The Importance of Marketing and Covering in Moderation

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While one of the things this blog is dedicated to is teaching people how to market themselves using the various social media and online marketing tools available to us (along with making a truly marketable product), today I wanted to step back and focus on two things: the importance of using all of these tools in moderation (as a marketer) and when it comes to writing about certain topics (covering), doing that in moderation too, and generally striving to provide your audience with a healthy mix of offerings.
There is one prominent example that exemplifies the situation from both perspectives and shows how over exposure can really turn fanfare into revulsion.
Apple’s iPhone
According to the New York Times there have been 11,000 print articles written about Apple’s iPhone in the last 6 months alone, and it turns up around 69 million hits on Google. To simply say that this is a result of a well-executed marketing campaign would be a ridiculous understatement. On the other hand, however great a feat this may be, the public is sick of the amount of exposure Apple’s latest piece of hardware is getting and how every media outlet has been saturated with coverage of the device.
This is becoming more and more evident in the newer headlines as they are beginning to pop up.
In an effort to not anger their readers, Engadget first assured their readers that they weren’t skipping other news to cover the iPhone instead, and then later decided to split their coverage into iPhone and non-iPhone coverage, allowing users to decide which coverage they wanted to subscribe to. Furthermore, while Gizmodo, told their readers to stop whining about the excessive coverage, also gave a way to filter out iPhone coverage.
Dvorak quite succinctly describes how someone who is looking for substantive news feels when all he can see is wall-to-wall iPhone coverage:

I am sick of it. It’s all anyone talks about. It dominates the news. It dominates the podcasts and videocasts and magazines. Hitler got less coverage when he invaded Poland.

I think we can all see how an unnecessary marketing machine, exacerbated by too much media coverage can end up backfiring. Apple is responsible for this in the way they managed the press around the phone (by releasing information bit by bit, and to different outlets at different times) and journalists are responsible for this because they simply over-covered the entire event.

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  • HMTKSteve

    I’m not sick of the amount of coverage the iPhone got. I’m sick of the way 99% of the coverage was positive. The Nokia N95 is a phone that does everything the iPhones does but does it better, why is the media not talking about it?

  • Amrit Hallan

    Whereas I’m not denying Apple’s role in this over-exposure, I think Apple fans too are fanatical about Apple products, like we here in India have fanatical fans of aged film stars in southern India.
    The good thing about the Internet, and especially about blogging, is its democratic nature. You can simply decide not to read stuff on iPhone.

  • Alex Rudloff

    Yet here we are, talking about it. 😉
    The goal of marketing is to keep it in front of people and in the news. I’d say Apple did amazingly well.
    Without the over-coverage, they probably wouldn’t have pushed 700,000 units in the first weekend.

  • Jake

    Thanks for this “coverage” bring some great points to light. Overexposure can kill a good thing and turn out to hurt a marketing and PR effort.

  • Michael

    You DO know that Dvorak purposely trolls with anti-Apple stories to get hits (and that he has publicly admitted it), right?
    So while you might agree with the sentiment, you may not agree with the subtext. Or you may – after all, you need traffic too, right?

  • Virgin

    Im curious how Apple getts all the buzz. LG’s Prada phone never got this much buzz and it’s practically the same.