Microsoft wants Windows Phone to succeed. It needs Windows Phone to succeed. And so it seems like, at least in the UK, the company is ready to do one of the things big corporations are very good at: throw money at the problem.
According to a source speaking to Mobile Today, Microsoft will spend £20 million for a marketing campaign for Nokia-made Windows Phones. That’s not an earth-shattering amount, but it is big nonetheless. Other WP device makers such as Samsung may also get some free marketing from Microsoft, but Nokia will take most of it, since it is after all Microsoft’s ‘strategic partner’.
This undoubtedly was one thing that Stephen Elop, CEO of Nokia, and Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft (both seen in the picture above), extensively talked about before Nokia finally made its big February 11 announcement. That was when the company first told us about its big shift in strategy regarding smartphones, and how it intends to go ‘all in’ with Windows Phone.
Months have passed, and before the end of October Nokia will hold its annual Nokia World event, where it is expected to finally unveil its very first smartphone(s) running Microsoft’s newest mobile operating system. In order to capture some market share in the UK from Android, both companies will be ramping up their promotional spend. Nokia has apparently already commissioned its ad agencies to develop a campaign focused on Windows Phone Mango’s social networking features, as well as its apps and games. And that’s probably a good idea, since Microsoft and Nokia need to prove to people that the WP platform has enough apps to make switching to it painless for someone coming from Android or iOS. Microsoft’s money will likely go to “in-store marketing”.
Samsung is also expected to invest a lot in the promotion of its Omnia W smartphone running WP 7.5 Mango. The sum is believed to be around £8 million, with some or all of that possibly coming from Microsoft, although exact details are murkier than in Nokia’s case.
It’s quite clear that Microsoft would like this holiday shopping season to be the moment when Windows Phone truly enters the smartphone race, more than one year after its initial release. However, whether or not simply creating big and expensive ad campaigns will be enough to persuade people not to choose either Android or iOS remains to be seen. We’re guessing Nokia WP devices will sell in pretty decent numbers, especially thanks to Nokia’s brand image, but other manufacturers of Windows Phones may not see as good numbers.
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