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We are often asked, “Are you a B2B or B2C agency?”

This seems to be the initial cut-line for many marketers. With all due respect, it is already steering the discussion down a bad path. As the old country lawyer said, “Son, you are already convicting yourself.”

The answer we give – every time – “we are a consumer-driven agency.”

The fundamentals never change. Whether you sell pizza, shampoo through retailers or specially-machined widgets to a Chinese manufacturer. People engage in what is interesting to them. People buy when they decide you have a product or service that is valuable to them. People make those decisions – for themselves, for their family, for their businesses.

Reinforced another way… by an Apple employee:

“The magic of what Apple has done recently is telling people what they ‘need’ before they know they want/need it. By creating the best consumer product, they have created one that’s arguably more successful in the business market than consumer market – iPad.”

Does your marketing platform have a vision for what is needed in the future? Or, does it merely mimic what the competition is already doing? That is the difference in leading a category and being a second rate brand.

Businesses don’t sell to business. People sell to people.

The correct question in our mind is not “are you B2B or B2C?” The right question is, “Do you know how to create more Zealots for your brand?”

“I continue to be amazed by Apple.

It was been reported this week by Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty that Apple recently doubled monthly production of iPads to 2 million units per month.  Apple has also indicated to its supply chain that it wants to move to producing 3 million units per month by the 4th quarter, which implies that they will produce (and sell) 36 million iPads annually in 2011.  I do not have one yet, but I want one, and apparently so do a lot of other people.

If one does the math, and conservatively assuming that the volume is split between the two lowest price point 3G and non-3G models, the 2011 annual iPad sales volume would be $20.3 billion.  Keep in mind that this is for a product that didn’t even exist at the beginning of this year.

To put that sales volume in perspective, if iPad was a stand-alone company, its sales volume would make it number 119 on the Fortune 500 list of the largest US companies.

Taking this one step further, iPad would be larger than American Airlines, Nike, Kimberly-Clark, Goodyear, and Xerox.  It would also be roughly the same size as Marriott and Starbucks combined.   Again, this is for a product that did not even exist at the beginning of the year.”

Edward Jenkins
Senior Vice President
Atlantic Capital Bank

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