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Microsoft’s plans targeted marketing of new Lumia 950 series in India

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MUMBAI: Microsoft announced the launch of the first Windows 10 pre-loaded phones. The phones are not branded Nokia, they come under the brand Lumia – and the new launches are the Lumia 950 and the larger and more expensive variant Lumia 950 XL. Delivery of the phones will commence December 11 onwards. The launch happened simultaneously in NCR, Mumbai and Bengaluru today.

“With the launch of Windows 10, we have ushered in an era of more personal computing which is all about interacting more easily, more naturally and more securely in a mobile-first, cloud-first world. Now, with Windows 10 on Lumia we take innovation to the next level and build upon the unique experiences of Windows 10 for phone users,” said Microsoft India, chairman, Bhaskar Pramanik.

“Designed for Windows fans and mobile professionals who desire a premium phone that takes full advantage of Windows 10, the new flagship devices are powerful, performance-driven, unique and innovative” Pramanik added.

“The Lumia 950 and the Lumia 950 XL deliver a seamless experience that extends across ones Windows devices, including innovative features like Cortana, Windows Hello beta for Lumia and Continuum for phones, ushering in the next level of innovation,” said Microsoft Mobile Devices India director of channel sales Ravi Kunwar at the Bengaluru launch. The Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL also shoot 4k videos and captures photos with its 20 megapixel camera.

The Windows 10 preloaded phones allow people to use the phone like a PC by connecting it to a monitor and transforming it for larger-screen entertainment, or adding a keyboard and mouse to work like a PC with Windows 10 apps like Microsoft Office 365, while simultaneously taking calls or performing other tasks. A Microsoft Display Dock, which comes free if the phone has been pre-booked enables the PC like functionality.

Windows Insiders, or beta testers for Microsoft Windows played a major role in profiling and planning the features of Lumia 950 series, and therefore much of the features are targeted to loyal Microsoft users and business professionals.

Hnece, in terms of marketing as well, Microsoft has planned for a more targeted approach towards potential consumers of the new series. “As these models have been designed keeping our fans in mind, there are a number of ways in which we are trying to locate them,” said, Microsoft Mobile Devices India director of marketing, Raghuvesh Sarup, adding that it will be a  first for the brand to do a targeted marketing with such focus. Sarup was at the Mumbai launch.

“Usually we go with a machine gun approach, what you would call a 360 degree touch point plan where you go with mass media, with digital and outdoor, etc. But for Lumia 950 and 950 XL, we are doing more pin pointing and individual marketing,” said Sarup, adding, “ We have observed that Windows fans are working in certain corporate houses, and are mobile professionals. A huge amount of curiosity and anticipation also comes from the IT professionals.”  Microsoft is specifically targeting the IT professionals who form a major chunk of their working professional consumer base.

“Luckily for us, Microsoft already had a penetration in this target group. We are pinpointing our marketing strategies to CIOs CTOs. The other group we are concentrating on are mobile professionals from the financial space. They have a need for greater security than an average person. Something which this new Lumia series can boast of - the highest level of security, further protected by Windows Hello beta,” shared Sarup.

Microsoft is also targeting users of the older Lumia models Sarup informed. “Based on their experience and feedback, we understand that they aim for high productivity when buying a phone like Lumia. Since we know what they are looking for primarily, it's easier for us to market this series for them.”

The prospective consumers of the product that the brand has shortlisted have been sent mailers for pre-ordering. For those who haven’t pre-ordered yet, Microsoft is taking a more experiential route and asking them to check the product out at their Microsoft Priority Resellers. “They can just walk in there and get a Continuum experience, which is a PC like experience on a secondary screen that works independently of the phone, while being powered by its processor,” informed Sarup.

In terms of digital as well, the brand has some big plans including brand integration with Amazon. “Our third touchpoint is digital, with an exclusive tie up with Amazon.com. They are going to be exclusively offering 950 XL for pre orders. There are a lot of experiential elements that Amazon and Microsoft have built jointly, on our Facebook, and Microsoft.com portal, as well as Amazon.in. We have a special site at Amazon called Microsoft at Amazon, that works on a shop in shop concept. Also, we have a Microsoft store within Amazon which offers a large number of extras in terms of experiences and deals. Consumers can hope for a steady stream of engagements on the portal, which I cannot divulge right now,” Sarup explained. Sarup added that that the brand is soon going to release a TVC for the new product.

Starting 29 November until December 11, the Lumia 950 and 950 XL smartphones have been available for pre-booking at Microsoft Priority resellers across the country, the Microsoft Store on Amazon.in and retail chains of Croma, Reliance and Sangeetha. Aimed at a niche consumer base – the Microsoft fan base, the phones are priced Rs 43,699 and Rs 49,399 for Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL respectively.

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