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To accompany the launch of its Xperia Pureness phone, Sony Ericsson created an international campaign, which combined billboard advertising in select cities, which was backed up by an online programme to identify 'design influencers'. 

I've been asking Zorayda Pedersen, Global Marketing Manager at Sony Ericsson, about the company's campaign and its approach to multichannel marketing.

Can you tell me a little about your role at Sony Ericsson?

Under the Global Marketing organization at Sony Ericsson, we have several focus areas in marketing, one of which is Global Product Marketing. Generally speaking, the Global Product Marketing role helps drive the 4P Product, Price, Place, Promotion together with the different key stakeholders.  

How have you targeted young, high income mobile users with the Pureness campaign? Can you tell me about the campaign and its aims?

For Pureness, we have conducted a pre-study together with the help of a consulting firm which specializes in the fashion and lifestyle industry.

The pre-study analyzed the global market using certain key parameters, both hard and soft economic analytics, such as price/earnings analysis, purchasing power, quality of life ratings and others in order to conclude where and how to market and communicate to the Pureness target audience. 

In terms of the campaign, we were very critical and mindful of the conceptualization and execution as the product is very special. We ensured that we partnered with the right creative agency in order to drive the right communications strategy as well as to steer credibility in the industry.  

Together with Petronio Associates, our objective for the global marketing campaign is: ‘stripping away the unnecessary so that the essential can speak.’

This is the core expression of the Pureness product concept, on which we have built the brand’s strategic and creative positioning and communication platform.

You targeted specific cities and sold through select stores - how effective has this strategy been?

In order to answer this question more effectively and clearly, it will be necessary to explain further the target audience.  

Our target consumer does not necessarily buy into a dictated vision of a precise lifestyle or aesthetic, instead he or she buys into an attitude. Pureness appeals to all generations of design-conscious, independent, creative users as well as to the needs of business professionals who require a simple second personal phone.  

Finally, it is a unique phone for enlightened consumers who do not wish to be overburdened by technology.

Pureness confidently asserts its unique product concept, and have placed itself in direct opposition to the industry leaders in our business. Such a unique product and proposition deserves a special communications strategy.  

We believe that the communications strategy has been effective particularly to the intended target audience. 

What did you do online to accompany this offline campaign? How have you measured the success in terms of offline and online sales?

Consistent with our ATL campaign, our online campaign has been very focused on communicating the essential: Talk. Text. Time. These words encapsulate not only the product benefits but also provides identity. 

Our online campaigns are twofold: First, we have conducted the traditional online campaign using banner placements and links to several relevant sites.

Second, we launched our first design and lifestyle oriented blog. One key factor for this blog is our strategic partnership with Wallpaper.

Wallpaper has the network and in fact, the credibility in the design and lifestyle industries, thus we have partnered with them in helping us populate and promote the blog site with relevant content.

On measurement of success, we have used the traditional metrics on the various banner placements as well as discussions with Wallpaper and our digital agencies on soft measurements of success.

Do you find that offline activity compliments your online activity and do you have a fixed strategy to ensure that the two are consistent?

Yes, definitely. In any product Sony Ericsson launches and promotes, both offline and online activities need to be highly consistent as our messaging across channels need not be different as we are communicating to the same target audiences and this is something we insist upon from all the agencies that work with us.

The differences come in that online, much of our activity is drilled right down into specific niches and we constantly test what is working so that we can maximize resources. We also understand that the etiquette changes within social media and we have to be always sensitive to that.

What is important is that we find a way of ensuring the Sony Ericsson personality is defined and comes alive in all the channels that we use.  

Can you tell me about the design blog - are you using this in part for R&D?

We have a desire to have relationships with specific audiences that run much deeper than traditional marketing campaigns. Sony Ericsson is already doing this in a variety of areas.

Our Greenheart blog is a great example where we want to play our part in the environmental and CSR agenda; both talking about what Sony Ericsson is doing to play its part and learn about what our peers are doing and what other stakeholder groups expect from us. We are thinking along the same lines in the product design field. 

We’d like to be able to share more of our thinking and be much more open to other people’s thinking. We understand that whilst a lot of incredibly smart people work for Sony Ericsson we don’t have a monopoly on creative thinking.

We think we can benefit by being part of a network and using a blog platform might the first step on that. However, we have a bit more work to do so watch this space! 

How has Sony Ericsson approached online marketing in general? For example, have you has much success with social media marketing?

Online marketing has been our growing focus for the past few years. And in our strategic marketing planning, digital will be key and our leading channel as we need to evolve as our target audience’s behavior changes.

We are shifting from a traditional ‘broadcast’ style of digital advertising such as banners and online advertising to focus on conversation and engagement with the brand.  

Another change in emphasis is building up our own Sony Ericsson-owned channels of consumer conversation such as our global and local Facebook pages, blogs and discussion forums.  These channels give us a direct link to consumers and brand fans and enable us to communicate the brand personality of Sony Ericsson through our own employees.

What methods and channels do you find most effective in terms of driving a decent return on investment (ROI)?

There are hard targets in terms of driving ROI but there are also soft targets which we value when driving through different channels. On digital, the direct interaction and relationship we build with our consumers is very very important. The Sony Ericsson consumer is at the heart of our products, thus of any of our communications strategy.  

The most important thing is to link it to business outcomes. If our marketing objectives are to increase customer loyalty or increase sales for a specific handset or reach a new audience then we measure our online initiatives in how they contribute to that.

There may be micro-measurements that are specific to online e.g. how consumers gave us their email address? But ultimately they link back to the core and online is much more ‘linkable’ to core objectives, because of the ability to track outcomes, than many other things we do offline.

Graham Charlton

Published 23 July, 2010 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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