Above the line is not enough for mobiles

I wasn’t surprised when your Spotlight feature on mobile phones (MW April 8) revealed that only one advertising campaign was remembered by more than ten per cent of adults.

Admittedly, advertising plays a large part in building brand awareness and is an integral part of any marketing campaign, but it is only successful if it is appropriate to the product and reflects the true degree of consumer knowledge.

With so many different mobile phone companies advertising what appears to be the exact same product, consumers are clearly failing to distinguish between the brands.

To prevent product confusion, mobile phone companies need to back up their advertising with in-store support.

There is no point spending millions above the line, to drive people into a store to purchase, only to find staff have neither been trained nor know how to answer questions the public may have.

If the manufacturer does not win the hearts and minds of the store then they have no chance of becoming the brand of choice in that or any store. It is only through face-to- face contact with the consumer and demonstrations on the shopfloor that companies will be able to make their product stand out. As these figures clearly show, advertising alone is not enough to effectively educate the public about a technology-driven brand.

Mobile phone marketers, like all those involved in the supply of technology-based products, live and die by their ability to make consumers understand, relate to and, ultimately, purchase their product. And if the recent research on the mobile sector says anything, it’s that clients must question in which of the above stages their marketing budget is actually offering a suitable return on investment, and through which elements of their marketing mix this is being derived.

Richard Thompson




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