Critically evaluate the marketing strategy of a mobile phone manufacturer of your choice. Nokia incorporated and headquartered in Finland operates worldwide. The company is composed of three groups which include: mobile phones, telecommunications and others (Rapp, 2002). The marketing strategy of Nokia can not be overlooked in the company’s success globally. According to Kurtz, MacKenzie & Snow (2009) every successful marketing strategy takes into consideration the marketing environment which includes the competitive, economic, political, legal, technological and social-cultural factors that affect the way a company formulates and implements its marketing strategy. Kurtz, MacKenzie & Snow (2009) established that “Nokia’s marketing strategy helped the company to predict how long it would take to achieve the goals set out by the strategy” (p. 168).
Kurtz, MacKenzie & Snow (2009) continue to say that when Nokia launched its N-Gage, a handset that played games, the company used its marketing strategy that included determining how it would effectively distribute, promote and price its handsets. Through expanding its well known communications product line to include a new handheld game device, Nokia came up with a new marketing strategy that set its new product in direct competition with game machines made for example by Nintendo and Sony (Kurtz, MacKenzie & Snow, 2009).
Over the time sound marketing strategies have enabled Nokia to negotiate deals with major wireless service providers to distribute N-Gage. The marketing strategy also enabled Nokia to expand the products distribution through offering trials, purchase and downloads of popular games from its website. According to Kurtz, MacKenzie & Snow (2009) Nokia spent an estimated $100 million promoting the initial handset.
Through its marketing strategy Nokia touched the right chord with customers when the company successfully managed to position its portable phones as fashion objects with a special look and flashy colors (Viardot, 2004). During this time its competitors were emphasizing power, price, small size or performance (Viardot, 2004)
Moreover, marketing strategies have enabled marketing savvy firms to emphasize their positioning when communicating with their customers. According to Viardot (2004) Nokia positioned its brand in the highly competitive mobile phone marketplace in which its message clearly conveyed to consumers both the technology and human side of its offer in a powerful way. Viardot (2004) continues to say that Nokia uses a combination of benefits, emotional attributes and competition based marketing strategies. He also comments that the company holds the human dimension of mobile communications forcing its opponents to find a different and weaker position in the consumers mind (Viardot, 2004).
Viardot (2004) established that “many marketing strategies failure comes from lack of coherence between the various elements of the marketing mix” (p. 150). In order to avoid this error Nokia has opted positioning as the keystone of the marketing of its products. The company also segments its markets in order to optimize its resources and to correctly respond to customer needs. Viardot, 2004 argued that “when Nokia incorporated segmentation in its marketing strategy the company was able to regroup its customers who have the same demands for their products and probably the same buying habits and other characteristics” (p. 152).
An assessment of the importance and the use of information in their marketing strategy.
Information has played an important role in Nokia’s marketing strategy. This is on the basis of formulating and drawing and effective marketing strategy for the company. Rapp (2002) maintained that “the need for information in Nokia’s marketing strategy was driven by the fact that by 1997 some 59 telecom operators in thirty one countries were using Nokia’s GSM systems” (p. 255). The company was selling 40 mobile phone products in 130countries from 12 plants (Rapp 2002). This information was vital for the company in order to come up with a marketing strategy that will optimize the companies product distribution and pricing in different parts in the globe. Rapp (2002) continues to say that “product distribution information enabled Nokia to determine that the company required some hundred billion components each year delivered in the right amount at the right time in the right place” (p. 255).
The use of information enables Nokia suppliers to operate through a private Nokia network which its customers also can access (Rapp, 2002). Rapp, 2002 indicated that “the marketing team in the company asks suppliers to make firm specific investment in time, money and organization so that Nokia will have an integrated and coordinated end to end solution to its customers” (p. 255). Use of information in Nokia’s marketing strategy indicates how the company benefits by building an inventory that does not become obsolete (Rapp, 2002).
Through the use of information Nokia’s experience is that by working towards establishing strategic marketing plans the company requires a joint understanding and mutually beneficial experience (Rapp, 2002). Rapp (2002) stated that “information obtained in their marketing team and partners Nokia is able to build trust with its suppliers and in turn its customers because everyone runs their business better” (p. 255). Rapp (2002) established that Nokia works with second-line suppliers when a first-line supplier thinks that would be helpful for the company to enhance its marketing strategy.
The aspect of information has played critical role in Nokia’s marketing strategy success. This is because it encompasses the use of information technology to support the marketing strategy hence it is driven from the top to meet the demands of global sourcing and marketing (Rapp, 2002). Rapp (2002) continues to say that the “companies supply chain management is a fundamental part of its marketing strategy” (p. 255). According to Rapp (2002) this is because Nokia sees itself as an extended enterprise involving customers and suppliers and organizes itself around this principle. The marketing strategy emphasizes that the primary focus is on the customer and the customer needs and therefore information remains as the only enhancer or enabler of the marketing strategy (Rapp 2002).
Rapp (2002) argues that “while managing demand-supply chain is key to controlling costs and responding rapidly to demand shifts one must still generate demand” (p. 256). Information has helped the company to create an advantage and resources through alliances or partnering with the potential partners. Rapp (2002) says that “this has been important in developing the supply chain and new network products and services and therefore beneficial to Nokia’s business plans in terms of production of, demand for, marketing of, and distribution of handsets” (p. 256).