Marketing has changed in these days of social media, search engine optimization (SEO), and mobile. But SMBs can take a lesson from a large player in the mobile market, one that once reigned supreme and is now battling back.
Many of us loved Android when it began to grow fast. Its app store -- first called Android Market, and now known as Google Play -- quickly filled with lots of applications, both free and paid. On the other side of the mobile world, Apple, with its iPhone and iPad, grew its own application store. The worlds of Google and Apple provide a big challenge to Nokia and Microsoft, which once were kings of this field.
The popularity of collaborative, cloud-based Google email, Google maps, and Google’s search engine helped build the Google brand, becoming the biggest marketing tool for Android. So Nokia, once the legend of smartphones, worked with partner Microsoft to develop its own amazing products in an effort to rally and prove its power, ability, and skills. It used YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, plus a single, amazing TV advertisement. And SEO.
Yes, SEO. We all know the power of Google Search, but SEO professionals know Google’s search-engine magic. Nokia optimized the name “Lumia” in Google Search, so when we type “Lumia” we go directly to Nokia’s Website, Facebook page, Twitter page, and, yes, YouTube channel.
The number of Nokia's social media subscribers increased tremendously. Building on this, Nokia and Microsoft regularly released amazing videos with interviews, product demos, and photos of Lumia on social networks. I am not sure how the cost of social media advertising at this level compares to TV advertising, but SMBs can certainly take advantage of this terrific tool on a smaller scale to promote their business, products, and services.
Generally, a really quality product will spread like fire in technology magazines and Websites, even before the product is available for sale. Nobody can fool consumers anymore. In the case of Nokia and Microsoft, they created a great product, and their popularity increased in a way that helped them meet the heavy competition they faced from Google and Apple.
There were interesting, marketing-worthy results. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak bought the Nokia Lumia 900 Windows 7 phone. He told A New Domain that it runs best, fastest, and most reliably.
In a glitch that, not surprisingly, Apple has since fixed, Siri told users that Nokia Lumia was the best smartphone when people asked. To be specific, the virtual personal assistant said it was the Cyan-colored Nokia Lumia 900 4G running on AT&T's network, according to CNET.
And Apple is facing a class action lawsuit over “misleading” Siri ads, which the plaintiff said showed a Siri that was “more polished” than it really is.
Perhaps more important than any slick or viral marketing campaign, though, is vendors’ dedication to keeping customers happy. Nokia signed an agreement with Microsoft to give us access to those familiar Microsoft Office apps in mobile form, tools like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Lync, and Outlook. For existing Symbian users, it released the Nokia Belle update that included lots of features that generated positive feedback. And Nokia is continuing with the release of its Nokia Belle Feature Pack 1, with features like Dolby Digital surround sound using normal headsets.
Marketing is more than art. You have to develop real features to market.