Nokia to revamp marketing strategy?

| July 23, 2012 | 63 Replies


Last week I made a focused complaint/suggestion about Nokia’s advertising efforts for Nokia Drive.

At the end, I mention that poor marketing is pervasive throughout pretty much every part of Nokia.  They just don’t understand marketing. I haven’t got a degree in marketing or any experience working in the marketing department, so don’t pay attention to me. Pay attention to your eyes and ears to see pretty much all of their ads suck and that their campaigns are mostly duds. I’m not the only Nokia fan thinking this. You’ll only need to read up to the tweets and blog comments to feel the collective breeze of Nokia fans shaking their heads in disappointment.

Let me copy and paste from the last rant. It might be a little harsh. I don’t think it’s harsh enough.

If there’s one thing Nokia is supreme at is that it sucks at advertising anything that it is good at.

You’ll never really know half the amazing stuff a Nokia is capable of unless you’re in a Nokia blogosphere related bubble.

Outside of it, Nokia’s assets fizzle away because why? Nokia won’t advertise it. If they do, they will advertise it in the WORST WAY POSSIBLE or advertise it really well, but you’ll never see that advert ever again.

Why? I don’t know. It seems ingrained into their way of working that all good things must remain secret.

I can’t blame the individual marketeers at Nokia. They’re working on the Nokia guidelines on how to do things, and the size and geographic span inevitably means breaks in consistency. The bigger goal must be to change whatever culture is still at Nokia that prevents them from effectively showcasing their products through coherent, consistent and productive marketing and advertising efforts.

We’ve been expecting some changes to happen at Nokia after their head of Marketing, Jerri DeVard stepped down (June 14th). Today, Reuters reports on some findings by Financial Times:

Nokia is considering ripping up its traditional mass marketing strategy…


The specifics of what will be changed are unknown. All this tells us is that instead of trying to get their phones out in all channels, Nokia would favour going into partnerships to create dedicated support for its smartphones. A little bit like Nokia’s work with AT&T and T-Mobile. Is it enough that Nokia targeted the 2nd and 4th largest carrier in the US? Would Nokia have done better getting Verizon and Sprint on board too? Was partnership with AT&T only possible if they worked exclusively?

Reuters says initially, one or two networks in the whole of Europe may partner with Nokia. Not sure how that’s going to work. Europe is not a country like US, you can’t just go with two networks for a whole continent.

Apparently, carriers may also be offered a financial stake in the success of the range. While that’s all fine and good that Nokia tries to tempt the carriers into giving a little favour for Lumia, that’s just not enough. Money incentives isn’t enough to impart even a hint of success for Nokia.  Hundreds of millions or billions must have been spent collectively on Nokia’s own efforts at marketing in the past few years and what is there to show for it? We can’t just wait for Orange, or Vodafone or T-Mobile to come up with something whilst Nokia flounders around with their old marketing style.

This is part of an email I sent to Stephen Elop in June 8th. I’ve mentioned it plenty of times here before but I just want to reiterate it again.

One consistent theme I have seen through the years is marketing that fails to deliver the correct message. Nokia has had some great products in the past but has been unable to communicate with the public what precisely makes them great. They’ve been missing the need to focus on using advertisement time to let potential consumers connect with a feature. This involves the consumer truly understanding what your products offer. These features might not even be things they’re looking for. The advertising should be the tool for enhancing awareness and improving perception of Nokia’s products. Show the feature, demonstrate why it can be useful, show it in a familiar family setting where consumers may be able to empathise with the feature and see themselves using it and finding it useful too. I know this sounds completely simple and obvious, but I’ve been observing Nokia for a long time and it seems this message is still not coming through. It’s getting much better now though. This is an example of a post I wrote a couple of years ago. It’s a bit tongue in cheek.


There’s a bit of this post that also might be useful.



Source: Financial Times

Via: Reuters via PhoneArena


Thanks Mac for the tip.


Category: Nokia

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Hey, thanks for reading my post. My name is Jay and I'm a medical student at the University of Manchester. When I can, I blog here at and tweet now and again @jaymontano. We also have a twitter and facebook accounts @mynokiablog and Check out the tips, guides and rules for commenting >>click<< Contact us at tips(@) or email me directly on jay[at]
  • asimov

    I respect this site a lot, but you’re way off target mate. Nokia is suffering an identity crises that needs to be addressed immediately.
    We could write a complete dissertation on the subject, but it would end with the same conclusion – their marketing strategy sucks. I can’t think of one area that Jerri DeVard and Nokia have addressed properly :

    Product – They’re still using hardware on flagship products that is 2 generations behind the competition.

    Place – You can’t just ignore a market the size of America for 10 years and hope to be successful

    Price – Too high given the outdated hardware

    Promotion – Poorly executed in my opinion. As I said earlier, you can’t just enter a market and hope for immediate success.

    Brand Management – It’s still associated with yesteryear. i.e The phone my father used to use

    Differentiation – This is what you were getting at.

    PR – They let the media walk all over them without so much as a rebuttal, particularly in the US and UK. Wake up Nokia – why do you think you’re losing market share in previous strongholds like Germany, Spain, Italy, Australia etc..

    This is only a basic rundown, but I’m sure it paints a basic picture. Like yourself, I enjoy using Nokia’s products and I want to see them turn their declining market share around. Fortunately, I think this is precisely what Elop and his Directors are doing, but it will take another 6-12 months.

    • viktor von d.

      the old generation hardware is because of wp limitations, and because symbian is optimized to run on weaker hardware, but it seems things will change this year
      as for them enteriong the american market, i kinda think they were partially succesful considering they are only on 2 carriers with only 2 phones released in the last 6 months. they need time to have the other carriers on board and a broader selection of devices. we are comparing this with the succes of android in the u.s. but how many android devices exist on all the carriers in the us and how long it took to reach this marketshare it has now. i hate it but these things take years to develop, 6 months with 2 devices on one carrier with a new platform isn’t going to put them on the right track.

      conclusion – this is the last chance for nokia. the decisions that are made now regarding marketing, devices and their bussiness in general will decide the future and we will know for sure either in q4 2012 or q1-q2 2013 if wp was a smart move, if the restructuring inside the company was executed properly

  • viktor von d.

    One thing i don’t want is the europe market to become like the one in america. carriers there have too much power, each wanting a unique exclusive phone variant for their network. i don’t want that to come to europe, to want a device with certain features and not have it because it’s exclusive to one carrier.