Apple – An iPod IMC Plan The Apple iPod is huge. For the company to continue this success, I wrote an a sample IMC plan in late 2004 for my Direct Marketing class at West Virginia University. All content is © 2004-05 Peter Graber. Executive Summary A major retailing story this holiday shopping season – especially in consumer electronics – is Apple’s iPod portable digital music player. News reports released yesterday by Reuters point to expectations that Apple will double sales of the previous quarter, possibly selling over 4 million units.
The iPod might be the biggest holiday ‘must have’ since the Cabbage Patch doll or the Rubik’s Cube. Even at these levels, the player and its related consumables (music) account for over 25% of the company’s revenue. To build on this momentum, the following integrated marketing communications plan seeks to educate creative consumers about the benefits, convenience and practicality of iPod use and ownership. The plan assumes that Apple will introduce a player at a lower price point than the current iPod mini, which should attract a new segment of users.
For existing iPod owners – approximately 10 million to date – the plan also seeks to engage this segment further. Because a large percentage of the iPod user base has only recently purchased the player, significant opportunity exists in the areas of music downloads, accessories and related services. These all help Apple’s bottom line. Brand Background Apple Computer has long been known as the world’s most innovative personal computer company. Many of its products – both past and present – are credited with helping to shape how people use and interact with personal computers.
Apple began in 1976 and was founded by current CEO Steven Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ron Wayne. After a successful start with the trailblazing Apple II in 1977, the company went on to introduce the Apple Macintosh in 1984, a product that featured a new and revolutionary operating system, along with a series of easy to understand metaphors like the “trashcan”, the “note”, and many others. This introduced mass-market consumers to the convenience and ease-of-use of a graphical user interface and changed the nature of personal computing. The whole personal computer industry would follow Apple’s lead.
Unfortunately, many of Apples accomplishments in terms of product design and development have been overshadowed by the dominance of the Microsoft Windows operating system. Ironically, the personal computer revolution that Apple helped create largely bypassed the company. While the company was quickly embraced by the creative industries through its early focus on desktop publishing and media creation, business and home users predominantly chose the Microsoft platform because it was cheaper, more widely used, offered greater software selections and was easier to acquire.
Apple’s worldwide operating system market share peaked in 1986 at 16%, but is currently estimated to be less than 3%. Aside from these issues, Apple continues to leverage its innovation skills to create new opportunities. A recent example of this has been the Apple iPod, a portable digital music player introduced by the company with tremendous success. To date, the iPod commands over 90% of the market for digital music players. Dovetailing with this success is Apple’s groundbreaking iTunes Music Store (ITMS) – the first service to offer legally purchasable digital music downloads.
Since its launch in April of last year, over 200 million songs have been purchased and downloaded through the service. These numbers are expected to increase along with greater numbers of iPod users. Because of the iPod and the iTunes service, Apple has witnessed a huge increase in the number of new users to its products and has created a strong channel to drive further revenue growth. Beyond revenue, however, these developments suggest that Apple can maintain relevance to consumers in new ways, ones not strictly centered on their core operating system software or its derivative hardware.
Situation Analysis Apple serves all markets that use personal desktop computers and their related software and hardware. This includes schools, corporations, governments and general consumers. Increasingly, the company has begun to serve general consumers desiring access to products and services related to digital media delivery and consumption. Competitive Environment Apple’s Macintosh OS has the smallest worldwide user base of any commercial operating system, estimated to be only 2. 5%.
The Microsoft Windows platform is dominant worldwide, estimated to run on between 93% – 98% of all personal computers. Beyond Windows, Apple also competes with a relatively new option in operating systems. These include open-source derivatives of the Unix operating system, like Linux. Linux is expected to surpass Apple in terms of market share by the end of the decade. As a result of these factors, Apple is constantly faced with the challenge of maintaining viability in the OS market. A relatively new bright spot for Apple, however, is the portal digital music player (DMP) market.
The DMP market features two classes of products: microdrive and solid-state players. Apple’s current iPod line dominates the microdrive segment, with some estimates being has high as over 92% market share within the US market. Apple does not yet provide a solid-state or flash memory-based player, but this is expected in early 2005. The flash market segment – characterized by lower prices and less storage capacity – makes up the largest portion of the current worldwide market for DMPs. Competition and the number of consumer choices are growing almost daily.
Given the two segments of players, Apple’s current competitors in the microdrive class include Dell (Pocket DJ), Virgin (Electronics Player), Rio (Carbon), Creative (Zen Micro, Zen Touch), JetAudio (iAudio M3). Each alternative offers similar functionality, storage capacity and size/shape features as the iPod. Cost is a main differentiator among competitors, with all offering players at lower prices than the iPod. Here are some recent pricing samples of iPod’s competitors: The Apple iPod Mini $249. 00 Zen Micro $250. 00 Virgin Elec. Player $250. 00 Dell Pocket DJ $200. 00
Rio Carbon $210. 00 The larger portion of the DMP market is the solid-state or flash player market. Apple has yet to provide an iPod that utilizes this technology, but current predictions note that this is almost certain for early 2005. As such, a flash-based iPod will allow Apple to position itself at the lower end of the market and capture additional market share. Although it is currently estimated that Apple controls approximately 47% of the worldwide MP3 player market – largely the realm of solid-state players – this area could be strengthened with a focused product.
While the iPod competitors all offer very similar features, a critical difference in relation to the iPod is the format of rights-managed digital media (DRM). This is important because it allows media (songs, imagery, etc) to be purchased and/or rented within some sort of model that captures revenue. The iPod utilizes a proprietary format (AAC) that is not supported in other music players. Additionally, the iPod doesn’t support the popular Windows Media Audio (WMA) format, a format that supports new DRM features as Microsoft expands its media offerings to consumers.
While most music currently ss non-rights-managed (MP3) – a format all players support – Apple’s rights management model could be a factor in the future, especially for their iTunes Music Store (ITMS). Apple’s ITMS goes hand-in-glove with the iPod and the company’s ‘digital hub’ concept. ITMS was launched in April 2003 and allows users of the iTunes software – available for both Windows and Mac – to purchase and download individual songs. To date, Apple’s ITMS has a market share of approximately 70% of all legal music downloads and has generated over $200M in sales for the company.
Competitors in this area include existing audio/video service providers like Real and Microsoft. Much like the digital music player market, this is a rapidly expanding area. SWOT Analysis Taking into account Apple’s situation, the following strengths (S), weaknesses (W), opportunities (O) and threats (T) have emerged. Strengths A· Innovative Design Heritage- Apple has long been known as a leading innovator of both hardware and software. Since its founding in the mid-seventies, the company has taken a leading role in defining cutting-edge personal computing.
It all started with the graphical user interface and mouse. It continues today with the iPod. A· High Quality Software /Powerful Hardware – Apple has relied on stringent quality specifications of its physical hardware (CPU, peripherals, etc) and its operating system is considered stable, reliable and easy-to-use. The current hardware lineup is geared towards high-need professional creatives. The iPod and iTunes products have confirmed this in both areas. A· Fashion-conscious Product Appeal – Apple leads the way in industrial design and makes ‘cool’ and fashion-conscious products.
What started with the Macintosh 512K (circa 1984) continues today with its iPod. Form follows function. Many computer users seek this. A· Ease-of-Use- Starting with the Lisa/Lisa 2 (circa 1983) and the first commercial implementation of the graphical user interface, Apple has pioneered in engineering easy-to-use software. This concept is consistent through all products. Even today, in a new product category, the iPod’s ‘navigation wheel’ has set the standard for portable music players. A· High Reliability-
Among its current users, Apple products are known for a high degree of reliability and stability that enables users to be more efficient and productive. A· Loyal user base- Apple loyalists have been built over the last quarter century and remain rabidly committed to supporting the company’s products, even in a ‘Windows world’. This critical for the company and they must maintain this base. Weaknesses A· Market share /Users- Apple’s current world OS market share is slowly eroding. They must continue to grow and/or maintain their user base or they risk losing relevance altogether.
A· Compatibility with Windows Platform- This is misunderstood by consumers. More education needs to be done demonstrating that this is not an issue. The iPod can be a means to do this. A· Costs of Products- Apple products have always been more expensive than their PC counterparts. They must work to offer solutions at a greater number of price points. A· Concentrated Leadership and Vision- Apple has been very successful since Steve Jobs returned, but this has created too much concentration in creative leadership. Opportunities
A· Increased Multimedia Demand by Consumers- The Apple iPod has helped create a category of consumer electronics that positions the company as a key enabler. This needs to be capitalized on. A· New/Expanded Distribution Channels – Not making the same mistakes as in the eighties, Apple has vastly improved their distribution network in recent years. The iPod has allowed them to develop new channels A· MS Windows Dominance – The ubiquity of the Window’s platform has created problems for consumers that allow Apple to differentiate on.
These include increased security, privacy, reliability and ease of use. Threats A· Microsoft Windows OS – Microsoft’s products have improved over the years are becoming viable alternatives in creative industries. A· Open-source Software – Linux and free OS software are continually making advances, and like Windows, are increasingly seen as viable alternatives. A· Company Leadership – If Jobs was unavailable to lead the company – especially given his health and his other leadership roles – who could step in?
Succession is an area of concern for Apple. Target Audience(s) The integrated marketing communications program outlined below attempts to grow Apple’s overall customer base and market share by raising awareness of the value-added benefits of Apple’s new products – such as the iPod and iTunes – and to entice users of these new products to support additional Apple brands. Accordingly, the target audience of the campaign will differ from the types of consumers Apple has targeted previously.
The plan will seek to stress the practical value of the iPod in terms of extending the functionality of any computer system (regardless of operating system), makeup of the target audience needs to possess certain characteristics. The following is a description of consumers the campaign seeks to connect with. Consumer Profile Consumers to be targeted are individuals that live digitally savvy and fast-paced lifestyles. This group constantly seems on the go with family or friends, or through their professional pursuits.
They are aged 18-45, are male and female, single or married, professional, well educated and all create in some way, shape or form. They are America’s Creative Class and they use technology as a way to achieve their goals and add more convenience to their lives. They are ‘a€¦ doctors, lawyers, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs and computer programmers – almost everyone, in short, who is paid to think for a living’ . Their work involves ‘ producing, applying, and distributing knowledge rather than things’ .
Additionally this group works in the following creative segments, identified by John Howkins in “The Creative Economy: How People Make Money from Ideas” (2001): A· Advertising A· Architecture A· Art A· Crafts A· Design A· Fashion A· Filmed entertainment (including videos and DVDs) A· Music A· Performing arts A· Publishing A· Research and development A· Software A· Toys and games (excluding video, PC games) A· Video games A· TV and radio This group lives in areas that allow them to express themselves. Although all places exhibit these types of consumers, certain areas have greater degrees of concentration of them.
These markets, highlighted in the next section, will receive a disproportionate share of spend relative to overall media and promotions. They live in places like: A· Washington, D. C. A· Raleigh-Durham, NC A· Boston, MA A· Austin, TX A· San Francisco, CA A· Minneapolis, MN A· New York, NY A· Seattle, WA In addition to these, target consumers can also be identified by the following characteristics: A· They are current MS Windows users A· Average Income : $35K+ A· Own a cell phone A· Have varied creative interests that include: A· Music A· Photography A· Video A· Sports A· Electronic gaming
Supporting these, the target consumers also possess an identifiable set of psychographic characteristics. They are status-oriented, fashion-conscious achievers who like to experience life with as many modern conveniences that are within reach. This group relies on premium quality products to confirm their status and shape their image among their peers and themselves. And because they lead active, digitally enabled lifestyles, they’re free time brings them into contact with magazines and the Internet more so than other segments. This will become a factor in the media implementation.
Marketing Objectives and Strategies The estimated number of iPod users in the US is currently10 million. This number is expected to grow in the coming years, as more consumers purchase digital music players (DPM) that fit their needs, budgets and lifestyles. The main objective of this plan is to continue to grow the iPod user base and seek ways to capture additional revenue from current iPod users in the form of ancillary products, services and software. The marketing objectives for the plan are specific, measurable and achievable as follows: A· Generate $850M in new iPod Sales
A· Generate 500M in iTunes Music Store Downloads A· Generate $150M in Sales from existing iPod Users Generate $850M in iPod Sales At first glance, more than three-quarters of a billion in revenue for new iPod music players may seem significant. But when segmented across Apple’s entire iPod line, this is achievable. It’s widely assumed that the company will be introducing a solid-state (flash) version of the iPod in the first quarter of 2005. This player will be priced significantly lower than existing iPod’s and allow lower market consumers to access the brand.
This plan attempts to achieve a sales volume of 3 million flash-based units during Apple’s fiscal year 2005, which would generate approximately $510M in new iPod revenue. The remaining $340M would be delivered through existing iPod units, like the iPod Mini, the iPod Photo, the iPod Special Editions, as well as through co-branded traditional iPods like the current HP iPod. The micro-drive segments of the line will still appeal to higher-end consumers. Generate $500M in iTunes Music Downloads The iTunes Music Store (ITMS) has witnessed tremendous success and maintains a 70% market share within the downloadable, rights-managed music market.
This plan assumes this share will increase slightly in Apple fiscal 2005, and that ITMS will exhibit strong sales performance as the iPod user base utilizes the service to fill up their iPods with music. The plan’s goal is to entice the established 10M iPod users to download 5-7 songs during 2005. To further support this goal, new iPod users acquired throughout the year – estimated to be 4. 5 million – will be enticed during the original point-of-sale process. Competing with this area however, will become increasingly difficult for the company as new services become available.
For example, RealNetworks current efforts to undermine Apple’s Fairplay digital rights management with its Real Harmony technology could have compelling effects long-term. Generate $150M in Sales from Existing iPod Users This aspect of the plan is the most ambitious and relies on Apple encouraging a small percentage of current iPod owners to purchase existing iPod accessories or Macintosh computers and/or software. Commonly known as the ‘halo effect’, a majority of iPod owners today are Windows users who have been introduced to the Apple brand for the first time. The plan attempts to capitalize on this to generate revenue.
Time Frames The time frame to achieve these objectives will be 12 months and will begin in January 2005. As the company introduces new players and services, they must also attempt to engage existing iPod and Mac loyalists. The most important aspect of the plan’s timing is to maintain momentum and ‘buzz’ within the iPod line. This is a very difficult proposition, but one that Apple has tremendous amounts of experience doing. The help maintain momentum, it is assumed that major iPod announcements will be executed during the company’s annual MacWorld Conference in early January.
This includes the introduction of the new flash-based player. This will help maintain momentum for the first quarter, while additional events in Boston, Japan and Europe throughout the year can serve as additional venues for additional refinements, upgrades and launches. Throughout the year, the communications this program outlines will be pulsed to time with established Apple promotional events. Media Objectives and Strategies The media strategy and objectives for Apple work to define and communicate the concept of a comprehensive “digital lifestyle” and to reinforce the values they bring to creative consumers.
A key factor in this plan is to use concentration in the media in order to obtain a high degree of message frequency in the target group. To do this, the plan will use many different types of media in a continuously scheduled format that will feature pulsing relative to Apple’s trade shows and conferences. With this in mind, the plan will attempt to achieve the following media objectives: A· An average reach of 50 within the target group for 12 months, increasing to 75 around pulsed time periods. A· Attain an average frequency 4 within the target group, 6 during pulsed periods.
A· Educate consumers on the digital lifestyle concept and how Apple enables it. Reach & Frequency To foster action by the greater number of consumers described previously, significant reach and frequency must be obtained. Because the underlying messaging in the campaign is somewhat sophisticated, consumers will need to be reached multiple times. The plan’s overall reach target is 50, with certain periods of the year exhibiting higher numbers. Essentially, the strategy is to maintain momentum that often accompanies Apple’s scheduled trade shows and conferences, such as Macworld and MacExpo.
Although there are other trade shows the company participates in, these provide excellent venues to plan pulsing activities around. High spend allocations will follow each event and the plan will also attempt to leverage the publicity these events generate to attain a reach of 75. These activities will hopefully maintain momentum that these events generate. In terms of frequency, the campaign is attempting to convey a rather sophisticated statement, through the use of simple messages. Because of this, the plan will attempt to attain an average frequency of 4 with the target group.
During pulsed periods where message frequency will increase, this number will increase to 6. It is expected that many target consumers will be exposed to greater numbers of messages given their lifestyle and habits, especially those that match the target definition. The plan hopes that these greater impressions won’t exhibit wearout on the targets, but will work to reaffirm loyalty and help create ‘advocacy buzz’ within this group. Enabling the Digital Lifestyle Creatives have come to acquire an extensive array of modern computer-based tools.
They use digital technology to work, play and to enhance their lives. The media will attempt to encapsulate this usage and label it in the minds of consumers as the ‘digital lifestyle’. In this regard, Apple will be positioned as the premier enabler and the iPod as the critical link. A· Couple the iPod with existing computer uses within work, play and the creation process. A· Clarify interoperability with the Microsoft Windows platform. A· Create sense that Apple iPod is an entirely new ‘platform’ that enables the digital lifestyle. Creative Brief Why are we advertising?
To position the iPod as the key linchpin to a musically enhanced lifestyle for consumers. Who are we talking to? The current US Creative Class, ages 18-44, male and female living in key markets. These individuals What do they currently think? Creatives may view the iPod as only a digital music player, and not as a component that extends the practicality of their desktop computers. What would we like them to think? That the Apple iPod is clearly the premium choice because it offers more convenience, security, reliability, and ease-of-use. What is the single most persuasive idea we can convey?
That an iPod can improve the enjoyment of a person’s life. Everybody should have one. Why should the audience believe it? Proof will be provided through multiple, everyday uses. A common chord will be struck that will help connect the audience with the imagery and messaging. This will lead to credibility. What is the tone? Conversational in tone. Will not speak at the reader but will speak with them. Are their any creative guidelines? Yes. Must be consistent with established brand identity already established. Typography, product shots style must resemble current Apple implementations. Creative Strategy
In order to tie the media objectives and strategy together with those of marketing, a campaign with a unified theme will be developed and launched. This theme will be carried through within all media the plan utilizes. The campaign will be headlined as ‘Have The Music” and will seek to present the benefits, conveniences and lifestyle improvements that come with owning and using an iPod and the iTunes music store. The strategy will entail raising awareness of the enjoyment benefits of Apple products – specifically the iPod and iTunes – while also highlighting the functional superiority and reliability versus competing alternatives.
In a sense, the strategy is to communicate with a wide range of the segment to revive their interest in personal consumer electronics. Much of this segment grew up with products such as the Sony Walkman and have an affinity for gadgets. Currently, Apple’s creative work with regards to the iPod has focused on the Generation Y (18-26) portion of the segment at the expense of diferent life-stage groups. In order to adapt the messaging execution to a variety of use scenarios, Have The Music will incorporate a series of media showing iPod usage in a range of situations.
This should help consumers across the whole segment to identify with the iPod and how it can fit in their lives. Examples will include situations where the iPod can improve the user’s life, such as exercising, shopping, traveling, work, and entertainment. The campaign will feature a series of custom taglines that will incorporate the campaign’s title with the particular use context, such as ” Have The Music, Enjoy golf more, Have The Music and Impress Yourself. The goal is to connect music and the iPod with enjoyment, fun and personal status across a range of activities. Media Plan
A key objective of this program will be to increase the overall market share of Apple products. To accomplish this, the company’s iPod will be used as a gateway product to introduce consumers to the larger brand family. Budget Considerations – Based on my research, Apple currently spends approximately $110-120 million advertising its PC computer products. Budget figures for the iPod were unavailable, however, this product line is enormously important to the company and represents the fastest growing area of revenue. As such, I will use $85M as the basis for the iPod budget.
Taking this into account, the plan will consist of drawing 20% from each budget’s total, for a sum of $40M. The breakdown of this figure will be: Television – 40% ($18M) Print – 35% ($14M) Direct Mail – 10% ($6M) Internet Advertising – 15% ($2M) Media Types and Selections – The following media types and outlets will be used and were selected based on the target demographic – creatives 18-45 living within eight selected US creative centers. These centers include Washington, D. C. , Raleigh-Durham, NC, Boston, MA, Austin, TX, San Francisco, CA, Minneapolis, MN, New York, NY, Seattle, WA.
A· Television – 15 second and 30 second spots within the following: – National networks (NBC/CBS/ABC) – Select Cable Channels and Networks: – MTV and VH1 – ESPN / ESPN – CourtTV – CNN – Discovery Channel A· Print – Three varieties of print media will be utilized. These include outlets with national coverage and strong vertical profiles: A· Magazine Ad Placements – Full-page bleed advertisements will be placed in the following magazines: A· Rolling Stone A· Sports Illustrated A· Cosmopolitan A· People Magazine A· Time Magazine A· Maxim Magazine A· Billboards / Signage – Heavy street level presence within urban areas.
Emphasis placed also in airports and/or public transportation venues A· Standard indoor / outdoor billboards A· Non-traditional signage in bus shelters/railway stations A· Non-traditional signage placed in and around green spaces like park benches, golf courses, etc. A· Direct Mail – A· A catalog featuring the Apple iPod and related accessories, digital music products, software and hardware products will be produced. A· Targeted to new and existing iPod owners and users exclusively. A· Coupon Incentive Program to current iPod owners for discounts on music down load (ITMS) and/or Apple hardware and software.
A· Internet Advertising – The World Wide Web will be used to compliment placements and efforts in other mediums. A· Banner Advertising on consumer entertainment sites A· Banner adverting on high-trafficked portals A· Banner Advertising on consumer music enthusiast sites A· Email Campaign targeting existing Apple iTunes Music Store users A· Complimentary banner ads on magazine and television channel / network sites A· In-store Promotions – These will be carried out not only within Apple’s retail stores, but also through the company’s growing consumer electronics distribution network.
A· Point-of-Sale displays A· Floor displays, shippers, in-store banners. A· Public Relations – This is an important part of the plan that will reinforce credibility to the campaign. Apple has historically been a closely watched company relative to product announcement and news related items. The company will seek coverage and mentions within all identified creative markets. A· Coverage in local newspapers A· Coverage in trade press/journals/magazines A· Coverage in national network media outlets Creative Tactics The following is a brief description of the creative tactics used in the plan.
In short, tactics will focus on utilizing the Apple iPod as a metaphor for introducing more consumers to the Apple product line and to encourage sustained use of the iTunes Music Store. Key benefits of advanced Macintosh products, like their desktop PC lines and their portable computers will attempt to be connected with the benefits of the iPod. The tactics will also be tied closely to communicating the practicality of the iPod in various use situations and will work to entice new purchases of the iPod and iPod accessories like digital music or related hardware extenders. Print Media Tactics
Generally, print advertising will stress image and lifestyle related benefits of the iPod and Apple. These types of placements will be short on copy and long on imagery. The iPod will be shown in a number of use situations, and in a variety of contexts. The goal will be to help the target market identify with the benefits the product provides, the iPod’s physical features and how using the iPod and iTunes add enjoyment to their lives and helps raise a user’s social standing. A· Full Page Advertisements – High resolution, full-scale images of the iPod, along with simple and short copy.
Television Tactics The television tactics will show iPod usage in scenarios similar to the print-based components, but will place greater emphasis on connecting Apple products with a digitally savvy, creative lifestyle. Alongside use situations, other Apple products will be drawn in – like their portable computers and desktops to suggest interoperability and ease-of-use. Along with the use contexts, different socioeconomic environments will also be used. – Multiple use situations, contexts, environments. – Imagery of showing users easily using Mac products. Imagery suggesting ease-of-integration with Windows ; Mac products Internet Advertising Focus will be placed on fostering action and usage of the iTunes Music Store on the part of the user. – Establishment on Download-of-the-Month Club – Pricing discounts on exclusive digital box set. – Promotions on Apple Flash I-Pod, Special Edition iPods, Co-Branded iPods Evaluation Techniques/Assessment The key goals of this plan are measurable, especially in terms of sales targets and iTunes downloads. These include: A· Unit Sales of iPods generated by the campaign. A· iTunes Music Store sales for the campaign period.
A· Web traffic, visits, and analytics of Apple’s web site A· Efficacy of ‘digital lifestyle’ concept messages Quantifiable Measures Many of the goals of the plan are measurable, including most sales, revenue and service usage goals. Progress within these areas will be monitored on a monthly basis and adjustments made to program execution as needed. Of particular interest, however, is evaluating the efforts to promote further purchases of current iPod and iTunes users. Promotional efforts tied to this group will segregated in an effort to determine this group’s response.
Communicating with this group is critical to the long-term success of the iPod line and of iTunes. Concept and Copy Testing Since many of the portions of the media campaign will attempt to influence action on part of the target, both concept and copy testing will be done prior to implementation. These activities should help gauge if the messaging is applicable to the target, as well as if it is contemporary enough to be relevant. Because much of the campaign relies on drivers of popular culture, relevance or ‘coolness factor’ needs to be determined.
Timeliness in this area is important. Online Customer Survey To gauge the ongoing interest in Apple products and services, users of the iTunes Music Store will be encouraged to complete a series of short surveys on product usage and other factors. These surveys will be designed to be very brief and will be integrated into the iTunes e-commerce system. Consumers will be offered discounts or downloads for participation. While this method isn’t evaluative of the plan itself, it will provide the company with relevant data to evaluate their efforts.