Last week we reported on Apple's move to centralize its European marketing operations at its European Headquarters in Paris, France. Yesterday, at Apple/Sony's 'Solutions for Video' event - sponsored by Macworld's sister magazine, Digit - we caught up with David Cockle, Apple's European business development manager, who took the time to explain Apple's position regarding the move.
"Centralization? I think centralization's good. It's a sad thing in that there are people involved, but strategically it's good," Said Cockle. "You have to look at the US - geographically it's larger than Europe, but we don't have different marketing departments in different states. Europe is large, too - the only difference is that it has different languages."
Pooling resources? "Exactly. Rather than building up different offices with different marketing teams, to have sales guys in each country reporting to one central office does make sense."
Cockle also explained that the decision to strip down Apple's bureaucracy freed up resources, enabling events like Apple's Solutions for Video roadshow to be planned on a European, rather than country-by-country level. The Solutions for Video event had already travelled through France, Holland and Sweden by the time we caught up with it.
As we explained in our previous report, the sales teams in different countries are promised massive marketing support. Could we expect more such events?
"Yes, even as we speak, the guys in the US are negotiating a series of Web-related events. This quarter it's Final Cut Pro, next quarter it's Web authoring," said Cockle.
Finally, Cockle added: "The idea is to promote a series of events in the vertical markets so we get the message right and get a feeling for and feedback from our customers in different fields."
Donald Kaye, Apple's manager, creative markets embodied Apple's new strategy, when he said: "The key is that we do want feedback."