June 8 — What Marketers Need To Know From Today’s Apple Keynote

Apple’s WWDC 2015 Keynote just finished up, here’s what marketers need to know.

iOS 9

This version of iOS brings even more context aware features. For example, plug-in your headphones and get the “now playing” controls on your lock screen. When you’re getting a phone call from an unknown number, iOS will take a guess by searching through emails. The new search screen will show Siri Suggestions for things like Apps, contacts, and what’s nearby based on contextual clues. Very similar to what Google does with Google Now. There will also be an API for the Siri Search screen, allowing users to look for results offered by the users apps.

How this affects marketers

These “proactive” features allow users to get more relevant information on their phone in the moments they need it most. Google has a great read on this topic, they call them Micromoments. There’s a huge opportunity for marketers to work with their clients to optimize their iOS apps to provide relevant search results to users from within Siri/Spotlight. Imagine asking for a auto mechanic and having your insurance app give you suggestions about where to go. It’s when you win at this quick mobile decisions that users will start to give preference to your client.

Square + Apple Pay

A common theme that I like to write about is mobile payments. Apple Pay launched last year and you can already see the major impact it’s making in the mobile payment space, those Verifone terminals are everywhere. With Square launching it’s Apple Pay reader we should see a much larger adoption of NFC payments everywhere. Learn more and purchase yours here: https://squareup.com/apple-pay.

How this affects marketers

If your client doesn’t accept mobile payments, this could be a cheap way from them to test it out in one of their stores. Also, see the next section about Wallet.


Apple is rebranding Passbook to Wallet to signal the fact that your iPhone is truly replacing your wallet. Wallet will now feature membership, loyalty, and rewards cards as well as your credit and debit accounts. Playing up the new “proactive” features of iOS 9, the right card comes as you get close to the retailer.

How this affects marketers

If your brand has a rewards card or passes, Wallet is finally a mature destination for you to deliver those things in a great experience. Imagine being at the mall and when you go to check out at the register your loyalty card is already up, right next to your card for payment. There’s so many opportunities for contextually aware magic, like an insurance card ready after your phone detects an accident.

Notice how you can do a search using words like “This” and Siri will look at the context of what you are doing to make a guess about what you are asking of it.

Natural Language Filters

Something that was very prevalent throughout the OS X, iOS, and Watch announcements was the use of natural language filters in search. All these search functions will now support your natural way of speaking to be able to filter down searches. For example: “Hey Siri, show me photos of my friends hanging out at the beach.” We’ve seen this type of filtering last week with Google Photos and Google Now, so it was great to see that Apple already had an answer.

How this affects marketers

As users see their phones as trust worthy companions to quick answers, we’ll need to make sure that our brands are represented in those search results. The next SEO race will be in building a contextually aware web around your brand to deliver your message at a time that the user needs it.

Apple Music

To close out the keynote, Apple unveiled it’s music service, with a 24hr global radio station, and a way to share Artist content with fans. It will be $9.99 per month, with the first three months free. The service will be launching at the end of the month. I found this nice comparison chart on Twitter:

How this affects marketers

It’s doesn’t much, at least not until Apple unveils how it will do advertising. The service seems like an excellent opportunity for musicians to have one more platform for their content with deeper roots to their fans. The music space is really busy already, so time will have to be the best judge on this one.

In Review

Apple made a few great announcements at this keynote, however, I believe the biggest news will come later in the year when we hear more about Apple TV. Apple is positioning itself to be a great media partner, beginning with News and Music. When TV launches we will see a full ecosystem of content that, hopefully, marketers will be invited to. It’s exciting time to see what happens next.

Thanks so much for reading. Feel free to subscribe for more updates, and follow me on twitter as well. @welovejeff