HTC Chief Marketing Officer: “Pretty confident” about 2014
This week in an interview, HTC CMO, Benjamin Ho, acknowledged his company’s anemic earnings for the first quarter of 2014, but is not overly concerned, “I wouldn’t be too concerned about our business based on the few…months. I rather take a longer term perspective.”
He noted for those that look at quarterly performance that the company was going to have a great current quarter thanks to the new HTC One (M8). He reminds us that last year’s HTC One outsold the One X despite supplier problems the company was dealing with.
That is, more or less, standard executive speak when cheering on the brand he or she represents. What is more intriguing is HTC’s odd marketing campaign which features Robert Downey, Jr. Surely there is something more in store than just plays on an acronym for HTC (Hold This Cat, Hipster Troll Carwash), right?
“Instead of the traditional way of building our brand gradually and slowly, and because the smartphone category is moving too fast, we thought we needed some steroids in the market to create a higher brand awareness for us. And that has actually worked,” according to Ho. We will take him at his word, but that is a pretty strange investment if it is not aimed at boosting sales.
HTC One (M8).
We will see if this strategy of drawing customers to HTC, versus HTC doing its own proactive campaign (where it would be outspent by Samsung and Apple by a factor of 10 or 20 times), will work. While the reviews of the new HTC One (M8) have been almost universally positive, asking people to “look for reviews” per se, versus trumpeting the news, is a risky move exposure-wise.
Mr. Ho did confirm that a new tablet and smartwatch are on the way, but the company wants to do it right rather than do it fast, “Sometimes, being first in the market has got its advantages. But in terms of new categories, it's also good to observe what's going on before we really serve the market with products and services. Otherwise you'll just become a [‘me too,’] and I don't think that's HTC.”
photo credit (main image): CNET (taken with HTC One M8)
1. Whopyourass (unregistered)
If I were put in charge of HTC, the first thing I would do is FIRE the entire marketing department including the advertising agency working on those ads for HTC. Damn, their ads are just a pain to watch.
When will the folks at HTC start to realise they need to STOP marketing their phones to technology geeks / nerds? This group of people form a very niche market, and they are also the most demanding and discerning of the lot, which means they switch and change phones like clothes whenever the newest specs come out. And to think HTC is targeting these sort of people with all their geeky and acting-sophisticated crap ads instead of focusing on the general market?
Why do HTC phones not sell well compared to Samsung and Apple? Just look at Samsung and Apple's ads, they are much more 'Human' when compared to HTC's. What's the point of HTC phones looking 'Cool' when their ads are so Alien and geeky, that it speaks a lot about people who want to own a HTC phone? Would ppl who buy HTC phones want to be associated with being geeky?
And you know something is wrong with the way HTC is marketing itself, when even their folks at the top describe HTC as being akin to the 'Rolex' of the industry. Time to wake up I say.
2. torr310 (Posts: 648; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)
How could he be confident? Marketing is surely HTC's big weakness.
4. SuperMaoriBro (Posts: 479; Member since: 23 Jun 2012)
Yeah agreed. And how can he not be overly concerned? They keep spilling red ink. When will he get concerned? Hope they dont end up like blackberry who also werent very concerned until they had lost all their lovely market share and we all know where they are sitting right now...
19. jaytai0106 (Posts: 1873; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)
I thought they were doing pretty well with their marketing... You know, hired stars to talk about how cool the phone is but.... never mentioned what the phone can really do. You know... buyers listen to famous people... oh wait...
5. express77 (unregistered)
crap ads, crap marketing and crap camera.
7. SuperMaoriBro (Posts: 479; Member since: 23 Jun 2012)
And crap support. And crap build quality - a lot of people dont realise there is a difference between build quality and build materials. Yes htc use premium materials no doubt about that. But their build quality isnt as great, because some (not all) of their devices often have hardware issues - screens that ripple, shody antennas, etc
20. rkoforever90 (Posts: 122; Member since: 03 Dec 2011)
never had any problems with 3 htc devices i owned. maybe you are paid by samdung
21. SuperMaoriBro (Posts: 479; Member since: 23 Jun 2012)
why do you exist? I have no afiliation to any brand. check the devices ive owned/own currently
9. tiara6918 (Posts: 1949; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)
The cmo needs to do aggressive advertising like samsung or else they will never be able to compete head to head in sales with samsung and apple
10. KillerKeyboard (Posts: 318; Member since: 21 Nov 2013)
11. KillerKeyboard (Posts: 318; Member since: 21 Nov 2013)
HTC's CMO (Corny Marketing Officer) Benjamin Ho XD
12. jccruz (Posts: 7; Member since: 30 Oct 2013)
Instead of thrashing samsung which they cannot beat whatever they do, they should concentrate on their own products i.e. marketing strategy etc. to at least level up with the likes of Xiaomi, lenovo..sad to say, HTC is nowhere to go, but out/down..
13. GreekGeek (Posts: 1175; Member since: 22 Mar 2014)
Waay too many marketing blunders for this company.
Well Unless they can come up with a good pricing strategy, which is unlikely...I don't see them getting any better.....HTC is a sinking ship.
14. Denco (Posts: 118; Member since: 25 Mar 2014)
Certainly, HTC makes its 'all-metal' HTC One phone as a showpiece for only geeks and tech bloggers and readers to admire and gush over its sleek design/build. So, their marketing is also directed at the geeks. Samsung, on the other hand, makes phones for the mass consumers out there in the real world and markets to them accordingly. Different strategies, different results.
16. karkavelas (Posts: 64; Member since: 25 Oct 2013)
I don't unterstand why so much hate on this company...
I don't think that other companies make everything perfect.
At least they try to improve them self.
They are getting better since HTC one 2013 (updates, micro sd, quality, software), they have to improve the camera's but in general they are good.
17. KillerKeyboard (Posts: 318; Member since: 21 Nov 2013)
HTC improved themselves on their "bashing other companies" department also, and people notice these kind of things. That's why they became bigger targets.
18. AfterShock (Posts: 3698; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)
They "Had Their Chance" this year.
Blew it on ultrapixels an poor marketing.
Sending slightly higher spec phone to Japan an weaker model to rest of world didn't help either.
They seem to think its all about fashion as in iPhone an not about performance.
Same as last year two chip set soc to choose from, and they go with the lower speed an GPU version.
Its like a delorean with a V6, trash when faced against competition.