Can Motorola regain share after one year out?

Can Motorola regain share after one year out?

With a year out of the European market, Motorola has had a lot of catching up to do.

The manufacturer is now back in the market, with two UK Android phones under its belt, but will there be enough to bring it out the other side?

Motorola marketing director Tom Satchwell says he is 'proud to be out the other side' after a 'soul-searching' time for the manufacturer.

As marketing chief for the UK, Satchwell has been instrumental in the recovery of the once beleaguered manufacturer.

Satchwell has a wide role, and deals with western Europe and Australia, reporting to EMEA and Asia VP of marketing Andrew Morley.

He started in the aerospace industry, moved into automotive and then, in his own words, 'got sucked into telecoms' at Motorola in 2003. Satchwell, who has worked in many other roles for the manufacturer, admits that his 'work is cut out for 2010'.

'It's a really energised team,' says Satchwell. 'We went through a soul-searching time and we made a lot of tough, introspective decisions. I am very proud we came out the other end.'

Hot on the heels of its DEXT and MILESTONE handsets, the manufacturer is planning 20 Android devices this year. Satchwell says the MILESTONE has done 'exceptionally well'. 'We've got 20 coming thick and fast,' he adds.

Motorola is looking at all price points, but will position its phones as smartphones, with Android a big focus, says Satchwell. 'The technology allows us to meet multiple price points. We have a broad portfolio we have the WX series, we have Android and we have [luxury handset] the AURA.'

The AURA is a high-end device with 62-carat sapphire crystal, built in two weeks by hand and worth 1,300. The marketing campaign for the handset features David Beckham, was aimed at a highly targeted market and sold through channels such as Harrods and Selfridges.

There has been a 'strong and steady demand' for the AURA, says Satchwell. He adds: 'As a marketer, it's not all that often that you get $2,000 phones.'

'It was step apart from what we had done before, and it fitted the customer's need. The luxury industry is a multimillion-dollar one.'

But the DEXT and MILESTONE, supported by Motorola's address book and social integrator, MOTOBLUR, are aimed at a much wider audience.

People use them as business phones as well as for personal use, says Satchwell, adding that he used his own MILESTONE as a computer when trapped abroad because of the volcanic ash. The MILESTONE is a 'powerhouse of a product', he says.

Although Satchwell will not reveal Motorola's UK share, he says there has been 'unprecedented demand' for the MILESTONE. He adds: 'I've been pleased with the sales we are getting, there is strong consumer demand.'

For distribution, it depends on the product, says Satchwell. The manufacturer is keen to get operators on board for MOTOBLUR, as it needs to be partnered with a good data package.

The manufacturer is also teaming up with Google on its Nexus project and is understood to be Googles chosen manufacturer for its next own-brand phone, the Nexus Two.

Satchwell remains tight-lipped, saying: 'When we have something to bring to market we will release it.'

However, he adds: 'MOTOBLUR is complementary to Android. This is a partnership, and for us it's a long-term one. We are in the business of launching products. This industry is product-based and I will have a product-based approach.'

The company does not have any plans to run a widespread campaign, with those ads it does run also being product-led, such as its advertising for the MILESTONE.

Satchwell says: 'With advertising, think of the way you live your life.'

'Our interaction with social networks has changed. Its not just a case of going out and throwing an ad at the cinema or billboard. We don't have money to waste.'

And the market is pretty competitive, Satchwell admits. 'It's always been competitive. When I joined the industry in the 2000s it was prepay, and that has changed. Products like the RAZR got us to where we are today; smartphones are driving this industry forward at the moment. We, as manufacturers, need to focus on consumer expectations.'

The power of devices is 'like a computer', says Satchwell. 'We let you carry it about in your pocket. Consumer expectations evolve you just have to look at the world around you. We are taking the power of what you once had on your desktop and enabling it with some great applications.'

And the industry doesnt stop exciting Satchwell. He says: 'Sometimes I feel like a five year old child with a new toy every day. I cant think of any other industry I'd rather be in.'

Written by Mobile Today
Mobile Today

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