Apple Taps Tariq As Digital Marketing Director

Ready to step up its social media game, Apple just scored Musa Tariq as its new digital marketing director.

Tariq previously led social efforts for Nike, where he made the major decision to take the brand’s social operations in-house.

True to form, Tariq announced the move on Twitter. “First day of school,” he tweeted on Monday afternoon. “Hope the other kids like me!”

Before Nike, Tariq had been with Burberry from 2009 through 2012, where he established the fashion brand as a leader in social media. Among other efforts, Burberry’s “Tweetwalk” campaign turned Twitter into a virtual runway.

At Burberry, Tariq worked under CEO Angela Ahrendts, who Apple hired earlier this year in a major coup to head up strategy, expansion and operations for its retail and online stores. It is not known what involvement Ahrendts had in Tariq’s hiring.

With Apple, Tariq is assuming social responsibility for one of the most cherished American brands -- but also one without much of a social media presence.

Along with Tariq and Ahrendts, Apple has been accumulating an interesting group of marketing minds. Late last year, the company that Steve Jobs built brought in Arem Duplessis, longtime design director at The New York Times Magazine, as creative director.

Made up of internal staff and agency TBWA/Media Arts Lab, Apple's ad team suffered a serious blow when it lost Scott Trattner to Facebook last year. Although he left to do a short stint at Samsung's ad agency 72andSunny, Trattner spent nearly a decade as executive creative director at TBWA\Media Arts Lab.

Despite stiff competition across product and service categories, Apple’s profits were up 12% to $7.75 billion last quarter. Better than expected iPhone and Mac sales -- up 13% and 18%, respectively -- made up for a drop in iPod demand during the second quarter.

By some measures, however, Apple lost a bit of brand luster in 2013. During the year, Apple earned a consumer satisfaction score of 83 -- behind Amazon's score of 87, but better than Google’s score of 81 -- according to ForeSee, which analyzes customer experience analytics.

Apple did not return requests for comment, on Tuesday. 9to5Mac first reported the news on Monday.

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