CMO Talk: What Makes Phil Schiller the Top CMO of This Decade?

Tuesday 19th, July 2016

Phill Schiller

Phil Schiller is the senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple Inc. Though it’s just his official title – in reality he’s a media influencer, technology guru and a marketer par excellence.

So what makes him so great?

For starters, he isn’t afraid of schooling the Twitterati on the proper pluralization of Apple products.

According to him, it’s wrong if you say, “I have two iPhones.” Instead, you need to say “I have two iPhone,” or “I have two iPhone devices.”

It takes an astute person like Phil to master the art of marketing – and we as fellow marketers should take a leaf out his book.

The Most Influential CMO (4 Times in a Row)

Phil Schiller has topped the Forbes/ScribbleLive World’s list of 50 most influential chief marketing officers in 2015, for the fourth time in a row.

He has made it to the list – with a score that is more than the next eight influential CMOs combined!

Industry experts attribute Schiller’s influence to Apple’s high-profile product launches and keynote speeches.

What sets him apart is the killer combination of social media skills, remarkable marketing innovation and his ability to influence a range of global businesses. Despite his stardom, he remains humble and down-to-earth – and this quality of his, has led him to be recognized as the most influential marketing personality, year after year.

Emphasis on Content Marketing

Time and again we have discussed the importance of content marketing in the organic growth of a brand.

Phil has been with Apple for 20 years – and he has shaped the way Apple interacts with its customers – often setting a standard for other brands.

While handling product marketing at Apple, Phil created campaigns for the flagship devices including the iPod, iPhone and the MacBook.

As a result of his efforts, Apple still maintains a high growth rate – despite heavy competition from Samsung and other players.

When the best minds in the business practice it religiously – there is no reason for you to cut down on your content marketing efforts.

Master of Storytelling

At the core of any content marketing strategy is the storytelling.

The ability of yours to weave a compelling narrative about your brand, purpose, goals and the services that you offer, is what makes you stand out. If your content fails to tell a compelling story, you certainly cannot expect to hook up your audience or retain your existing customers.

Phil Schiller is a master of storytelling. Every time he takes the stage for a keynote address, he paints a fascinating picture of the products and how they’ll change people’s lives.

And who can forget the ‘one more thing’ moments. Though famously used by Steve Jobs, this phrase has associated itself with the great products that have been launched over the years.

Simple and powerful storytelling has always been Apple’s forte. Phil Schiller, being the voice of Apple, is always under the pressure to deliver without sounding too salesy.

And boy, does he pull this off wonderfully!

While introducing the iPad Pro at the latest Apple event, he jokingly mentioned how ‘sad’ he was, seeing over 600 million people using PCs that were more than five years old.

By keeping his tone light-hearted, he connects with his audience on a personal level. And that’s what makes his sales pitches great – and highly effective.

Actively Engaging on Social Media

Phil Schiller is highly active on social media. Not limiting to announcing new products and pushing sales, he connects with Apple fans personally – and answers their queries.

By engaging with the millennials on Twitter, he keeps Apple relevant and appealing to the younger audience.

Having a strong social media strategy is incredibly important to a brand’s health. If you aren’t paying attention to mastering social media, you might lose revenue in the long run.

Phil continues to extend his influence and engages with his audience by responding to fans’ tweets and even taking part in the 2014’s ALS ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’.

Bottom Line

The key takeaway from Phil Schiller’s success story is that you need to keep your marketing strategy relevant to the audience and narrate a compelling story on social media.

Always bear in mind that your customers need to connect with your brand. You as a CMO need to be that connection.


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