Two key elements of Microsoft’s marketing and sales strategy for its two mobile platforms are now known: the Surface will be granted improved sales channel distribution and the Windows Phone 8 smartphone line will enjoy a new interactive marketing campaign in the United Kingdom.
Both moves are set to help drive unit volume during the key holiday sales cycle that could set the coming year’s pace for both tablet and phone lines. The Surface is a key element of the Windows 8 platform, just as Windows Phone 8’s end-of-year sales could sour, or sweeten, its relationships with key carrier providers.
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The inimitable Paul Thurrott has revealed Microsoft’s refreshed Surface strategy, claiming that “with both Windows 8 and Surface off to a slow start, the firm moved quickly to adapt and will allow numerous retailing partners outside the US to begin selling Surface with Windows RT starting this week.”
Even more, according to Paul, here in the United States both Best Buy and Staples will sell Surface units. Microsoft has been criticized in recent days for its rather narrow Surface distribution strategy, selling the device through its website and own physical store locations.
The reasons for that are many, but among them are likely a desire for increased foot traffic to Microsoft store locations, and the will to control the buying experience so that consumers are given a firm boost into the realm of Windows 8.
Windows 8 and the Surface are said to be behind Microsoft’s projections. That in mind, the accelerated roll out to partner stores is hardly surprising.
Windows Phone 8
According to Campaign, Microsoft has a fresh new advertising strategy in place for its Windows Phone 8 line of devices in the United Kingdom.
Windows Phone 8 is a success story for Microsoft, as its release cycle has seen improved handset sales, larger developer interest, and increased app downloads and developer revenue.
However, progress is insufficient when one lags so far behind the market leaders. To that end, Microsoft’s plans to boost mind share among citizens of the United Kingdom could help grow its install base.
The marketing effort will see consumers personalize their own Windows Phone 8 Start Screen, which may then be used as future ad copy. The goal appears to acquaint the average person with Live Tiles and how you can ‘make a Windows Phone your own.’
According to Campaign, the effort is “the ‘biggest ever’ interactive digital outdoor campaign in terms of scale and ambition.” If you live in the United Kingdom, look for a booth near you. If you do take part, TNW would love for you to snap a picture or two.
Microsoft is reacting to the Surface’s drag by boosting its channels, and is capitalizing on Windows Phone’s momentum by taking it to the masses. Both moves should assist the product lines to have passable ends of the year. We’ll know more when we have the numbers.
Top Image Credit: Robert Scoble