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An Old Lesson on Target Audience... the iPod Way

by Sean D'Souza  |  
February 22, 2005

Imagine your name is Steve.

As in Steve Jobs. Head honcho at Apple.

Imagine you're in a shareholders meeting and you've just made a statement—apparently so dramatic, that for the first 33 seconds all you hear is dead silence.

Then suddenly the shareholders go berserk. They start shouting. Some resort to swearing. Others flip you the bird. A box containing Windows XP flies at you as you hastily duck behind the podium.

Heck... this is nasty stuff.

And all this nastiness and frustration seemed to erupt when you made the mistake of saying that the iPod was going to go after just one target audience.

One target audience? What kind of fool talk is that? Oh yeah, we know all those darn marketers say that you should have just one audience. What do they know? Imagine trying to sell the iPod to just teenagers. Or just travelers.

Of course we now know that the iPod is literally a necessity with travelers, teenagers, fitness fanatics, students, business executives and, yes, even grandmas and grandpas. So did the iPod break the rules of staying with one target audience? And how can you argue with one billion dollars in sales? Have all those marketing gurus got their brains filled with sawdust?

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Sean D'Souza uses age-old psychology, marrying it to modern technology, on his Web site, Can "psychological tactics" make a difference? Go there and find out.

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  • by Oscar Sat Jun 7, 2008 via web

    I disagree with this analysis. The author is basically saying Apple's target audience are those who didn't want to carry CDs around.
    While this is true it is certainly more important to point out the iPod's target market are first and foremost Teens, in particular those with a high-speed internet connection.
    Apple's iTunes and Ipod's adverstising strategy was based a celeb ads and other promotional events that appeal more to teens. Certainly their product has wide appeal but nevertheless it was the teen market that drove iPod sales and lead its success.

  • by Tommy Sat Nov 7, 2009 via web

    We had to read this article for a class in internet marketing and although it's not in-depth on psychographics it has an element to hit the idea of the importance of them. A good, short, case study (although not backed by research).

  • by claire Wed Dec 2, 2009 via web

    absolute rubbish..waste of my time!!

  • by zak Wed Dec 2, 2009 via web

    as if i signed up to this site just to read this article... what a waste of time. ever heard of referencing?

  • by Dub Wed Jan 13, 2010 via web

    Oscar, Chris, claire and zak...

    Haters...... If you can't learn something from this, or at least try to improve your marketing thought processes with a positive attitude, you should just give up and stick to failure.

    You are depressing, please don't share with the rest of the group.

  • by Imagineimages Sun Feb 14, 2010 via web

    Hmm... actually I don't recall seeing any 'celeb' ads Oscar. In fact, what stuck with me most about Apple's iPod campaigns is that there were never any faces in them; recall the silhouettes with white headphones?!

    Point is, it could have been anyone in those ads (get it?)!

    * 'Thorough analysis and research' indicate that your opinions = my job security

  • by SavannahSaurus Tue Jun 8, 2010 via web

    well, I dont know about anyone else but I liked this article, it gave me exactly what i needed =3

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