Apple gave its social media marketing department a boost with the addition of Musa Tariq as it new head digital marketing director, 9To5Mac reported.
Tariq arrives at Apple from Nike, where he served as global senior director of social media and community since October, 2012. Before that, Tariq was global director of social media, digital marketing, a position he held for about one year before jumping to Nike. The hire follows Apple's recent addition of a pair of Nike FuelBand engineers to work on its own wearable technology and continues Apple CEO Tim Cook's penchant for poaching talent from Nike. Tariq also reported directly to Apple retail and online stores chief Angela Ahrendts while they were both at Burberry, where "he was instrumental in working with Ahrendts on growing Burberry’s global brand," according to 9To5Mac.
Apple is a bit late to the social marketing game, as it spent years taking a hands-off approach. Until recently, its strategy seemed to be to just ignore social media. It wasn't until this March that the company launched its first social campaign on Tumblr, promoting the iPhone 5c. That campaign was handled by TBWA/Media Arts Lab, with whom Apple's contentious relationship is well-documented. Back in June, Apple announced that it would be taking more of its ads in-house, a move reported in the works since 2013.
Tariq's addition seems to signify a drastic shift in Apple's approach to advertising, as the tech giant finally shifts its focus more toward digital and social media. As 9To5Mac points out, his addition also "could tie into Apple’s marketing push for the upcoming fashion and fitness-oriented wearable band." Tariq worked closely with athletes on social media campaigns while at Nike, experience which could also contribute to marketing Apple's wearable band device. With Tariq on board it seems likely that Apple will (finally) build its social media presence in the near future.