5 things online marketers can learn from Samsung’s aggressive advertising strategies

I absolutely love Samsung. They are tenacious, vicious, aggressive, feisty, full of gusto and are hungry to win.

Their main competitor is Apple who make the world famous iPhone. Apple is immensely profitable and is a market juggernaut but Samsung is fearless.

Tonight, in between the AMC show “Mad Men”, I saw this commercial.

Samsung is literally giving away an extra unit of it’s S5 phone to Verizon customers who sign up for service. This is crazy because the S5 is new and it’s their flagship phone!

It’s also going to get them a ton of customers and take the fight squarely to Apple as they also plan the release of the iPhone 6.

What can we learn from this? A lot.

Always think like a startup

Samsung is a massive company. Their market cap as of April 11th 2014 was $170 Billion. They are a large and very profitable business but they act like a startup. They are willing to sling dirt at their competitors and get down in the mud if they have to.

They want marketshare and Apple is standing in the way. Samsung’s advertising responses are more grassroots and outside the box than conventional and the effects are self evident –  record sales numbers.

Be fearless

Samsung is extremely fearless. They are ready to compete at any level – in the courts, TV, pricing, PR etc. Even when they know they may lose money, they compete. An important lesson for every entrepreneur.

Never be afraid to challenge the industry leader

Samsung didn’t just innovate and attempt to compete. They studied the industry leader and went directly up against them. They are confident enough to believe that they have the best product on the market AND more importantly that Apple does not.

They aren’t afraid to remind people that they feel they are better than the industry leader.

Your product doesn’t have to be the best

Sometimes the good guys don’t win. I personally still love the iPhone because it’s simple, it works and the battery life is usually awesome. Based on experiences I and my friends have had with Android phones, I am comfortable saying that for us, it has been a less than stellar experience.

Having said that, I acknowledge that it doesn’t matter. Samsung continue to make large screens and beautiful looking phones and tablets. Consumers eat them up like candy and now market leadership is not clear anymore.

They simply are muscling their way into the top spot.

That leads to the final point

Keep grinding away

Your concept or idea may not work immediately. It may take a few months or even a few years. You just have to keep slugging away and be persistent.

Great things hardly ever happen overnight. There’s usually a person or group of people plugging away in the basement for years before something amazing happens.

Be patient but persistent.

What about you? Did you see Samsungs ad? What did you think?

Leave a Comment Below

  • I watch Mad Men too and saw this commercial live! I thought this was impressive when I saw it, so I’m glad you pointed this out. Nice read!

    • Ditto! Really nice ad, even though I’m not the biggest samsung guy. Mad Men is a great show though, and it’s ironic this awesome ad came on during a show about an ad agency!

  • Being fearless is great advice no matter the size of the company! If you market or operate in fear or are way to cautious, then you’re going to be in trouble. Successful entrepreneurs are fearless and push forward. Also, all publicity is good publicity is something to operate under.

    • Spot on, Elaine. I know plenty of people who operate in fear and it holds them back. In a career with a lot of risks, like online entrepreneurs, there’s no room for fear. Even a big company like samsung gets it.

  • I agree with quality. Success doesn’t equal the best product. Walmart doesn’t have better food than a supermarket, it’s just cheaper and advertised better. As you said, the iPhone is a better device at this point, but Android is offering an alternative and advertising the heck out of it! Nice read, Onuora.

  • Persistence. Smart and simple, Onuora. The more persistent and driven you are, the more likely you are to make progress and increase awareness. I think that’s a philosophy for business owners to live by. Don’t worry about being annoying.

    • Forget business owners, it’s a philosophy for everyone to live by! I love this article and think most if not all of this advice can be applied to all aspects of life. Fantastic ad by samsung and an even better follow up from you, Onuora! 🙂

  • The industry leader point is an interesting one. It’s almost like if you tell people you’re comparable to the industry leader, people will seem to believe it. The key to that is coming up with a solid marketing plan that highlights the benefits over the industry leader without making it a complete slander of the leader.

    • Spot on in my opinion. Fine line, but it needs to be balanced or you won’t be able to compete with the best. Nice article !

      • Thanks, Randy! I agree it’s a very fine line. You need to walk the tight rope. If you don’t go after the industry leader, you’ll never reach your full potential. However, if you do it in the wrong way, it could spell doom.

  • As in most aspects of life, your 2nd to last paragraph summed it up perfectly. Patience and confidence is key. Don’t overreact if you don’t see immediate results, and definitely don’t let it deter you. It’s easy to react one way or the other, but calm and collected is the way to go. Great list!

  • Incredible list and advice. Being the best, doesn’t always mean being the best! It means doing the best job marketing and convincing others you are the best. If you can do that, you can succeed with a good product. This won’t work if you’re offering an awful product, but as long as it’s good, you can get away with it.

  • I love this commercial and your analysis of it. Some really stellar points in there. Thinking like a startup is a lot of things all successful people do. Having that “chip on your shoulder” is what makes people and companies the best. Motivation and drive.

  • Don Draper is typically looking for the gutsy message that will sell. That’s why i love the show, this Ad, and this article. They all have gutsy in common. Nice job.

    • Really good point. Draper always pulls the punches when pitching to the companies. You have to respect his delivery. I wonder if that’s why samsung played the ad during the premiere.

  • Product DOESN’T have to be the best. I love that you pointed this out. There are so many crappy products out there that have made millions. Can you say, “Snuggie?”

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