They’ve Got Me Hook, Line And Sinker

This morning I woke up at 6:30AM which is very early for me, what’s even more shocking is my son was awake before me and with my son being a typical teenager you can probably understand why I was surprised. You may be wondering why we woke up so early, well here’s what happened, we got up early and drove all the way to the local Apple store. Yes we were one of the thousands of people who were looking to get their hands on an iPhone 4 and at 7.30 am this morning I was stood in a queue with hundreds of other people and I was thinking to myself “this is just like waiting for a product to go live”.

If you watch what Apple do when it comes to launching a new product you’ll see that it is much the same as an Internet Marketing product launch. They have created a buzz with their pre launch, mostly from the Keynote that was released on the 7th of June. However, apart from the fact the new iPhone looks amazing the biggest tactic I think Apple are using at this moment in time is scarcity. We actually queued up for just over an hour just to register for our iPhones, we couldn’t go in the shop today and buy one because there is not enough stock, you can imagine how disappointed we were when we were told this but that’s how it is, so now I have to wait for an email telling me when more stock is arriving. I do believe that the demand is so high that stocks are running low, but I also think also think a lot of companies (including Apple) use the scarcity tactic when they come to launch a product.

You see this happen nearly every time Christmas comes around, there is always a toy or something that everybody goes crazy for and usually it’s something you can’t get your hands on. The biggest thing about this is, when you can’t get something you want it more, now if Apple had a million iPhones in stock today they would sell a lot but the fact that they are very hard to get hold of at the moment means they are very very desirable, don’t believe me? Go on eBay right now and go and have a look at how much iPhone 4’s are selling for, I’ve seen some today selling for almost $2000. Because of this in the long run Apple will sell more iPhones because stock is limited.

So in future have a look at what’s going on around you and see if there is anything you can learn from the big companies to implement into your online marketing, and have a look at what Apple are doing right now, they’ve created a buzz, now they are using scarcity and now that the product has gone live its very very hard to get hold of which makes it extremely desirable.

Remember! If you can:-

  • Create a quality product
  • Build a buzz
  • Create scarcity

You will have a buying frenzy, today I was part of that buying frenzy and even though I didn’t receive my iPhone 4 today I know it’s only a matter of days before I get my hands on one. Just like thousands of other people out there Apple have got me hook, line and sinker with their marketing tactics.


  • Randy Smith

    Reply Reply June 24, 2010


    I’m surprised you don’t have Steve Jobs on speed dial John…..

    You must own everything apple have ever released, don’t you get priority delivery prior to launch? hehe

    (Maybe you should write apple and see if they can get you onto their JV list)


    Reply by John:

    I do own a few Apple products, what can I say, they sell quality products that ‘just work’

  • Gert Chappell

    Reply Reply June 24, 2010

    Hey John.

    Don’t know much about these new fangled phones, my little ol’
    Nokia does the trick for me.

    I did wonder why 70 to 100 people were queuing outside the 02 shop at 7.45 this morning tho’.

    And by 10 am there were more people.

    Checked EBay and I think I’ll stick with my little Nokia for now.Well at least until my internet marketing business takes off.



  • Stuart Turnbull

    Reply Reply June 24, 2010

    Hi John

    Another great example of the power of scarcity is selling collectible items on eBay.

    It never ceases to amaze me how the value of items can fly up into the stratosphere when 2 or 3 bidders are determined to win.

    If you can bring a scarce product and lots of interested people together you are onto a winner!

    I have on many occasions sold items on eBay that have cost me maybe $15 for $100, $200 even $300!

    The secret is buying where there are many and selling where there are few.

    Reply by John,

    Yeah, get 2 people interested in your product and you are onto a winner. When you think about it eBay works using ‘time is running out’ scarcity.

  • Mandy Allen

    Reply Reply June 24, 2010

    Hi John, I’m with you on the ‘not an early morning person’ bit. Amazing what we can do when we want something though isn’t it!

    Enjoy the journey.


  • Andrew Stark

    Reply Reply June 24, 2010

    Am I the only person who just doesn’t get the whole iphone thing?

    I think it is like the whole product launch thing because most people are going with the herd and buying it because it’s cool and then never actually using the thing to its full potential.

    It’s all down to clever marketering and branding, but I’ll wait a few months and get version 4 for a fraction of the price, and a week before version 5 comes out.


    Reply by John:

    To be honest there won’t be many people who dislike the iPhone. It seems the tool of choice for the Internet Marketer, go to any marketing event and almost everyone has an iPhone. Also, Apple don’t reduce the price of their products. This keeps them desirable so I doubt you’ll get an iPhone 4 for a fraction of the price although you may get one free on a contract in about 12 months time.

  • Daniel Sumner

    Reply Reply June 24, 2010

    Hey John,

    I bet that was the first time you realised there was two 6:30’s in one day!

    On a more serious note, by using scarcity Apple can gauge by interest and the amount of guys who want the new product, how many they are going to sell to how many they need to produce.


    Remember when we created the Buzz for Multi Profit Websites. Everyone wanted a piece of it simply because of the buzz around the product. It’s good business to have your product talked about so much it creates interest and interest creates sales.

    Nice post John

    Reply by John:

    Yeah Dan, I remember it well. We did create a buzz didn’t we. Mind you we were also selling a quality product :-)

  • Noelle

    Reply Reply June 24, 2010

    Using scarcity does work; I’ve been caught up in a buying frenzy or two because of it in the past!

    But in order to successfully use that tactic, you have to have built a following first, right? I mean, is this a tactic that a you could use right out of the gate with a product launch?

    Reply by John:

    I think just about every successful product launch uses scarcity and/or urgency in one way or another.

  • Lisa

    Reply Reply June 24, 2010

    OH my goodness, John! Didn’t you just get an iPad? Now the new iPhone? Apples bank is loving you!!

    I have seen that kind of Hype for a lot of things….makes a person just want it more! I camped out at like 3 am to get my son a Wii when they first came out and the stinkin store didn’t even open till 8 and they told us they ran out!! Did that a few times, but finally got him one (the things we do for our kids!!)
    But hey! if marketing like this works, and you know it does…’s a good thing!!If the product is awesome and the price is right…it’s a win-win for all! (well I guess not for you since you didn’t get one, but you will!)

    Doesn’t Apple know who you are??

    Have fun with that phone when you get it!!


    Reply by John:

    What can I say Lisa, I love Apples products. I remember the Wii craze, once again that was clever scarcity marketing

  • Ron Barrett

    Reply Reply June 24, 2010


    You’re right about Apple’s marketing strategy for the Iphone 4 and also for the Ipad.

    Do you think that they DIDN’T have this all mapped out?

    As much as I have fallen in love with the Iphone and now the Iphone4 (we got two of them in yesterday here at the day job!…GREAT pieces of machinery), I am forced to wait for the contract on my current phone to end because I am not willing to pay the ETF for switching prior to the end…

    It’ll be a nice Christmas present for myself and by then I’ll know if the battery life is better and so on and so forth.

    So when are you going to start the buzz about your next new product?

  • Hey John,

    Thanks for sharing this. I agree that we can learn what other big companies are doing offline, and implement those methods online. Creating buzz really excites people so come product launch, people are lining up to buy your product. I also sometimes buy products that was really hyped, even though I’m not that interested in the product, but just out of curiosity, it tends me to buy.



  • Edson

    Reply Reply June 24, 2010

    Hi John

    Also With the iPhone 4G is such a high demand, its a perfect time to check eBay and see what type of profits you could make. Supply and demand is the name of the game and as many of you know eBay has sold high demand products for two, three, four times the sales price.


    Edson Buchanan

    Reply by John:

    You’re right there Edson, a few people are making a killing from this ‘hot product’

  • Ken Soszka

    Reply Reply June 24, 2010

    Good Day John,

    I hope that you get yours soon. I really like Android myself, probably because of the open source nature of the OS. Whatever works though, that’s what I say! Thanks for the tip on creating an urgency when marketing.

    Best Regards,

    Ken Soszka

  • Katherine Cairns

    Reply Reply June 24, 2010

    Hi John

    At least it is a pleasant time of year to be queueing outside waiting for a store to open. Imagine Christmas time, freezing cold and pouring with rain – Brrr!!


  • Terry Conti

    Reply Reply June 24, 2010

    Hey John, that’s right Marketing tactics apply to the ebook business. You can learn a lot from big companies. Good to always have an eye out. Terry Conti

  • Rob Corrigan

    Reply Reply June 24, 2010

    Hi John,wish I had so many people queing to buy my stuff perhaps the scarcity card need dealing every so often.


  • Marc Milburn

    Reply Reply June 24, 2010

    I’m very jealous.. I’m thinking of throwing my Blackberry in the bin and jumping onto the iPhone 4 instead!!

    I’ve enjoyed watching the whole launch procedure actually.. they’ve done a heck of a job.

    I’m a late-comer to the world of Apple. Only a few months ago did I purchase my first iMac and MacBook Pro and I love them already. The iPhone and the iPad are next on the list, I think!

    – Marc

  • Barry

    Reply Reply June 25, 2010

    Howdy Mister,

    We are still using cups with strings connected to the bottom for communication here in Canada and the damn wind is playing havoc BIG TIME with bandwidth and such.

    Because the string moves…

    Its all very complicated and I am quite sure you know all about it.

    Thank you, friend.


  • Lee Scott

    Reply Reply June 25, 2010

    Hey John,

    It seems as though these past few years that Apple have gone from strength to strength with the launches of the iPod, MacBook, iPhone and iPad.

    It’s all down to these strategies that have customers in a frenzy to get their hands on one – Steve Jobs must be rubbing his hands together.

    If we take note of what the big companies marketing strategies are and implement the same in our online businesses, we should see the same results.

    Maybe Sunderland should implement some of these strategies and they would have a full house every week – or maybe if they just started playing well.

    Thanks John,

    Lee Scott.

  • Sally

    Reply Reply June 30, 2010

    Hey John,

    I was out shopping with my Mum and we seen a massive queue at the 02 shop for people wanting a new iphone.

    It’s crazy people will stand in a queue for hours just to get a mobile phone!

    A lot of people use the scarcity tactic online on their sales pages, I just don’t know that people really believe only xxx amount will be sold anymore.

    Especially after so many people used this tactic, then just kept selling the product even after the said amount was sold, or re-release it at a later date.

    Creating scarcity is easy, sticking to it, for some marketers, is not…it seems.

    Sally :)

  • Chris

    Reply Reply July 19, 2010

    It’s true tha you need to pay attention if you want to make it in online marketing. I’ve been struggling for two years now and just can’t seem to find my strife. I’ve begun to think that it’s not going to happen. I’ve tried everything and just can’t seem to get it going. I’m a failure.

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