Apple vs. Samsung and the Marketing War for Mobile and Tablets
The legal skirmish now underway in a San Jose courtroom between Apple and Samsung over alleged patent infringements involving smartphones and tablet computers is making one thing very clear: Apple has what might be considered an unfair edge when it comes to product marketing, and Samsung will have to open up its checkbook to fight back.
At stake is domination of a global smartphone market exceeding $218 billion, according to Bloomberg. Tech research firms say Samsung has the lead in world market share but the iPhone still rules in the United States. And while Apple’s iPad currently trounces Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, Samsung doesn’t appear to be ceding that battle anytime soon.
Yet Samsung will likely have to pump in much more than its nearly 50 percent increase year-over-year in global marketing costs to overcome the staggering amount of earned media that is handed to the late Steve Jobs’ company by the mainstream and technology media.
Apple Senior Vice President of Marketing Phil Schiller testified that his company didn’t spend any money on advertising when the iPhone was introduced in 2007, instead relying on free stories written and produced about it when Jobs unveiled the device during a Macworld conference. The huge Consumer Electronics Show was going on at the same time in Las Vegas, and Jobs still managed to eclipse that annual global geek gathering.
Recall the similar media hoopla raised in early 2010 when Jobs took the wraps off the first iPad. And even though Jobs is no longer with us, reporters and tech observers continue to provide free marketing for every new model of iPhone, iPad, iPod and Mac computer. Samsung’s new product? Not so much.
Apple also has the edge in product placement in movies, TV shows and in real life; notice the news coverage of NASA and Jet Propulsion Laboratory engineers guiding the Mars Curiosity Rover to a safe landing in early August 2012? In one shot, a row of MacBooks shared space with all that leading-edge technology, Apple logos glowing brightly.
Samsung is enjoying some good reviews for its latest products and is spending a lot in TV ads to make sure everybody knows that the new Galaxy S III is the official smartphone of the London Summer Olympics. The Galaxy Note 7-inch smartphone/hybrid also has its own unique marketing campaign. But consider: Schilling told the San Jose court that his company spent nearly $650 million in marketing the iPhone just in fiscal 2011. Apple spent $457 million on marketing the iPad during the same period.
Give Jobs credit for training an entire generation of tech observers and media types to eagerly anticipate every new product announcement. Samsung may have caught up to Apple in terms of technology and product specifications. Now it’s up to its marketing to truly make this a fair fight.
CI-Group, a New Jersey advertising agency, provides digital marketing and advertising consulting to Fortune 2000 companies in a wide range of industries. Founded nearly 30 years ago and based in Whitehouse, N.J., CI-Group is recognized as a top advertising agency specializing in marketing strategies, event marketing, promotions, direct marketing, digital printing, warehousing and fulfillment. Companies seeking an award-winning interactive agency that merges creative strategies with effective tactics should call 908-534-6100 or visit www.ci-group.com.
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