Interview: Nokia Marketers On How They Are Selling Their Windows Phone

Nokia’s marketing campaign for its first ever Windows Phone handsets is its costliest ever, with a budget three times the size of any previous launch.

That explains this lavish-sounding upcoming DJ concert and 3D projection-fest on the banks of the Thames,

But, though the Lumia range launches on Wednesday, most of the marketing money has already been spent, Nokia (NYSE: NOK) UK marketing director John Nichols and global social media marketing director Craig Hepburn told me at the recent Nokia World. Listen here

“We haven’t gone as far as the film industry, which spends about 93 percent of their (marketing) budget before a film’s released – but we’re not far off it,” Nichols said. “A huge part of our budget is gone before we even get this handset in the high street for sale.”

Pre-launch user testing showed consumers preferred Windows Phone over iPhone, Android and other handsets, Nokia claimed as it began winding down its costliest ever marketing spend for its new Lumia phones. “The NPS proves that; Windows OS scores the highest amongst the user base,” Nichols said.

Nokia began teasing the Lumia almost a month before this week’s launch. It’s a bold campaign that, underpinned by the belief of both Nokia and Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) that they have a better OS than rivals, sells the Windows experience as “the amazing every day”.

The campaign has pushed visibility Windows Phone’s trademark coloured tiles higher than ever Microsoft alone did, and has included costly TV ad buys in The X Factor and sponsorship of Channel 5’s men’s lifestyle shows, for example.

But Hepburn explained Nokia tried to revolutionise this campaign by focusing more on amplifying early users’ own experiences than ramming traditional marketing messages down people’s throats.

Nichols said he had implemented an “unprecedented seeding campaign, getting this device out to thousands of consumers and all store staff and call centres”: “When people experience this amazing hardware and fantastic OS, they just don’t leave.”

*Time* will tell…