Nokia looks to boost advocacy with new role

Nokia has promoted its global social media editor in chief Thomas Messett to the new role of head of digital marketing and advocacy as the phone manufacturer looks to encourage more online conversation around the brand from its biggest fans.

Nokia Lumia

Messett will be charged with turning more Nokia handset owners – particularly its “top 2 per cent” of potential influencers – into stronger advocates for the brand as the company looks to prioritise people instead of platforms such as Facebook or Twitter within its digital strategy.

He told Marketing Week: “People don’t buy a phone because they follow [a brand] on Twitter. It’s because they were recommended by a friend, or saw a Lumia 920 review or searched for ‘best camera phone’. Our focus on advocacy is a natural step on from the work we have already done [using real customers in our marketing].”

He will report into Mark Newton, who joined Nokia last year from Lastminute.com as its vice president of European marketing. His role in-part replaces that of Chris Schaumann, who was Nokia’s director of advocacy for Europe and formed its “advocacy practice” before being promoted to become global vice president of digital, social marketing and CRM in November.

In his time as global social media editor in chief, Messett led the launch of Nokia’s “industry first” Twitter app and opening up its API for consumers to 3D print back covers for the Lumia 820 device.

Prior to joining Nokia in 2011, Messett was a senior manager on the “social presence team” at word of mouth agency 1000 Heads.

Nokia registered its first quarterly profit in 18 months in January, giving a signal its long-term strategy to tie its fortunes to the Microsoft Windows Phone operating system could pay off.

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