Apple is giving brands yet more ways to use their content and apps.
And those ways are increasingly about the device bringing things to you.
Those are the key takeaways from a couple of veteran marketing/ad guys we pinged for their feedback on the announcements this week by the Colossus of Cupertino. Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) began Monday in San Francisco and is ending today.
“I’m not so bullish on these [announcements] from a paid [ads] perspective,” Craig Weinberg, VP of mobile strategy at digital marketing agency 3Q Digital, told me.
But, he added, he is “bullish from an overall marketing perspective” because of the additional ways that brands can use their owned assets.
The onus is increasingly on brands to come up with ways to communicate with their customers, Weinberg said, across “a multitude of screens.”
And across a growing multitude of interconnected applications.
The Spotlight search engine can now more easily deep-link inside an app. A search for, say, potatoes could lead via a results link to a potato recipe inside a cooking app. Apps become partially searchable, which means that brands now need to think about their search strategies for that previously unsearchable set of assets.
The enhanced connection between search, apps, and intelligent agent Siri can add “another layer of personalization and connection” to content and apps, he said.
Imagine, he said, a travel app directly searching for concert tickets in a strange town. The onus is now on the travel app to figure out all the ways to use these and other capabilities, including Siri’s updated awareness of what you want to be doing at any particular time.
At some point, Weinberg said, one could even imagine an ad asking Siri to help find local information, although he added it’s “not there yet.”
Weinberg also noted that brands’ content is “becoming more surfaceable,” such as through native app development on the Apple Watch. On such a small screen, he said, it’s not about paid ads but about messaging, notifications, and the kind of micro-content you want living on your wrist.
The new News app represents an advertising opportunity, he said, as opposed to the new, paid Music service. But Music offers a social feature, Connect, where artists can share info with fans — another way for music companies and musicians to figure out how to build relationships with their fans.
For Frank Addante, CEO and founder of programmatic ad firm Rubicon Project, the week provided yet more examples of how the old world of consumer online behavior is disappearing fast.
In that world, he said, you would “pull up a web browser, search for something, load content, read, and navigate through links.”
Now, he said, the expectation is increasingly that info will be brought to you and curated.
The News app and the Music service bring content to you, the Watch pings you, apps become part of search, and Siri knows more about you when she searches.
Thus begins another chapter in an age when a brand’s tasks are less focused on the customer knowing about the brand, and more on the brand knowing about the customer.