Motorola is well and truly back in the Indian market. Moto G and Moto X smartphones which it launched in the country in a very unconventional fashion exclusively through Flipkart have been flying off the etailer’s warehouses at an unprecedented pace. Marcus Frost, Senior Marketing Director for Motorola Mobility EMEA & APAC, explains their marketing strategy and future plans.
Are you back?
We are back. First of all we wanted to make sure all the foundations are in place so that we could come back in a strong way. That meant ensuring we had the service centres set up and all the support platforms for consumers by the time we launched Moto G back in February.
Are you looking beyond Flipkart to go offline? What is your roadmap?
Moto G exceeded all our expectation with partner Flipkart. Day 1 was absolutely amazing. The Moto G page on flipkart.com had over a million impressions, the site got more than double its usual traffic and their call centre attended to over 20,000 phone calls specific to the phone. The repeat of all this with Moto X has absolutely validated our decision to go ahead with Flipkart, a partner that has a similar philosophy as Motorola of caring for their consumers. So we have no plans to do anything differently at the moment. There is no plan now of an offline model as the Flipkart formula is working incredibly well.
Do you have service centres in India now?
Yes, we have 125 of them across the country. They are run by a partner of ours, but you can think of them as Motorola.
Are you planning to bring more products to this market?
At the moment we are very focussed on the two products we already have in India. We ensured they had successful launches and that Indian consumers were aware of them. Now we have make sure that we keep that awareness going. Ultimately, our mission is to get the mobile internet to as many consumers globally as well as in India as possible. I can’t comment on future plans now, but there will be more to this story and you are seeing a glimpse of that with the wearables that we have announced.
How does the Lenovo angle work with the Motorola story, especially since they are quite aggressive now in promoting their smartphones?
The partnership is highly complementary and that is why I think it is a perfect marriage. Generally, in geographies where Motorola are very strong, Lenovo are less so and they are strong where we are not. So there is a nice complement in terms of geographies. Brand is another thing that Lenovo is very excited about. The current plan is to retain the Motorola brand. They are also very pumped about the people that Motorola brings.
Motorola still holds a lot of Smartphone hardware patents, right?
The patents are with Google and that is what has helped us to charge up the Android space, making those patents accessible to as many consumers as possible via Android. Of course, Motorola is still absolutely wedded to Android as we move forward and we will be enjoying those patents.
India is all about volume. Are you also looking to become a volume player?
A real core of our philosophy is that we are solving real consumer pain points. That is why the Moto G and Moto X have been so successful in the India market. So it is built ‘Motorola tough’ with Corning Glass 3, has a water repellant coating and comes with pure Android so that we can push updates quickly. We have had 50 software upgrades for Moto X alone, the phone just keeps getting better. It is important to us that the phone is always learning, listening to customers and getting better.
Are you talking to partners in India for content and apps?
Pure Android is very much at the heart of our philosophy. On top of that we will add some Motorola applications that add true value to the consumer, but complementing the Android OS all the while.