My Only Concern About Microsoft-Nokia Deal: The Marketing Team

Microsoft Surface ad

While there are many positives and negatives one can list out for the announced Microsoft-Nokia deal, I have only one concern. The marketing team at Microsoft is completely different from the marketing team at Nokia. You can just tell the difference by observing them from the recent campaigns. Nokia’s marketing is always bold, straight-forward and nowadays takes on its competition directly and in-directly through various forms of marketing activities. It worked most of the time for Nokia and I fear Microsoft could change this. In his letter to Microsoft, Steve Ballmer revealed that Microsoft is planning to integrate global marketing under Tami Reller and Mark Penn.

We are planning to integrate all global marketing under Tami Reller and Mark Penn. It is very important that we pursue a unified brand and advertising strategy as soon as possible.

I don’t think Microsoft’s unified marketing strategy will work the way they expect. Marketing in Europe differs completely from marketing in Africa. Selling a $40 mobile device is completely different from selling a $400 device. Nokia’s marketing team is experienced in that and I hope Microsoft allows them to operate it independently. If Nokia’s marketing team is funded enough, they will do wonders!

  • The1nChicago

    I agree. I think MS can take advantage of this merger if they utilize their war chest and execute the plan. The major fiasco with MS is Marketing/PR, they need to do a better job. Last, MS should now give license the WP OS for free. This would attract many more OEM to the table. MS is and will make up the loss revenue from Android.

    • robertwade

      MS already has HAD the war chest and they have done a dismal job of marketing Windows 8, Windows Phone and Xbox One. Nokia, in stark contrast, has done well in spite of how horrible Microsoft is at it. What we see is the definition of insanity. I’ve said this elsewhere: Losing the Nokia brand is going to HURT a LOT. If they also drop the Lumia name, it will be devastating. They might as well be starting over….AGAIN.

      • The1nChicago

        I think MS should have kept the Nokia brand for smartphones since they are keeping it for the feature phones. Nor should they drop the Lumia name name.

  • rjmlive

    Microsoft needs to have Apple level marketing. They can create hysteria over anything. That is what Microsoft needs. They have just a few hits, but it’s mostly missed and certainly a few bombs.

    • arrow2010

      You can’t create hysteria over devices that nobody likes. iPhones are revolutionary in 2007 and now.

      • The1nChicago

        You are wrong…MS has a marketing strategy and Apple has a superb team in place. It’s not about hysteria, it’s about execution.

        • robertwade

          Wait, what? Microsoft has a marketing strategy? Really? At best, it’s suffering from multiple personality disorder. Microsoft’s marketing is dismal. Nokia did well IN SPITE of Microsoft’s marketing.

          • The1nChicago

            No, I stand corrected, I meant to say MS does not have a Marketing or PR team. They need to be booted and I will still say it’s about execution.

      • rjmlive

        Everybody I know that has a Windows Phone likes it with enthusiasm. Windows Phone also has the highest consumer satisfaction ratings of all phones. People like them a lot. Just not a lot of people have them. That’s the problem that marketing needs to solve.. create marketing that feeds the hysteria Apple was able to generate. Apple’s IOS hasn’t changed since 2007, it’s not interesting or exciting at all, but for some reason, there is this hysteria about it. That’s what MS needs.

      • nohone

        No, Apple does create hysteria over devices nobody likes. The original iPhone was a feature phone with a big screen. It had no apps except for a web browser that repeatedly crashed, a mail app that was absolute junk, and it had a stripped down weather app and a calculator – apps on every other feature phone. I know this because I had 3 of them. And they were able to generate a lot of hysteria over that device.
        And they are able to do it with devices that do not even exist. Before the iPad was announced, every tech site was enamored with it, hyping it every chance they got. We are seeing it today with iWatch and iTV. Nothing has been announced, but like clockwork every few days we get a new rumor about those devices, even though they have been rumored for years. You don’t think that these were accidential leaks, do you? Apple is leaking information drip by drip, letting the sites do the work for them, delaying with their vaporware as long as they can, so that people will not buy the competition, all while generating as much hype and hysteria they can.

        • Ian Too

          I think you’ve forgotten what made the iPhone so radical. When released it had the biggest and only capacitive screen on a phone. It had screen rotation and the first workable on screen keyboard you could use without a stylus. It was a radical departure as a tactile experience and the only competition was from Windows Mobile, which was aimed at the enterprise market and suffered from resistive touchscreens.

          Of course the software wasn’t that hot. When I got my 3GS, I had to keep my old Windows Mobile, because the calendar wasn’t (& still isn’t) able to handle a rotating shift pattern and a number of embarrassing predictive text incidents meant that I couldn’t wait to get rid of it.

          Nevertheless, it was innovative, extremely well made and beautiful device Microsoft had no answer to before Windows Phone 7.5.

  • Avatar Roku

    This is one of my biggest concerns. Nokia marketing is really good and obviously very effective in many parts of the world. MS marketing is spotty at best, catastrophically awful at worst. I will say the recent Windows phone ads have been very funny and the Windows 8 Siri ads are very good.

    Xbox 360 Jump In marketing campaign was good, but was a long time ago.

    • techieg

      Good point. As far as I’m concerned, MS has no marketing team, they are just horrible. They need to adopt Nokia’s marketing team game plan to succeed or they’ll just kill the products too.

  • donzebe

    Nokia marketing Team will handle the phone, Phablet and other phone related devices and Microsoft marketing team will continue to handle the tablet and soft ware as before. During the break they can come together since it will be in the same cafeteria.

    • Yuan Taizong

      Hopefully, Nokia is very experienced, but Microsoft’s best marketing has always been its consumers, I bet I’ve helped more people buy Windows 8 P.C.’s in my city then the T.V.-comercials, most people even doubt the fact that Microsoft has a marketing division.

  • mckayhb09

    Microsoft should just announce Elop as CEO right now! I think he is the only one who will be able to steer Microsoft in the right direction.

  • Derrek Leigh

    Nokia’s marketing in the US actually sucks, which is partly why they never did well here. Microsoft has been doing well to change that here recently

    • Bugbog

      Not true. You should check out the reasoning that Elop gave (on an AllThingsD website interview).

      Nokia lost marketshare in North America circa 2004, when the US went Flip-phone crazy! Nokia, as the market leader, was too arrogant to give in (i.e. cave-in) to carrier request(demands) that they produce flip-phones for them, which they didn’t, so they lost marketshare, which was taken up by Motorola & LG. (Just check out the percentage of Americans with non-smartphones, that are flip-phones!)

      • Derrek Leigh

        this is why I said “partly” the reason. One cannot deny the strength that marketing and advertising has in this industry. You can make a crappy phone look good (iPhone) but Nokia, being Finnish, has always been too meek, especially, in the US. I spoke to an employee about a year ago about this very issue.

  • Minstral

    Microsoft are very bad at noticing there is any world outside of North America (as do a lot of Americans because there country is rather large in the first place) and hence there marketing doesn’t tend to work outside of US. They need to buck up on this and use the Nokia team to create international buzz which they are good at.
    I suspect Nokia marketing doesn’t work well in US!

  • NegLewis

    Marketing teams should understand that people want cheap usable phones.
    Nokia delivers.
    Use WP7 for FeaturePhones. Main differentiation should the form factor: small display. Big battery. Cheap.

    Use WP8+ for SmartPhones. Premium. Big Resolution Display…

    • Yuan Taizong

      They’ll probably use the Asha O.S. and S40 as they’ll buy those too, but Windows Phone 7 would be better.

  • Yuan Taizong

    I personally hope that Microsoft will admit that Nokia is better at marketing Windows Phone than them, and will use Nokia’s experience to cover their specialities, Microsoft shouldn’t act arrogant during the merger, otherwise they’ll lose all the advantages this deal could bring for Microsoft, Nokia has many advantages that Microsoft must learn to use before it’s too late, Windows Phone has a huge potential if it’s marketed right.