Marketers Do in 2010?

As you’re developing new products, services and/or marketing plans this year, here’s a question to ask yourself at each major milestone and decision point…

What Would Steve Jobs Do? The threshold for moving forward: Would it pass Steve’s test? In the past 10 years alone Steve Jobs has radically and lucratively reordered three markets –music, movies, and mobile telephones–and his impact on his original industry, computing has only grown.

There’s an old Wayne Gretzky quote that I love. ‘I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.’ And we’ve always tried to do that at Apple. Since the very very beginning. And we always will.” – Steve Jobs

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Steve Jobs, Leonardo da Vinci

1. Know what consumers want. Paint a big-picture vision that will WOW your consumers and competitors. Create new experiences that can change the world…create a story. Create an adversary and a new way to win. In every story there’s an antagonist-the hero fights the villain. Introducing the antagonist (the problem) rallies the company and audience around the hero. In Job’s case, create and act upon a ‘digital lifestyle’ strategy…He was a very successful ‘David’ fighting Goliath… iTunes new paradigm, Macintosh launch in 1984 against IBM

2. Make it your business to know everything about your product area and company. Small details matter and are not to be overlooked. Steve is known for being involved in details you wouldn’t think a CEO would be involved in. He’s also well known for “One more thing”.

3. Take full responsibility for the user experience. Apple is about being a system… In 2002, Steve told Time, “We’re the only company that owns the whole widget — the hardware, the software, and the operating system. We can take full responsibility for the user experience. We can do things that the other guy can’t do.”

4. Design is critical and must be perfect. He’s a perfectionist to the nth degree. He has a willingness to be a pain in the neck to what matters most to him. (Time 2005) The company believes in “deep collaboration” and “concurrent engineering” so there are no hand offs…just flawless design. (You may also want to read Inside the Apple Ecosystem and Tim Brown’s Change by Design)

5. Master the message. Simplify complex information. The message to the public is always consistent, simple, breakthrough, and expert at bringing the benefit(s) to life. E.g.:it’s not just a 5GB iPod, it’s 1,000 songs in your pocket; iconic “think different” campaign. Jobs practices the message over and over and only a few deliver it. He is also careful to avoid overexposure, preferring to speak only when he has new products to promote. He crates ‘twitter-like headlines’. E.G.: Macbook air. The world’s thinnest notebook. iPod. One thousand songs in your pocket. (You may also want to read Carmine Gallo’s: The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs slide share and book.)

6. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.
Lessons he learned after he found out that he had pancreatic cancer. “Your time is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma-which is living with the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the voice of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.”  –  Steve Jobs

Healthcare Marketers:

What if Pharma and Healthcare products/services took full responsibility for the user (patient) experience?

What if Pharma and Healthcare designed the product and user experience to simplify the complex and encourage participative medicine?

What if Pharma and Healthcare mastered the message and dialog so patients and their caregivers immediately and easily understood the benefits and risks and could discuss it with their doctor and family?

Stay tuned for What Would Google Do? (WWGD)…