Now that I’ve had a day or so to reflect on the Nokia event in LA, I wanted to share some thoughts and observations. While preparing to head out for the trip I fully expected to see something new. I knew the US N95 was imminent and just before the trip, I learned that a few Tablet bloggers (Reggie and Thoughtfix) were going as well so my gears were working overtime expecting a new tablet. As it turned out, the news we received was more confirmation of both the devices and actions Nokia is taking in the US market. Selfishly, I found this a bit disappointing at first, but upon further review I am glad to see that there is both focus and commitment to this market.
As I learned earlier in the year, Nokia has only earned a 4% market share in the US (please correct me on this), so the fact that there’s a high end device designed to specifically take things on is a very good thing. The US N95, 8GB N95 and N81 were all on display and will be touted as the key devices for us here as featured on the N-Series site and I am sure as well as in current and pending marketing efforts.
The premise of the night was about unlocking the potential and certainly unlocking LA which seems to be the continuing theme in most Nokia Marketing since at least the summer. There were representatives from various retail outlets in addition the the bloggers, Nokia ambassadors and partners like Sling Media. From what I was able to learn in conversation it seems Nokia is planning a deeper marketing assault on the technology lifestyle segment (“Trendies”) which would follow the lead of the technology early adopters. Through these two key groups Nokia can expect a great deal of word of mouth…. the techies in the various forums and blogs and the trendies through more interpersonal (be seen) interactions.
While Nokia’s advertising spend for the US seems small based on the limited media you see, there may be other deals brewing which will enable the brand to cross into consumer’s lives and take best advantage of the mobile freedom the products offer. I like this approach as it allows for a much more targeted and focused messaging strategy with key audience segments and limits the potential media overspend. Of course Nokia has to really deliver here or their messaging will be over-run by the much larger spends of Apple and the US Carriers. (If you believe what you see Verizon offers a very robust and compelling mobile experience in their walled garden.)
I was able to meet both readers of the blog (very surreal and cool) as well as meet plenty of bloggers I read and Jaiku members I follow. My host WOM World, did a fantastic job planning the trip and keeping the suspense rolling right up through the party which was a lot of fun and I thought of great value. We were able to mingle and network with Nokia Product Managers as as well Bill Plummer, Vice President, Nokia, Multimedia Sales & Channel Management, North America. As a blogger and technology enthusiast, it’s always great to speak directly to a company, but in this case we were talking directly to those most likely able to influence the future based on the feedback.
Thank you Nokia and WOM World for a fantastic trip! I sincerely hope there will be others and I welcome the opportunity to travel again or meet you more locally to share in the experience.
I shot a ton of video and will be editing and posting clips as I can edit … stay tuned for more!