Samsung spends billions of dollars on its marketing efforts. But many of its marketing campaigns may not be paying back much in the way of popularity.
Samsung has allocated a huge chunk of its budget to its aggressive hard-sell campaigns. It literally throws its products at consumers with passion and drive in an effort to make them purchasable in the process. This hardly comes as a surprise, since it is up against a very firmly entrenched opponent. And that would be Apple Incorporated. Not only has Apple been in the field longer but it has an edge as far as technological creativity is concerned.
This year alone, Samsung will be splurging $14 billion on ads and marketing ploys. This is more than the annual gross domestic product of Iceland. Its television and cinema ads are famous worldwide and the South Korean giant has a market value of $227 billion. Yet for all its efforts it has not exactly achieved the phenomenal success and popularity it considers to be its birthright.
In a statement to Reuters, Samsung said it will "continue to leverage our brand power to maintain growth momentum, while focusing on optimizing the efficiency of our marketing activities."
The high tech multinational company has received considerable criticism from certain quarters due to its insensitive advertising. The contest at the Sydney Opera House got lukewarm reviews. Then the X-Factor show has also provoked annoyance among many who deem the whole shebang to be just a load of self-promotional hype. The issue of culture shock remains. In a New York launch of its Galaxy smartphone, the images were too sexist and caused outrage.
Oh Jung-suk, associate professor at the business school of Seoul National University, said, "Samsung's marketing is too much focused on projecting an image they aspire to: being innovative and ahead of the pack. They are failing to efficiently bridge the gap between the aspiration and how consumers actually respond to the campaign. It's got to be more aligned."
Meanwhile, displaying a bikini-clad dance troupe in South Africa too caused bruised feelings among the crowd. All this in-you-face advertising has one goal: to project an image of innovation. While it may take Samsung’s popularity ratings up a notch or two, it won’t be successful in the long run. And the most important thing is that the returns from this strategy are not all that they are portrayed to be.
But Smasung co-CEO who also heads the group's mobile business, J.K. Shin, recently said, "Our product innovation and marketing strategy have made Samsung the world's most preferred smartphone brand. Now we'll move from the most preferred brand to become one of the world's leading aspirational brands."