This week, Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp (2498) contracted Paul Golden, former Samsung U.S. mobile marketing chief. Golden lent his talent to the “fanboys” marketing campaign, which mocked Apple fanboys’ “blind allegiance” in a series of parodies. Golden has been signed to a three-month contract with HTC, to aid in improving the company’s declining market share and overcome operating losses while Samsung and Apple still lead the smartphone market. The HTC One M8, which launched earlier this month, is the direct competitor to the Samsung Galaxy S5, which is still dominating in shares. The news of the contract also comes off the heels of three quarters of losses and continued declining market share, as well as sales.
Golden, who also lent a hand in the creation and launch of Samsung’s Galaxy series, will now act as an advisor to HTC’s chairwoman Cher Wang, and work with the current chief marketing officer, Benjamin Ko. Wang has taken over some of the duties from CEO Peter Chou and is now taking on more day-to-day management duties, working on marketing, operations, and customer service. She will be focusing on stronger marketing for the HTC One M8, which is where Golden comes into the picture. In a statement, the company said, “HTC continues to invest in talent and recruitment as part of our broader human resources strategy to ensure the continued strength of our company’s organizational structure.” Wang’s focus for HTC will be less expensive phones with a better image.
HTC’s well-reviewed HTC One has been losing to the Galaxy S4 in sales, thanks to Samsung’s strong marketing. HTC plans compete by planning more aggressive campaigns using social media and video ads. Last month, they even posted bold a tweet, attacking the Galaxy S4 and calling it “#theNextBigFlop”, while pitching their own HTC One as the superior device.
HTC’s campaign featuring Robert Downey, Jr. didn’t work as well as expected. It seems that the message was lost in the concept, even making it unclear what HTC manufactured. HTC has recently worked with Gary Oldman on a new set of ads, which still failed to focus on the features of the HTC.
Golden’s first objective will be to create ads that will highlight the features of HTC’s devices while still creating that promised aggression. “We just have to communicate well with our customers,” Wang said in an interview. This, combined with HTC One’s very impressive features, marks a bright future for the company and their marketing team.
In another positive development, HTC will be partnering with Google to develop the Nexus 6 smartphone, which will be very similar in design to the HTC One M8. If this does pan out, HTC, the first to develop an Android smartphone back in 2008 and the Nexus One in 2010, will be rejuvenating their historical partnership with Google. After the Nexus One, Google turned to HTC’s chief rival, Samsung, to develop the Galaxy S and Galaxy Nexus.
If Google returns to HTC, they might be doing more than just revisiting an old partnership. This, combined with the new market strategy and help from Samsung’s former mobile marketing chief, might be the ticket to increasing HTC’s market share.