Nielsen’s Q2 2012 US Mobile Subscriber market share estimates.

| July 13, 2012 | 72 Replies

Here’s a report from Nielsen showing marketshare numbers for USA. Whilst there have been news that Nokia was selling the most out of the current gen Windows Phones, Nielsen shows that they are still behind Samsung/HTC for overall phones in US.

Total marketshare for Windows Phone in USA is 1.3%, still less than the 3% of older generation Windows Mobile devices. Nokia’s WP share of 0.3% is also still less than the total Symbian sales from the past.

Note: another table to look at for current USA sales is


This shows Windows Phone current sales at 3% whilst Symbian is at 0.5%. Although it doesn’t look like it, both of these Nokia used platforms grew from this time last year.

It takes a very long time to get overall marketshare numbers – as evident by the amount of time Symbian had been top in terms of current installed user base (it’s difficult to trust statcounter on this one as they’ve been including S40 into Symbian up until April 2012, hence why there seems to be an insane crash afterwards as S40 had been propping up Symbian marketshare data for Statcounter).

Statcounter’s findings (1.02%) for WP is quite similar to Nielsens. Symbian shows up at 0.32%. Note, statcounter is based on browser activity of all current handsets in use, not just what had been sold.

Cheers skyfall for the heads up


Category: Nokia

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  • Aliqudsi

    I find this one difficult to believe, NOkia definitely has about 70% of the WP marketshare, not .3… anyways 6 more days and we’ll see

    • KeiZka

      I think it means installed base in a group of x thousand answers. It might fluctuate quite a bit depending on where and how the survey was done etc etc.

    • Janne

      I don’t find it that hard to believe, although you can be right of course.

      Others had a headstart of 1,5 years in the U.S. on Windows Phones – and Nokia is still only on two carriers and not on Verizon. And the Lumia 900 didn’t even have a full quarter there.

      What were are guesstimates of Nokia’s Lumia sales in Q2 back then? The most wishful I guess were to the tune of 1 million, mostly we mused numbers in 500 000 – 750 000 range. Add to that whatever (little) Lumia 710 T-Mobile has managed to sell in Q1, we may be looking at a little over one million Lumias in the U.S. by the end of Q2.

      Is it that hard to believe the past almost two years would have seen others sell 2+ million Windows Phones?

      • loci

        I agree with your analysis there, it might still mean Nokia actually performed well in the WP segment. But the problem that you’re hinting at remains: Why isn’t Nokia available for Sprint or Verizon, and why are there only two device types sold and not the whole range or at least a good proportion of the range (i.e. e.g. 610, 710, and 900, or 710, 800, and 900). Don’t get it…I mean, not that I’m a marketing expert, but…

        And then the WP8/7.8-disaster. Well, we don’t know yet wehther it is a disaster, but selling the Lumia 900 for $0.99 on a two-year contract with AT&T isn’t exactly an encouraging sign…does anybody know whether this has at least lead to continuing positive sales figures?

        Well, I guess we’ll know more on July 19th…

        • noki

          at the price the L900 is being sold the cheep 610 makes no sense… the other are available…

          • loci

            I get it 🙂 Thanks for the clarification.

            But is the 800 available in the US? Sorry, I ma have missed that…

            • Janne

              800 is only sold unlocked in Microsoft stores in the U.S. I wonder if it still only sells as a part of very expensive accessory bundle.

              900 is part of an expensive 2-year contract. 610 might still make send win the U.S. as a pay as you go phone or something with a cheap contract.

              Nokia’s range and operator play is still very incomplete in the U.S. I expect improvements only after WP8 release there unfortunately.

              • loci

                thank you for the info. I haven’t really dug into the WP story very deeply yet…but getting there 🙂

    • shyne

      Its hard to believe because we r Nokia Fans !!!

      Nokia only sold 330000 Lumia phones [ free phone 710 and Lumia 900 combined] , then its not a surprise ..!!! Nokia is not recognizable band in US !

  • t t

    Nokia sold only 25% of all WPs in US? It is hard to believe.

    • Janne

      Well, others had 1 to 1,5 years to sell Windows Phones before Nokia to get a head-start. And HTC’s Windows Phone was on U.S.’s largest carrier: Verizon. Nokia is not yet. Is it so hard to believe they’d be first in INSTALLED base.

      Having said that, if others have sold 2+ million Windows Phones in a something less than two years, Nokia selling maybe 1+ million in less than six months (most probably with Lumia 900 since late April) with limited operators is nothing to scoff at.

      But Nokia’s progress in actually getting to market in U.S. is painfully slow, just Lumia 710 on U.S.’s smallest main carrier since January and on AT&T only Lumia 900 since late April… And now WP8 effect will hit Q3. They need to be on Verizon and Sprint pronto – and everywhere.

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  • That looks eerily like a flatline…

    • Janne

      If that is a reference to our expectations here at MNB on Q2 numbers, sorry no bonus for you.

      Nokia’s Lumia number share and volume is the one to watch for now, don’t try to move the goalposts. I’m pretty sure Nokia’s Lumia marketshare in U.S. has increased since Nielsen’s Q1 numbers.

      Mostly we’ve been discussing total Lumia volume though. If Nokia sold only over two million Lumias in Q2 (like in Q1), then we can agree Lumia has flat-lined.

      We should get Nokia’s number on the 19th.

      • noki

        Janne taking in consideration market exposure and number of terminals available “growing” might actually be flatline or worse. Remember in Q4 it was just one terminal for half a Quarter in selected few markets. Q2 was almost global with 4 terminals.

        but We should get Nokia’s numbers on the 19th. 😉

        • Janne

          I’m considering the world as a whole. Ramping up Lumia is an important part of its sales overall growing. Until it reaches as many people as Symbian did, there is no point even starting to compare its numbers to that.

          And as for U.S. that is the topic in this thread, surely Lumia grew in Q2. Not even you can suggest otherwise.

          Q2 for the most part is far from almost global, China – hugely important – came very late for example.

          • noki

            Its easy to grow from Zero, but the slow pace indicates that sales are drooping in the previously introductory markets…

            What I’m saying is that sales/possible consumer ratio is probably going down and as been doing so since introduction.

            • Janne

              Perhaps, but again I don’t think – considering all the factors at play here – that is yet proof of the Lumia line lacking long-term potential. Getting better and better products out there, to more markets, to more operators, and so on, still can affect a lot.

              I don’t think Lumia has in any way saturated the world to an extent we could say it will never fly. It is still early days unfortunately, I would have liked Nokia making faster progress too.

          • jiipee

            For Lumia yes. The fact that WP has not been able to reach global markets during it’s – what 2+ – years tells also something. Microsoft seems to be mostly interested of NA, when that was the least important for Nokia.

            • Janne

              WP is less than two years old.

              And it is Nokia who is helping Microsoft to take it global. This was one of the sides of the partnership deal as announced back then – and sure enough, WP is expanding to more and more markets. It will get there.

              Will it succeed? Who knows.

              • Diibadaaba

                According to Wikipedia:

                “The reality is if we are not successful with Windows Phone, it doesn’t matter what we do (elsewhere).” He further added “North America is a priority for Nokia (…) because it is a key market for Microsoft.”

                -Chris Weber

                My personal opinion is that nokia should give up US market completely and concentrate on other markets. Someone else like Asians they also like to be at spotlight.

      • “If that is a reference to our expectations here at MNB on Q2 numbers, sorry no bonus for you.”

        Not that I would want any, from you nor from any other readers here.

        GO NOKIA!

  • noki

    I wonder what will take to make it more perfectly clear that the holly “lest jump everything into this marvelous non burning platform” was a huge huge mistake?…

    NOKIA is as good as dead now, another one that goes supernova after a Microsoft love affair.

    • Janne

      I wonder what will take to make it more perfectly clear that the holly “lest jump everything into this marvelous non burning platform” was a huge huge mistake?

      I think it can already be called a mistake. Too many risks were realized. As for a “huge huge mistake”, that would take Lumia failing. And when can we say it has failed? I can answer for myself: Bad Q4 numbers – and/or a major flat-lining effect in Lumia growth over Q2-Q3-Q4.

      Even in Q1 Nokia’s sales in the U.S. increased, they will increase more in Q2, even though Nokia is only on two operators yet. U.S. is not the problem, it is likely ramping up nicely and Nokia is more progress than in YEARS to get back to that market.

      Why am I watching Q4? Because Q3 is only the first full quarter of near global Lumia availability (still without Arabic and much of South America) and Q4 is the first quarter with expected full global availability and with WP8 of course. Nokia is only now getting many operators on-board and operators are key.

      Sure, Lumia ramp-up has been painfully slow. I can’t believe the whole Lumia range is not yet available in many, many places or is only now becoming available. I expected Lumia and the new models to be much more widely available by now. If I were one to believe in conspiracies, I’d say Nokia is sabotaging the Lumia.

      • Janne

        Just to put it here again: I’d consider 10 million or so Lumias sold in Q4 as being on the right track. It is not enough to stay at that level, but it would mean Nokia is on the right track.

        For Q2 I’d expect 3-4 million Lumias sold. Q3 will be harder to predict due to WP8, anything from 1-6 million… but Q4 should see something to the tune of 10 million or so.

        I’d be happy with that progress.

        • Janne

          Just to clarify: I am not happy with how Nokia failed in its transitional business. But that is a separate issue from Lumia progress.

          • noki

            Janne 10 Million on Q4 would be nothing less than a spectacular miracle, you grow your numbers consistently.
            You don’t jump out of nothing, that was the plan to begin with, migrate symbian users into WP… The result was a disaster with all of them migrating alright, but to andrid/iOS.

            So yeah I think 10 Million on Q4 would be nothing short of a spectacular miracle.
            Think about it, current Lumia range is dead the new Lumias in Q4 will declare it even more dead so L900 L800, and etc sales will simply disappear. so you expect 10 million sales on a brand new device?

            • Janne

              No, I don’t expect it. I’m simply saying what I’d consider unequivocally good progress and not a fail (Nokia failing to sustain other businesses is already a separate fail of course).

              If the results are something else, then we’ll anaylyze them and see if they are showing a failure for Lumia to gain traction. If for example all or most WP8s devices from Nokia are delayed to Q1 or their availability is significantly limited, I’d say that is a fail for Nokia, but not yet indicative of Lumia’s failure overall.

              So, those factors may affect my judgement, but overall I’m watching the Lumia trend. If it keeps growing, fine. If it flat-lines to an unsustainable level – fail.

              Let’s add one more sure indicator of failure: If Nokia gets bought (and they may) before WP8 gets underway. That surely would mean the Feb11 turned out to be a huge huge failure.

              • Janne

                Also, I don’t expect Lumia 900 and 800 to keep selling (well) in Q4, but low-end Lumias might because the market dynamics there are different.

                • noki

                  Agree on the low end Lumias might have a small chance (honestly think they are rather competitive devices)…But I think they will be affected by unsuccessful L800, L900, this things tend to Rub off.

                  • Janne

                    Or they might be positively affected by a hugely successful WP8 launch? 🙂 The halo effect that actually made even Symbian grow in the U.S…

                    • noki

                      hehhehe ok 😀

                    • jiipee

                      What other launches are expected end 2012? Iphone 5? New Lumia models may be out October?

                      A lot depends also on the competitors and that there is no L900 signal quality disaster, afterall WP8 is again brand new platform.

                    • jiipee

                      Btw. has there been any hints of Samsung WPs?

                      If I was the head of Samsung, Id finish Nokia off this fall. Make sure you have a competitive device, price it aggressively and put money into advertising, which is linked to Galaxy series. Nokia’s cash reserves wont last, if they dont have hit in their hands.

                    • Janne

                      Yes, Samsung announced they’d be in on the WP8 game.

                      The big question is will they do anything significant with the product. Their current half-hearted effort won’t cut it. So far Nokia has been separating themselves from the pack quite successfully.

                      I’m quite sure they will at least up the ante. Samsung is obviously a real threat and a challenge to Nokia in any OS they might have chosen.

              • swain

                “That surely would mean the Feb11 turned out to be a huge huge failure.”
                I guess it’s already been proved to be a failure. I admire your vision and really expect Nokia to sell 10 million or more smart devices. But it’s hard to achieve with Lumias. If WP8 will be so awesome then other OEMs also jump-in fast. As we know the competitors can give equal or better hardware with much lower price(this may be a reason Nokia didn’t choose android). Till now the design has been a key selling point for Nokia phones, but with screen size rising day by day, the design will get unnoticed soon. Pureview is a powerful aweapon for sure. But the competition already have the best 8 mega pixel cameras. They will be definitely looking at surpassing the pureview quality in less time and they are fast enough to do that.
                Under these circumstances, is it feasible to expect a 10 million Lumia sales ??

                • swain


                • Janne

                  I already said above Feb11 was a mistake – I would’ve done different, I thought so at the time and said it here too. All I’m saying it is too soon to say whether Lumia will be a failure.

                  I’m not saying 10 million is feasible or will happen. I’m simply saying that something in that ballpark would signal healthy growth for Lumia for me.

                  People asked to put it in numbers and I did, barring of course the exception that WP8 or Nokia’s WP8 devices are late and not available in Q4 in good numbers.

                  All I’m looking for in Lumia sales is a sustained trajectory up. Q3 may be a disaster because of the WP8 factor, or maybe it won’t be, but if Q3 sees Lumia flat-line or drop, then Q4 must do significantly better.

                  To repeat, I’d be happy with this progress:

                  Q1: 2+ million (known)
                  Q2: 3-4 million
                  Q3: 4-6 million*
                  Q4: 10 million (ballpark)

                  *) But because WP8 factor may hit Q3 hard, I’d be okay with anything in the 1-6 million range as long as Q4 shows a huge jump.

                  With these numbers no question Lumia is heading into right direction and unless acquired Nokia will probably pull through. It still means 2013 must show good growth too, and the feature phone business is a different question to measure, but for smartphones Nokia would be well on its way.

                  If the numbers are something significantly else, then we’ll take a look at them and see what it means. But I’ll say this: If Q4 sees good WP8 availability (so no delays), but Lumia is still treading all of Q2-Q3-Q4 only in the 2+ million range, then it is out with Elop and in with a new strategy.

                  So, it all comes down to the trajectory of Lumia. Is it going up at a significant rate? It needs to. If it does, it may work out. If not, time for a new plan.

                  • Janne

                    Again, to clarify: 10 million in Q4 is not an estimation or a projection. (I know it is a lot compared to Q1.) Nor are any of the other numbers above. They are just goals I have set for Nokia to achieve and thus show us Lumia will do fine.

                    • noki

                      Janne I will dispute 3-4 million in Q2 to be a good number, think its a terrible low number if we take into account all the marketing effort number of available terminals and market exposure…
                      Remember that Q4 were everybody was saying that 1 million was not that bad given it was only available for half a quarter and in a few selected markets with only one terminal…4 Millions now would be at best a stagnated number given the number of terminals available 4xtimes more and the market exposure 16Xtimes? more.

                    • Janne

                      I’m factoring in the mindshare Lumia has to win in a Android/iPhone saturated market. I don’t think 3-4 million is good overall, but it would be satisfactory in the context, if growth continues.

                  • Mark

                    Agree with your figures, Janne.

                    Looking at other platforms’ growth curves, that’s where they need to be.

                    • Janne

                      Thanks! 19th will be interesting. 🙂

      • nn

        Please, stop with this Q3 global availability nonsense.

        Nokia no longer aims at global market, and AFAIK with the exception of China, in Q1 they already were in all the markets on which they are “concentrating”. Lumias failed where it matters, and waiting for global availability can’t bring nothing except of possible blip in some insignificant country. That, of course, wont change the overall picture.

        And I don’t know why Elop should be absolved from this bizarre tactic of prolonged launches. Maybe he is forced to do that because of hard constraints like lack of money or lack of interest from operators, maybe he genuinely thinks it will yield better results, but in either way it’s part of the strategy and it decisively failed.

        • jiipee

          That is very true. It’s not enough, if you have device in one market in 2-3 months after launch. He has promised improvement on that area, but failed to deliver.

          • Janne

            Clearly Nokia is having a hard time getting the devices out the door fast enough. But even with Compal’s help it was a big undertaking for Nokia and in that sense they were relatively fast. Things take time, but they are improving towards Q3 in this area.

            • Janne

              p.s. I have called Elop out on the failure to significantly shorten the time between announcement and launch. He has only succeeded this few times, mostly this promise has not been fulfilled. Elop and Nokia should take a leaf from Apple’s book on this and not announce models until they are ready to ship.

              I do get it, though, Nokia was under pressure this spring to show progress and new devices at major events. But I do think they should fix this for the future.

              • loci

                Totally with you there, Janne. I was hoping that in future Nokia would only announce stuff that they can sell very soon, but it is amazing to see both how long they took to bring Lumias to the markets we have them in now and how it still feels that between announcement and launch there is a big enough gap for other devices by other companies to fill it in the meantime. Especially considering that Lumias only launched (are launching) market by market, model by model, operator by operator at a painfully slow pace…

        • Janne


          Nokia no longer aims at global market, and AFAIK with the exception of China, in Q1 they already were in all the markets on which they are “concentrating”.

          All three sentences in this quote are wrong.

          1) No, Nokia still aims at a global market, but they are changing their strategical focus and leaving non-core areas for local distributions instead of their own efforts. More importantly, big improvements are expected in those core markets.

          2) The exception of China is a HUGE exception alone. You can not say “well, with the exception of their biggest market, Q1 is already accurate”. And a significant portion of Q2 is still without China. Besides, neither Q1 or Q2 were full quarters in most places, Lumia distribution started some time within those quarters in many places.

          3) OK, so you think Lumia 710 at T-Mobile constitutes as availability in the U.S. then? Because that is all they had in Q1. It was availability in name only as far as this discussion goes. Q2 added the second largest carrier, not to mention the iconic unibody design product – and it isn’t a full quarter either yet! And Q4 should see the addition of largest U.S. carrier.

          Give me a break. If you don’t think expected significant availability improvements in the two largest markets on Earth matter (over the Q2-Q3-Q4) I have nothing more to say to you. You are lost. This in addition to all the other places that are still to see Windows Phone marketplaces or full Lumia range availability. The differences in Q1 and Q3 will be huge in availability, and especially compared to Q4 (unless WP8 devices are late and cause a disruption).

          And I’m not absolving Elop from the slow ramp-up or lackluster response to Lumia in some markets. Failing to sustain the rest of the business at the same time is clearly a failure too. All I’m saying is that the data so far is not showing the true promise of where Lumia can go. So it is too early to call it a failure based on Q1 data – or even Q2 data.

          The numbers will come soon enough. I don’t get this need to jump to conclusions, when our conclusions don’t matter at all in Nokia’s planning. We shall see over the coming quarters where things are headed.

          • ssdh

            Now, why were those carrirs so slow in selling Lumias or putting it in their product line up..??
            Don’t they like it?
            Are they refusing to sell them?

            • Janne

              This summer has seen for example Lumia 610 added to new carriers in many places, including China and UK. That model is just ramping up…

              We’re getting there, less and less grey areas:


              But still, significant grey too.

          • nn

            1) FYI, “concentrating on core markets” is cheap PR spin for “we are abandoning everything else”. I don’t even know what’s so controversial about it, it’s just reflection of the fact that you simply can’t support global sales efforts with couple of millions units.

            2) China is big, but it’s not big enough to reverse what happened in rest of Nokia’s core markets. And this assumes China will be significantly better than the rest, which it wont.

            3) And you don’t think that selling Lumia phone in US doesn’t constitute availability in US? This is really getting ridiculous.

            Again, that he isn’t able to deliver all his phones on all major carriers in all core markets is big failure for him and the WP strategy. And it isn’t just some string of unfortunate events, there had to deeper reason for this repeated failures.

            But you are just trying to turn it into eternal game of WP waiting for this country and that operator and then next super phone and so one, until all the money are burned. It’s actually even worse than the previous Nokia.

  • prashant

    It’s really strange to know that market shares in US are still not rising but i am now wondering that why those official reps from Nokia and At&t were so excited back then about the Lumia 900 sales.

    Rant: I don’t even think fron US, Nokia would have recovered the cost of the Nicki Minaj’s event at Times Square by the Lumia sales.So it’s obvious to predict this Q2 to be low and same as the Q3.

    Don’t worry guys nokia will be on track really soon,

    • noki

      Yeap, don’t think all the money spent in promo of the L900 will be recovered, biggest budget ever in nokia for promotion. What for? A now declared dead end device, being sold for 0,99$.

      • Janne

        To launch the Lumia brand and re-launch Nokia.

        It will help when WP8 hits.

  • Fat American

    Windows Phone is joke! Android is where it’s at, y’all!

    • noki

      DAM I hate the “y’all” thing 🙂 “you know wa’m saying?” 😉

      • loci

        I actually like it, with that you can distinguish between “you” = 1 person and “y’all” = more than 1 person 🙂

        Calm down, y’all! ;-D

  • stephen ahonen

    based on this data, i guess nokia will only get 30 % share of WP 8 phones sold

    • Janne

      Why would you guess that based on installed base figures? Nokia has only been active in Windows Phone for much less than Samsung and HTC in the U.S. – and it is not on Verizon unlike the others.

  • Sefriol

    Just thinking, how long does it take for Nokia to launch their WP8 line-up? For example L900 was announced in January and it took like a half a year to get it available in key markets. SGS3 was announced in May and it’s “almost” globally available…
    So luckily if everything goes as expected we might get WP in September. Anything earlier than that is a miracle.

  • Luisito

    (insert the Imperial March song here) Preview for the Q2 report… And still there’re two more quarters of pain (one more if we’re lucky enough)

  • incognito

    Hmmm, so Nokia has 0.3% of the US market in Windows Phone, and three times as much in Symbian, despite unprecedented (for Nokia) marketing money invested and a strong AT&T deal for the former… That’s the real shocker here. The way things are going it might end up that Nokia sold more Astounds (C7s) via T-Mobile than they managed to push Lumia 710s…

    Oh well, I guess this is my last time going to the Nokia land (should arrive there in a couple of hours); next time I visit Finland Nokia might not exist anymore 🙁

    • Janne

      How much were we expecting? I think when the Lumia 900 sales for Q2 were discussed here some big optimists were hoping for a million, but we agreed it would probably be half that because in Q1 AT&T only sold 1,2 million non-iPhones. Half of that being Lumia 900 in Q2 would be great.

      Maybe a tad less realistically, setting the bar at “half of non-iPhones” for Nokia in the U.S. would be quite bold. T-Mobile sells around 2,5 million smartphones a quarter and don’t have iPhone, but Lumia 710 also was a minor product with none of the hooplah surrouding the AT&T Lumia 900 launch, so its additions would be less. Perhaps 100 000 a quarter or less?

      So, we are talking about some 500 000 – 750 000 Lumias expected, right? That ballpark? I’m having a hard time finding reliable numbers on the size of the U.S. smartphone market, searches come up with anything from 100 to 150 million subscribers: 300 000 – 450 000 of which is 0.3%. Not awe inspiring, but in a similar ballpark.

      Judging from past Nielsen studies, all the Windows Phone manufacturers are probably within the margin of error? Can we really conclude with precision if Nokia didn’t meet, met or exceeded our expectations? If Nokia has only sold 300 000 Lumias in the U.S. so far this year, I’m indeed with you in calling that a failure. If they have sold 750 000, then they’re making OK progress there.

      Hopefully in a weeks time we are somewhat wiser on this one.

      • noki

        don’t think we will it will be the usual all together numbers with maybe a “we sold x million Lumias till this day, and we are very happy with its acceptance in some markets” side comment.


        • Janne

          Hence I used the words “somewhat wiser”. 🙂 We should get the U.S. growth figure and hopefully again a Lumia total. These may give an indication.

    • noki

      enjoy the midnight sun/light (me find it extremely annoying)

      • incognito

        Didn’t get the chance to jump north to the Lapland to actually see the midnight Sun – tho the night in Helsinki is quite on the short side – but I hope I’d see it one day. I can imagine, tho, that it can get annoying once you get to see it every day…

  • Nagol

    I mean seriously what do you expect?? Nokia is just getting back to the US market where iphone and android have been ruling for years and nokia is just getting back into the game for a few months. Nokia is not doing well, but they’re in the process of reinventing themselves. They’ll be fine.

    • loci

      Thanks for this positive comment. Though I’m having a few doubts every now and then here and there, I tend to think the same way.

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