DATE: 05-12-2017
Executive Summary:
The purpose of this report is to investigate how integrated communications in Apple Inc affects customer engagement. Secondary research was utilized in the gathering of relevant information pertinent to this report. The report indicates the internal communications among other examples of integrated communications that aid in enhancing customer engagement
Table of contents
1. a) ORGANIZATION SUMMARY………………………………….3
1. b) Internal communication impacting customer engagement…………4
1.c) Internal resources and how they impact customer engagement…….6
Organization name
Apple Inc., founded by Steve Jobs and Steve G. Wozniak, was established in the 1970s with a vision of creating premium products aimed at enriching the lives of people (Levy, n.d.).

Type of Organization
In its inception, Apple was more of a partnership between Wozniak and Jobs, but the company was changed to a public limited company after they launched its IPO in 1980. The company sold nearly 4.6 million shares at $22 each (Defree, 2016). Just recently, Apple broke a market-cap peak record they previously held as they recorded $776.60 billion which was up from $774.7 billion in 2015. This new record reinforces the company’s status as the most valuable PLC company (Leswing, 2017).

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Size of Organization
According to the Morning Star Financials, Apple’s total revenue in 2016 as of September was
$215,639 million and averaged $191,913 million globally between 2012 and 2016. The company’s total employees at the start of the 2016/17 financial year were estimated to be roughly 115,000, but this is expected to have risen.

Products and Services
The company specializes in the design and manufacture of communication devices, personal computers, music players along with related software and networking solutions. Some of Apple’s most common products include a wide range of iPhone smartphones, iPads, a series of Mac personal computers and the iPod media player. Apple also has available software namely macOS and the iOS both of which they utilize in their products. The company services consist of iCloud, iOS App Store, iTunes, Mac App Store among others.

Customer base
Apple Inc. largely relies on a business to the consumer model of business as their products are designed for personal use. Apple is considered a premium brand, so the company targets the high-end market with an estimated household income of at least $125,000. A large section of its customer base is the youth most of whom have a strong financial basis with an average of 18-44 years.

Main Competitors
In the communication devices section, Apple’s major competitors include Samsung, Sony, and Nokia. Google is Apple’s main competitor when it comes to operating systems illustrated by the 99.6% share of new smartphones that run either operating system according to Vincent (2017). Microsoft’s Windows OS is also a formidable competitor holding an 89.23% market share (Hruska, 2016).

1. b) Internal communication impacting customer engagement
Apple, under the new management of current CEO Thomas cook, is gradually changing its internal systems to be more collaborative, previously the firm was very secretive and worked under internal silos. The new management firmly believes that a more collaborative internal system would have a trickle-down effect that would end up boosting customer engagement.
i. Email – company email is a tool of communication that has been very effective. Recently during hurricane Harvey, Apple’s CEO sent an all –company email communication clarifying what action they would take and what employees needed to do in terms of donations and assisting the victims who included part of the apple team. The apple customers were able to donate through the apple stores, iTunes and Apple Inc .com and this activity helped to build trust between the consumer and Apple boosting customer engagement.

ii. Meetings- Apple’s executives have a culture of holding a series of weekly meetings with the different departments, the meetings are to discuss results and strategies and reviewing important projects allowing even the junior staff to get direct executive feedback, a culture of responsibility and accountability has lead to very innovating and productive team. This has helped apple to remain the most innovative company if its kind, customers are always getting the best and coolest products exceeding their expectations.

iii. Apple website. Apple is entering its current/ latest news or information on the website. The website places emphasis on collaboration as employees can easily go to the widgets such as Apple camp, Field trips, news room and get updated information. Apple customers have access to the same information and can register for the activities creating an opportunity for them to understand various dynamics of the company’s operations and products, informed customer tend to remain loyal .

iv. RSS Feeds-is an application that update news, a list of the best songs present in the iTunes store. This aids in keeping the staff in the know of the comings and goings of the company’s product releases and services, as a consequence of this the clientele are fully satisfied by the company’s services, customer are in constant know how of Apples products, Apple in turn get feed back on the products.

v. Apple Events- This is jam-packed with business presentations and publications concerning company’s merchandise and company’s problems and concerns. It portrays all videos of all the events hosted by Apple. Similarly, this communication means aids in the spread of vital information about products and services our company rolls out. This fully equips the staff to offer quality services that boost customer loyalty and engagement (Apple.com 2012). The employees also get to meet key clients and get direct feed back on the products launched.

1.c) Internal resources and how they impact customer engagement
The internal resources can be categorized as tangible (quantifiable and discernible assets) and intangible (assets that cannot be viewed, are entrenched in the company’s history, are hard for competitors to reproduce and accrue in the progression of time (Rosenbloom 2012).

Tangible resources
About fiscal resources, it is quoted that Apple’s market capitalization is roughly US $550 billion, with sales per annum over $100 billion. This establishes Apple is the most valuable publicly traded corporation globally. The share price presently stands at around $600 (Bergvall-Kåreborn, and Howcroft 2013). This highly lucrative financial arsenal and can help boost customer engagement through advertisement campaigns and setting up customer loyalty reward schemes that will eventually boost customer engagement.

Human resource:
Apple employee include programmers, Designers, Engineers, sales team , the Organisation should invest in motiving employees by ie reward schemes. Apple employees are allowed to invest in the company stocks , by announcing to offer company stocks as a reward for best performing staff will help to motivate employees . Motivated employees will eventually deliver an excellent customer experience resulting in satisfied customers ,satisfied customers become loyal and enter collaborative relationships the organization.

Physical possessions comprise 362 retail stores globally, which raise sales margins and effective advertising as all the stores are well branded . Apple needs to increase the number of retails stores especially in emerging markets such as Africa in order to personalize their sales and customer service in these regions. The stores help to attract customers and to interact with both new and existing customers.   
Adverting resources also needs to be enhanced i.e Apple needs to enhance the promotional activity on social Medias including Facebook, Twitter and other online websites.  Online advertising is one of the most effective ways of interacting and attracting customers, Apples online advertising is at its minimal.

Third party development and assembly associations are moreover a key feature of Apple’s accomplishment allowing for moderately/ reasonably priced development while all design facets remain internal.. This structure of affordable third-party manufacturing can help create employment in various parts of the globe. This has the effect of boosting the brand image and aid in the acquisition of more unsettled customers. (Armstrong, Adam, Denize ; Kotler 2014).

Intangible resources.

Apple’s irresistible and unparalleled accomplishment in the technology commerce indeed arises from its intangible assets. The sway that co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs had on the corporation is indisputably responsible for its successes. As a capitalist and human resource to Apple, Jobs’ administrative competence and pioneering ideas were priceless. Such a fund to have is certainly had to reproduce due to its uniqueness, and unparalleled effectiveness would without a doubt win the hearts of many. This would also draw a clientele that is enchanted by the successes of such a charismatic figure, and this would, in turn, cause an increase in levels of customer engagement (Jun ; Park 2013).

The schemes in advancement, devise and software systems are all critical features of Apple’s operational and technical resources and are strongly linked to the company’s intangible assets due to their close association with understanding and supervisory capacities. Apple needs work on developing low cost software that can allow them to sell more cost effective product so as to gain more competitive advantage when it comes to pricing .
Powerful Brand
The status of Apple along with the distinctive conception of clientele ‘needing’ the latest design in the current discharge of devices and services is an insubstantial asset essential to the organization’s accomplishment; they have held precisely what the client wants. This recognition has undoubtedly drawn consumers and aided in establishing repeat buyers and subsequently loyal clientele that have eventually served the purpose of creating customer engagement.
Therefore, a recap of Apple’s vital internal resources that aid in boosting customer engagement:
fiscal resources (significant profit margin, high deposits of money, huge market share)
technological assets (assembly centers, outsourcing accords)
R;D possessions (research laboratories, rights of superior technologies)
human resources (exceptionally skilled staff)
advertising resources (association of retail stores, affiliation with other corporations, marketing influence of Apple ecosystem)
Goodwill (notable brand reputation, countless loyal customers)
2.a)Comparison of Apple customer value proposition with competitor.

i. Tablets-Apple inc vs Intel

Apple is at present well in front of the competition in this sense and instigated a directed ad operation concerning diverse Verses – distinctive person confessions of how customers are relating to their iPad. Apple has a broad inventory of tales detailing multiple different private and marketable applications for the iPad. Apple’s is the only company that is doing this (Patently Apple 2014). Apple presents the message of their value proposition by explicitly mentioning the advantage their product has over their competitors on top of this it offers client confession on how the products aid them in their lives and this also aids in communicating the value proposition (Tsai and Chang 2013).

As the principal PC processor manufacturer in the world, Intel is postulating a very uncomplicated to comprehend marketing message. The next generation notebooks that comprise the hybrid segment are marketed as “the best tablet when you want it and the best PC when you need it, all in one device”(Patently Apple 2014). This message outlines a difference from that mentioned by Apple in that it makes a bold promise that it should keep if it is to be successful. The difference is that that Apple suggests the actual operating features of its product, Intel, however, avoids all that jargon and offers a bold statement that would serve the purpose of persuading the customer of its superior value of its product.

A fresh study documented by Kantar today asserts that the value proposition for tablets is presently very vague and unclear for the clienteles (Patently Apple 2014). Tablet dispersion within the United States clocked 37%, an increase of 54% weighed against the same stage in 2012. The trade tablet leaders must disseminate more vivid marketing messages to clients persuading them why they ought to go ahead and purchase a tablet.

2. b) External communications aimed to reinforce key messages
Project Title: iPhone 7 campaign
Deadline: FEB 2018
Project Overview
The project to be undertaken is the outreach activities by Apple Inc. using advertising through various media portals and platforms. The project is aimed at increasing the entry of new buyers into the Apple Inc. clientele. The plan is required to improve exposure of Apple products in the Smartphone market and to improve the sales volume of the iPhone 7 devices.
The Campaign shall be conducted principally online using digital advertising on the company website http://www.apple.com/, in print media, for instance, computer technical magazines and furthermore presented in the company’s own, Apple Magazine , TV ads and bill boards.

“The World at Your Fingertips” will be the slogan used to pull-in consumers who have busy lives and need a tool to help them sort out their life.
Target audience The target audience are both old and new consumers between ages 18-44, they are innovators and tech savvy. This includes students, business people and youth (trend setters).

Competition of the product in the Smartphone market is posed almost solely by, the Samsung devices. They currently hold the dominant market share of the total phones that are sold globally and will be the primary competitor in this industry of the Smartphone cellular devices.
Samsung has the most billboard and tv commercials creating the most awareness although their product has failed in customer satisfaction.

The competition shall be posed by other cell phone producers that include Sony, Nokia (which has been revitalized since its purchase by Microsoft recently), Huawei also offers significant competition to the iPhone market we aim to compete in.

The company promotion event will be carried out over a time frame of one and a half years beginning Feb 2018.

By the conclusion of the campaign, we expect to have garnered an increase in the product exposure to a minimal percentage of 75% of individuals within the middle-income pay bracket.
The budget of the campaign shall be $1.6 million and will be geared towards creating a unique advertising message
TV stations: $400,000
Apple magazine: $200,000
Bill boards: $300,000
Training of staff: $500,000
Apple Website: $50,000
Other magazines: $50,000
TONE Our new campaign will incorporate soothing, easygoing activity, and bold pictures. The advertisements must project a comforting feeling in the fast paced world. Our consumers should feel relaxed and organized at the same time ready to take on the world
Marketing Assets ..wiil insert
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Pens 2.c). How Apple’s branding can help boost customer engagement
Steve Jobs was once quoted as saying “The opportunity to craft a remembrance is the soul of brand marketing.” Good branding engages sentiment, not only rationale, and builds on that association to fashion an unforgettable identity. Branding thrives when it elicits a positive emotional resonance in the hearts of the consumers. Customers are way more liable to keep in mind – and purchase – products and services that make them feel good.

Consistency: Apple has adopted a consistent message in its branding, the company continually places a lower case “i” on latest digital products –for instance, the iPhone, iPad, iPod, and iWatch. This dependable appliance of a critical branding element guarantees that consumers can just recognize a new product as coming from Apple, despite the fact that they’ve not heard of it at all.

At the moment you purchase an “i” something, you have an excellent idea of what you’ll be acquiring since Apple has continuously conveyed innovations and offerings that accomplish its brand promise.

Apple’s relationship-building achievement has grown from its capability to relate with clientele on a significantly higher individual level that is characteristic of big companies. Moreover, it’s leveraged honesty within its branding to produce confidence among consumers.

Differentiation: Apple has uses novelty, sophisticated customer service, and promotion and marketing campaigns that connect to consumers’ emotions. Apple’s achievement exemplifies that populace will disburse a premium for products and services that present substantive disparity.
Apple aims to be the leader and not a follower. The idea of the Smartphone was in the offing for numerous years before Apple entering the tuff. As opposed to chasing after what different Smartphone manufacturers were doing, Jobs’ group built on the fundamental idea, formulated its operating system and integrated the first touchscreen. Apple didn’t craft the conception of digital music, but it, however, created innovations and services that made digital music broadly available to the general populace. This helped Apple acquire a loyal clientele that is genuinely in love with Apple products.

Positioning: Apple was among the leading groups in personal computing. Similarly was Microsoft and a group of different lesser-known corporations that have filtered in and out in the previous decades. Following early accomplishment commanding an essential bit of its position, the business misplaced its marketing mojo during the 1990s and its earnings suffered. Apple resolved this issue in two ways. It concentrated its advertising on recreating its figure as an industry-leading pioneer in personal computing, and it fashioned new positions for itself, as well as in digital music and smartphones. At present, almost no one would present Apple as a “niche” corporation. Indeed, its products now pervade virtually all features of American life.

Apple creates products tailor-made for the customer. One of Apple’s potency has at all times been its capability to plan its original products, but it has in addition to this enhanced efficiently notions drawn from others, converting them into something of better-quality and more pertinent to customers than the initial idea. Jobs managed to do this by envisioning what his invention needed to unravel for consumers and then querying himself the thing that he would find practical, accommodating or merely surprising if he were in the consumer’s shoes. This mindset is aiding in establishing consumer engagement.

Apple Mantra for simplicity can be realized in its products and more over its advertising style. Apple products have a distinctive sleek , friendly and fun design, making their products accessible to all age groups and tech savvy individual. Apple bill boards are simple in their message compared to it competitors offering a competitive advantage for its products. See below apple bill board for the I Phone 6.

3. a).Three communication methods that Apple could use to engage its customers.

(1) Personal Selling
The hiring of customer-obsessed, empathetic staff. Steve Jobs had unique and effectual insights concerning how individuals desire to relate with technology. Jobs utilized a quote formerly accredited to Henry Ford to explain why these ideas were so vital: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses”—demonstrating the point that buyers may be reduced to thinking only in requisites of the things they discern, instead of what is likely. So Jobs and contemporaries contemplated concerning the consumer experience more intensely than the client could. Jobs was once quoted saying, “One of the keys to Apple is that we structure products that turn us on.” Fortunately for clients, this frequently means products are precisely what they desire due to the fact Apple employees are so deeply ingrained in and committed to the customer’s experience. This could aid in the creation of customer engagement in that it will lead clients to have connection to the company which brings with it loyalty and a healthy sales volume growth.

(2) Direct Marketing
Customer fascination made official market research less imperative. However, it is no secret that Apple does indeed spend a massive quantity of time scrutinizing clients using Apple’s and additional companies’ technologies. Referred to as “participatory design” or “usability testing,” Apple amalgamates consumer experience within its design and development procedure to comprehend their “pain points” and “opportunities. “In truth, Jobs himself was repeatedly the most significant customer, but this did not affect more systematic participation from customers throughout the process. Therefore as outlined above proper research and interaction with consumers could create trust and eventually bring about more significant customer engagement with the company.

(3) Public relations
Apple runs its public relations practices via online press releases, annual reports, speeches and seminars. An annual CSR report is also used by Apple as an effective PR tool. It is important to note that unlike other major corporations of a similar size, Apple manages its PR and communication strategy in-house without assigning the task to external PR agencies.

Apple PR strategy has been branded as “the PR silent treatment”53. According to this strategy, the company does not provide detailed information about technical specifications and other details of new products prior to their launch, thus creating an atmosphere of suspense among loyal customers and general population and the suspense gets expressed in long queues in front of Apple stores on the day of product release. Range of PR practices that have proved to be immensely effective for Apple include “controlled leaks and advance briefings for favoured writers, an invite-only media debut, and a special early review process for a group of pre-screened, known-positive writers