Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Nokia needs to be different to win

Seems like the good old guys of the mobile industry are running on a second wind. I am of course talking about Nokia. After what seems to be nearly a decade of being in the doldrums of mediocrity, they seem to be coming out really strong, albeit with some help from Microsoft.

Unless you have been living under the proverbial rock for sometime, the new Nokia Lumia 800 and 710, both based on the Windows Mobile platform, has been receiving excellent reviews. The Lumia 800 even won the Mobile of the Year at the What Mobile Awards 2011 at London’s Whisky Mist.

So far so good, but I think this won't be enough for them to become a serious player in the smartphone market again.

To understand what I am all about, just have a look at this video.

Still doesn't make sense? Let me explain. This visually amazing event was organised by Nokia in London a few days ago.I couldn't make it in person and am glad so; firstly because it was freezing outside, and secondly, because what on earth was it all about?

Yes, it was a magnificent sight to behold, watching the Millbank Tower transform into one of the largest screens ever. But the opportunity was lost to promote the phone and what they ended up doing is promoting Deadmau5 and the technicians instead. If they could have used all the technology to highlight what the phone can do, the impact would have been much more powerful.

I stayed home to watch the live streaming and that turned out to be a disaster. As you can see from the comments, this was probably the most choppy live streaming ever.

Another avenue Nokia is using to promote the new phones is by giving them away. No, seriously! They are giving away 85000 phones to developers, bloggers and influencers. This probably is a good tactic. I have tried the Nokia Lumia 800 phone myself and am definitely going to make it my next phone (I currently own an N97). Once people actually have the phone in their hand and start using it, they will realise how good a piece of machinery it is. All said and done though, Nokia can do better.

Apple is where it is today because of the way it brought the future to the masses. Google Android has created a massive fan base because it has marketed it as the definitive open source platform and attracted masses of developers. It goes without saying that Nokia will have it's hands very full trying to emulate those two behemoths.

What it can do however, is to do something which the others haven't done on a mass scale so far. How can it do that? Well, why don't they start by being the first to bring the following into production?
  • Nokia Indoor Navigation

  • Nokia HumanForm Nanotechnology

Those are things so awesome that I don't even need to talk about them. When you see these and the half-hearted marketing attempts, you realise that this is a company with so much passion and enthusiasm for technology and innovation. There are some great ideas which are generated in their incubation centres but somehow, they never really get the execution they deserve.

Marketing gimmicks apart (and I am a digital marketer) I think it's innovation and implementation which makes a company successful. The sooner Nokia realises that the better it would be for them. So please Nokia, it's not that we don't like your marketing campaigns, it's just that we would rather have the bending phone instead. After all, isn't innovation what you have been doing for the last 25 years?

Many thanks!

A Fan.
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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Happy 40th birthday Email

I just found out that email is 40 years old! That's a staggering number for me. As a marketer, I love emails, even though people have been composing requiems for it for quite sometime now. Thankfully, some people in the same industry are not so sure as the infographic below would reveal:

I know which side I am on. Here are some interesting facts that I found on the internet about emails which I wanted to share with you:

  • 1971 - The first email was sent out on this month 40 years ago. It was sent by Ray Tomlinson who strangely doesn't remember what the message really was!
  • 1978 - Gary Thuerk, a marketer for Digital Equipment Corporation, started one of the most hateful acts in the history of mankind by sending out the first spam to 500 addresses.
  • 1982 - The word 'email' was used for the first time. No, I don't know what they used to call it earlier either.
  • 1997 - Microsoft acquired Hotmail for $400. Like most of their major products, its doing well even today.
  • 1998 - With some regret, the word spam was added to the Oxford dictionary.
  • 2003 - CAN-SPAM Act gets translated as the "You-Can-Spam" act for a lot of spam opposers.
  • 2007 - Gmail went public. I never looked back after that.
  • 2009 - Gmail suffered an outage. Thankfully Cloud computing carried on unscathed.
  • 2011 - Hotmail starts attacking 'graymails' - unwanted emails received legitimately

One thing I am quite clear about now is that email is here to stay for some more time. So, the question is, what's coming up next?

11th Nov Update: Econsultancy comes to the defense of email yet again. Apparently, it has grown by as much as 200% year on year!
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