Microsoft and Nokia’s Marketing is Still in Beta Testing

Technology Executives or Used Car Salesmen? Either way, they should have "beta-tested" their ad campaign a little longer.

I’ve written that Apple’s competitors still don’t get why Apple’s iPhone and iPad are so popular. The New World of Technology is driven by the huge mainstream of non-techie consumers. You can tell that most other companies are marketing devices “built by geeks for geeks”. That just doesn’t resonate with the average consumer and it is the average consumer that has made Apple’s devices king of the hill.

In another stunning example of this ignorance, Microsoft and Nokia’s entire ad campaign for their new Windows Phone-based Lumia 900 is centered around the phrase “The Smartphone Beta Test is Over.” The are insinuating that all smartphones up to this point (including the iPhone) are inferior to Microsoft’s and Nokia’s latest product.

There are two big problems with this campaign. First, they are insulting smartphone owners who don’t own their product (in other words – EVERYONE) by portraying current smartphone owners as clueless and hiring a condescending pitch man to point that out. Second, they assume that people actually know what a beta test is! In techie circles, the term “beta test” is very common. But outside of techie circles? Who knows for sure? I’m betting Microsoft and Nokia themselves don’t know the answer to that question. Because if they did, I don’t think this campaign sees the light of day. It’s just not that common of a term in the real world and I think for most people, it just goes over their head if not outright confuses them.

I have two words for Microsoft and Nokia (along with the rest of the industry)- “Target Market”. Figure out who that is and try again please. Because up to this point, you’re just embarrassing yourselves.