Nokia is turning its sights to the b2b market with plans to offer enterprise customers over 1,000 free Nokia Lumia 800 and 710 phones as part of a major marketing campaign.
The campaign will see the manufacturer go head to head with rivals Samsung and HTC, which have already expressed their own interest in grabbing b2b market share for their Android-enabled devices. The move follows reports of sluggish sales of the Nokia Lumia 800 in the consumer market since its launch late last year.
Nokia is planning to target b2b dealers and IT resellers through its distributors Micro-P and Ingram Micro. The first steps of the campaign have already started with Micro-P launching a ‘Try Me, Buy Me’ promotion this week for the Lumia 800. The distributor will provide more than 1,000 Lumia 800 phones for its b2b resellers, who will offer them to their own customers to try for three weeks before either returning them or buying them through the reseller.
The incentive includes a 24 month swap-out warranty and box bonuses for sales teams. It runs until the end of March and will include the Lumia 710 when it launches in February. The Lumia 710 will be offered to customers at lower price points than the Lumia 800 and on special cut price tariffs.
The deals will be promoted at various b2b events across the country. They will also be backed by a major marketing campaign promoting the benefits of the Windows Phone platform for business customers and a series of rolling training programmes and events across the country.
Nokia head of retail and distribution James Kitto declined to reveal how much money it was spending on marketing the new device in the UK. He also dismissed reports of poor early sales of the Lumia 800, insisting it had created a ‘level of consumer awareness’ that would aid the launch of the forthcoming Lumia 710. He said: ‘Our focus for the Nokia Lumia 800 was very much at the consumer and we have achieved that. Our analysis shows that consumer awareness is very high now and we plan to expand our distribution strategy to a wider part of the market.
‘The Lumia 710 brings a slightly different form factor to a different market and in the b2b market in particular it will open up price points and opportunities in the business sector.’
Kitto said Nokia’s distribution partners, Micro-P and Ingram Micro, will spearhead the drive into the b2b sector. He added: ‘Primarily, we will target the business market via the work we do with our distribution partners – billing the right value propositions, making them much more tailored and so on, working with Micro-P and Ingram Micro to broaden our reach.’