Nokia appoints its first global head of digital to win smartphone share

Nokia has appointed its first global head of digital marketing as it turns to online to re-establish itself in the high-end smartphone market and drive awareness of the mobile services on its Ovi store.

NOKIA smartphone
NOKIA smartphone

The Finnish mobile phone manufacturer has appointed Craig Hepburn, former ecommerce head at STA Travel, to the newly created role, which oversees its entire digital media activity.

Hepburn said he’ll focus on increasing visibility on social platforms. Nokia will prioritise online channels such as social media over mobile advertising as a means of acquiring new customers, although it intends to increase its overall digital spend compared to last year.

“While Nokia is still one of the main players in the handset market, we have to see how we can communicate things such as Ovi Maps to customers,” he said. “I’m eager to build on our social media strategy to do that.”

Hepburn will also manage Nokia’s media agency roster. He’ll report to Carol Soriano, Nokia’s director of marketing activation.

Although Nokia is the biggest mobile phone manufacturer, with a 36.4% market share globally in 2009, according to Gartner, it has lost ground in the smartphone market since 2007 with the launch of Apple’s iPhone and various Android devices.

Nokia launched a multi-million-pound integrated marketing campaign last week to promote its Ovi Maps service, with ads running on Yahoo, MSN and Facebook.

Ovi Maps was made free to Nokia users at the beginning of the year and has been downloaded 10m times since January, according to Nokia.

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