Links – Ken Segall’s Observatory

Posted: January 19, 2014 in Blogging, My Links

There are a few sites which I follow so I thought I’d give a brief explanation as to why any readers of this site might be interested in checking them out.

For anyone who doesn’t know, Ken Segall was the marketing guy behind the phrase ‘Think Different’ for Apple back in the Steve Jobs days. His blog can be found here.

To be fair I know very little about marketing, I come across it in my day-to-day work, but it’s always marketing on the cheap. Its pushing a product at a seasonal time and usually very localised. Nothing like the world that Ken moves in. So what’s it got to do with me and being middle-aged?

Firstly, its genuinely interesting and if you believe one should always be on the look out for new interests then this is well worth picking up on. Read his ‘Insanely Simple’ book too, it’s a fascinating insight into Apple at the time he was working with them. There has been so much written about Apple and Steve Jobs, this one at least has the kudos of someone who was there at the time and was involved in the process.

Secondly, I just can’t help it – I’m a bit of an Apple fanboy (well fan-middle-aged-guy I guess). I find their products and strategies absorbing. Granted, its more from a consumer’s point of view but that doesn’t lessen my interest. I try (with varying degrees of success) to keep up to date with consumer tech of interest to me and Apple make that easy for me. iPod, iPad, iPhone, iTunes – yep guilty on all counts.

Thirdly, its given me an appreciation of marketing which I didn’t have previously. He has a fair number of posts about Apple ads and Samsung ads and to hear how a top-level marketing exec explains them has opened my eyes. Not least to my own employer’s rather limited marketing and how the guys working there are asked to work miracles with a budget of buttons.

His recent post has been a comparison between Apple and Samsung’s holiday period adverts. The Apple one is a bit emotive, pulls at the heart-strings but I still like it. The Samsung one is shocking in so many ways. I just cringed all the way through it. It’s quite astounding that a company this size with so much revenue at their disposal for advertising manages to shoot themselves in the foot with a truly awful advert for their new smart watch. My immediate reaction to the advert is to never buy any of their products again or at least think twice before I do. Ken also manages to articulate all the things that spring to mind so well.

It’s well worth a follow for anyone interested in marketing and/or Apple. Updates tend to be every couple of weeks or so, but they are always well written and researched.

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