Allison Johnson served as Apple’s VP of worldwide marketing from 2005 to 2011. During that time she helped coordinate the launch of huge products like the original iPhone and iPad. She left Apple to co-found West, a creative agency in San Francisco with clients like Anki Drive and Jawbone.
During a recent interview at Behance’s 99U conference, Johnson talked about what it was like to report directly to Steve Jobs.
“He spent as much time in my world as he did in Jony’s world,” explained Johnson, referring to the close collaboration and friendship Jobs had with the company’s design guru, Jony Ive. “Those were the two parts of the company he cared a lot about.”
“A CEO looking at a sales memo to an internal sales group at AT&T. He cared that much.”
One interesting anecdote shared by Johnson was the time she put together an internal memo on how to sell the original iPhone for the AT&T sales team. “Steve asked to see that email, and he edited it so that they would position it correctly. He would dive in at a level of detail that most human beings would never consider. A CEO looking at a sales memo to an internal sales group at AT&T. He cared that much.”
Johnson also walked through how Apple generated an insane amount of buzz around the original iPhone launch with little outwards effort. Whether you’re an Apple fan or just interested in effectively marketing a product, the whole interview is definitely worth watching, including the Q&A at the end.