Motorola goes after budget buyers with ‘marketers’ dream’ Moto G smartphone

Motorola is hoping to appeal to a new generation of smartphone owners with the Moto G, a handset that it claims is ‘god’s gift to marketers’ because it combines a low price tag with premium specifications.

The phone, which goes on sale in the UK later this week, will cost £135 off contract. It includes an edge-to-edge 4.5-inch HD screen, a quad-core processor and what the company describes as an “all day battery”.

It is the only device in its price range to come with Android 4.3 Jellybean, with a promise it will be upgraded to the newest version, 4.4 KitKat, at the start of 2014. Tech reviewers and experts have heralded the device as a rival to the HTC One Mini and Nokia’s Lumia 520, which runs Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system.

Speaking to Marketing Week, EMEA senior marketing director Marcus Frost, described the phone as a “marketers’ dream”. He claimed it fills a gap in the market between people that want to buy expensive smartphones that offer the latest innovations and budget-conscious consumers.

“We understand what the average person on the street is after and are meeting their demands. No one has yet solved this problem,” he said.

Specifically, Motorola is going after three types of customer. Firstly those that own feature phones and have never quite seen the value in upgrading to a smartphone.

Secondly, consumers that are using friends’ hand-me-downs that often feature out-dated operating systems. Lastly, people that buy old models of new smartphones, such as the Galaxy S III or iPhone 4.

Motorola is planning to market the phone around the strapline “An exceptional phone at an exceptional price”. It is already promoting the phone on social media, with digital forming the central part of its “multi-million dollar” strategy.

Frost cited figures that 70 per cent of consumers research a phone online before buying, with 50 per cent of them watching a video. Motorola already has a 1 minute video on YouTube and is teasing the phone across Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

It is also working “closely” with mobile operators and retailers to maximise sales in-store, providing them with devices and training.

The Moto G is the newest addition to the Moto franchise, which Motorola launched in the summer with the debut of the Moto X. That is its flagship device aimed at early adopters, with the firm positioning the Moto G as its little brother.

Motorola will be hoping that the Moto brand can help turn around the phone maker’s fortunes. In its latest quarter its losses widened by 24 per cent year on yet to $248m and its revenues dropped from $1.78bn to $1.18bn.

This is the first phone from Motorola to launch in the UK following the company’s acquisition by Google in 2011. Frost said the “magic” of being part of Google means it can combine a vanilla Android experience with supply chain innovations and Motorola engineering to produce a phone that offers a “premium experience at a fraction of the price” of the competition.

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