Apple is one of the best-known brands, so no wonder it paid Google just $18 million in 2011 for search traffic. By comparison, HP and Dell, which are breathing heavy to keep ahead of the Cupertino, Calif. tech giant ranked No. 1 and No. 2 for spending big bucks flogging their products online.
According to Google, Apple spent $17.9 million for Adwords advertising in 2011, making the company the fourth largest advertiser in the search giant’s Computers and Consumer Electronics category. By comparison, HP spent $33.3 million as the category’s No. 1 player. Dell is No. 2, paying the Mountain View, Calif. Google $26.3 million. Meanwhile, electronics retail giant Best Buy forked over $23.7 million in 2011 Adwords spending to take No. 3.
What’s this all mean? Mainly that advertising does not equal marketshare. HP’s new CEO Meg Whitman recently told a French newspaper she expects Apple will become the No. 1 PC maker in 2012. Indeed, Gartner recently announced HP’s marketshare fell to 23.1 percent and growth was -26 percent. Dell, by the way, is also bleeding out — just at a slower pace.
As for Apple, it had nearly 21 percent quarterly compared to the fourth quarter of 2010, according to researchers. In other words, HP and Dell, spending wads of cash on Adwords advertising, lost ground while Apple had double-digit growth despite spending less on ads.
Hm. This just reinforces the power of Apple’s ecosphere powering product sales with little online advertising. The Cupertino, Calif. company instead builds a lasting relationship with consumers. First the heart-warming mass media spots, then the word-of-mouth promotions, followed by iTunes feeding the various devices, making Apple purchases painless with near-zero barriers. While the “halo effect” still exists for Apple products, the growth of iTunes for music, video, books, software and apps makes that early Apple advantage less critical.