4 Marketing Lessons From Steve Jobs [Marketing Update]

Karen Rubin
Karen Rubin



In case you somehow hadn't heard, Steve Jobs, an amazing marketer, presenter, and product designer, resigned as CEO of Apple earlier this week. This week on the Marketing Update, Karen Rubin and Kipp Bodnar discussed lessons marketers can learn from Jobs. The Wall Street Journal published a great article about his best quotes. Below are some of our favorites and how they apply to marketing. 

Quote #1: Marketing Budget

"Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it." Fortune, November 9, 1998

Marketing Takeaway: Innovation in marketing has nothing to do with how much budget you have either. In fact, this is what makes inbound marketing a much better, cost-effective alternative to traditional outbound marketing. Make sure your team is filled with passionate people who believe in what they are marketing. In inbound marketing, it's about the size of your brain, not the size of your wallet. Create amazing, remarkable content, and you'll be amazed at the kinds of results you can achieve. 

Quote #2: Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing

“When you’re young, you look at television and think, there’s a conspiracy. The networks have conspired to dumb us down. But when you get a little older, you realize that’s not true. The networks are in business to give people exactly what they want. That’s a far more depressing thought. Conspiracy is optimistic! You can shoot the bastards! We can have a revolution! But the networks are really in business to give people what they want. It’s the truth.” Wired, February 1996

Marketing Takeaway: More people are ignoring television ads by blocking them with TiVo and DVR technologies every day. At some point, the television networks will catch on that their business model is no longer working. As a marketer, make sure you have started using inbound marketing techniques to stop interrupting people and start engaging with them. 

Quote #3: Differentiation

“It’s more fun to be a pirate than to join the navy.” 1982, quoted in Odyssey: Pepsi to Apple, 1987

Marketing Takeaway: Be unique in your marketing! Try new things, and be remarkable and different. Wearing an eye patch and a peg leg could do wonders for your marketing!

Quote #4: Passion

"And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it." Stanford Commencement 2005

Marketing Takeaway: Inbound marketing demands passion. You can't create remarkable content if you don't believe in what you're creating. Hire people who are passionate about what your business has to offer, and it will inspire an awesome inbound marketing strategy that features amazing content that generates results.

What else can Steve Jobs teach you about inbound marketing?


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