Apple Retail Store Offline Marketing Guide

iPhone

When you run a company, no matter big or small, you have two choices. Either hide behind the scene things from your users or choose transparency and favour building trust over hiding small things that are not a common practice to share openly.

In Telegraph, we are a small team dedicated to mission of connecting our users in a best possible way, and from day one, we believe building trust and choosing transparency is crucial to our success.

The story we are going to tell here is a scene from our early launch days. Arguably, it is not a common thing for product teams to share their private marketing stories, but we do this in a hope that others who might done this before may feel they are not alone in universe. Also, we hope people who might unwillingly participate to this kind of marketing campaign will recognise the trick.

We sincerely believe this isn’t a violation of Apple’s policies, since we value our partnership immensely.

The story

It was a beautiful evening. Big bitten apple was shining in the second floor of a huge shopping centre. Telegraph was already released to the App Store and was making its way to the devices of our first users.
I walked into the Apple retail store to play with shiny pieces of technology we all have in our pockets anyway, and right at the moment I saw the first iPhone standing proudly on the beautiful shelf, I was hit on the idea to market Telegraph in a different – offline way.

I grabbed the first device and touched blue shiny App Store icon on it. App opened up instantly and I typed word “Telegraph” in the search box. Then I scrolled down to our creation with a lovely pic of a nice girl on the first app screenshot and put the phone back to its beautiful standing. Then I grabbed second phone and did exactly the same. Then third one… Sooner enough the store became a magic location serving dedicated Telegraph offline adds here and there.

It was a mixed feeling. On the one hand, I was proud with a great offline marketing strategy I had just discovered. On the other hand, there was a strong feeling I’ve done something not so right.
Apple facilitated this glorious store not for app creators to pop in, not to buy anything and just open up their apps on iPhones, iPods, iPads and even Macs, but to deliver a great products to their own users. It was Apple’s territory to show off their creations – not mine for sure.

In any event, the crime was committed. To share my heroic adventures with the team, I pulled out my own iPhone and took a picture of proudly yellow iPhone 5C with App Store app opened and the blue logo of Telegraph posing on it.

When I was already out from the store, I looked back and saw young man with a yellow phone in his hands. Did I manage to open Telegraph app page on that one? Did he see my genius advertisement or pressed home button too quick? Will he sign-up and be active on Telegraph? Maybe he is even reading this story right at the moment… Questions like this were stuck in my head for the rest of the evening.

We never did that Apple retail store offline marketing trick again, but I hope this post will give an idea to app creators how to market their apps without spending a dime, and also make visitors of Apple retail stores to take a moment and actually pay attention to the opened screens before pressing the home button. Maybe someone is standing out of the store and looking through the thick glass for you to read the hidden message left exactly for yourself!

We noticed downloads spike that day, either my humble discovery has worked, or I wanted to believe it did so strong.

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