(A formal invitation for Steve Jobs to guest lecture at Medill IMC)
By Anne Mahoney
In a recent article featuring an interview with Jobs’ old boss at Apple, John Sculley, details about the mythical man had me reeling with pride. “He’s a total IMCer!” I thought as I read about Jobs’ focus on user experience before market share. It illuminated a vast difference between Apple and Japanese companies – and also IMC students and MBAs.
The article was especially timely as we had the opportunity last week to hear Jose Costa speak on the difference between IMC and MBA students. Costa is a Medill IMC grad and currently finishing up an MBA at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Among the more conspicuous degree comparisons, the one that had us students applauding was his slide featuring IMC as a Mac and MBA as a PC. Steve, did you hear that?
As IMC students, we are constantly urged to consider the question: “What business are you in?” Jobs was the only person, back in the 80s, to view the computer as a product for personal use. Guess he nailed that one.
We also learn that consumer data is extremely important, but the frustrating part about consumers is that they can rarely articulate exactly what it is they want or need. It is up to companies and mostly marketers to anticipate that need, and to create a product or messaging to satiate it. Jobs did exactly this, too, when he visualized the Macintosh, which was far outside the realm of what calculator users thought they needed.
The article highlights how the success of Apple is most definitely a result of Jobs’ emphasis on product design. Although Medill incorporates a rich and varied amount of elements crucial for integrated marketing into the program, Jobs also makes a great case for why design should be a topic more relevant at Medill. If we as marketers are able to influence the core of the user experience, what a person sees and feels, that will make us more successful in all other communication surrounding it.
So Steve, if you’re not too busy, feel free to stop by Evanston and teach us a thing or two about this design thing you’ve changed the world with. Lunch is on us.
Anne Mahoney is the Social Media Director at Vitamin IMC and a student in the Integrated Marketing Communications graduate program at Northwestern University's Medill School. She can be reached at AnneMahoney2010@u.northwestern.edu.