1. mdarscott's Avatar
    Hard to understand why this Toronto newspaper always seems to be riding RIM so harshly:
    What’s behind RIM’s 'dyslexic' marketing missteps? - The Globe and Mail

    When Research In Motion Ltd.'s (RIM-T12.70-0.61-4.58%) new CEO, Thorsten Heins, took over the company in late January, one of the first promises he made was to hire a new chief marketing officer to fix the BlackBerry-makers mixed messaging and broken brand image.

    But as the search for a high profile CMO continues, so too do the marketing missteps.

    On Monday, RIM Australia claimed responsibility for a flash mob stunt in Sydney outside of an Apple Inc. (AAPL-Q585.052.920.50%) retail store. A huge bus branded with the phrase Wake Up. pulled up outside and, filmed by a blogger, unloaded a crowd of people, dressed in black, holding up placards with the slogan, and chanting Wake up!

    Many originally blamed Samsung, a massive Korean conglomerate that makes high-end touchscreen smartphones that compete directly with Apple's popular iPhone. In previous ads, some of which have gone viral, Samsung has taken aim at what it clearly sees as a herd mentality behind the massive popularity of Apple products, including the long lineups when new iPhones and iPads come out.

    But Samsung, which recently surpassed Apple as the largest smartphone maker in the world on the strength of popular new devices, denied that it was responsible for the stunt. And then RIM, in a statement, confirmed that it was behind the unusual campaign, which involves a series of experiential activities taking place across Sydney and Melbourne. RIM added that there will be a reveal on May 7 that aims to provoke a conversation on what 'being in business' means to Australians.

    The stunt was widely mocked in the blogosphere and online, with many saying that Samsung, at least, had phones out in the market that rivaled the iPhone, while RIM has been struggling to come out with a high-end touchscreen phone for sometime.

    But in that area, too, there was a bit of a misstep in strategic communications. RIM is currently running its Be Bold ad campaign centered around productivity, and the idea that BlackBerrys help busy people save time and be more efficient. One such ad, which was fronting RIM's main website this morning, features a music industry professional who says she receives and responds to about 1,000 e-mails a day.

    Try writing a thousand e-mails on a touchscreen, she says.

    Of course, at the same time, Mr. Heins was taking to the stage in Orlando, Florida, and unveiling the BlackBerry 10 prototype device that features a touchscreen keyboard. The new operating system and new set of devices form the platform that is meant to save the company.

    Many die-hard BlackBerry users bemoaned the loss of buttons, even though there will likely be BlackBerry 10 devices that also have physical keyboards. (Although RIM already has multiple all-touch devices without keyboards, they generally do not seem to sell anywhere near as well as the core Curve and Bold BlackBerrys with keyboards.)

    One former RIM executive characterized the current state of RIM's marketing as dyslexic, stuck awkwardly somewhere between trying to hype the coming BlackBerry products that are designed to turnaround the company's fortunes without completely destroying the market's already diminished appetite for RIM's current crop of BlackBerry smartphones.

    The company's marketing, of course, has been in disarray for quite some time. RIM's former chief marketing officer, Keith Pardy, left the company shortly before the launch of RIM's PlayBook tablet computer last year. The former executive said that underlings of Mr. Pardy had prepared a marketing campaign for the PlayBook that was radically out of character, verging on inappropriate that featured Tom Cruise as a powerful movie director. The ad agency 72andSunny, which helped Samsung produce the ads that targeted Apple, had created the ads, but RIM and the firm parted ways shortly afterward.

    In the absence of a senior marketing executive, Jim Balsillie, then co-CEO along with Mike Lazaridis, assumed responsibility for the area. Shortly after Mr. Balsillie and Mr. Lazaridis resigned as co-CEOs, while maintaining positions on the board of directors, Mr. Balsillie stepped away from the company entirely when RIM reported dismal financial results on March 29 a day on which Mr. Heins did not unveil a new chief marketing officer.
    05-02-12 11:30 AM
  2. scorpiodsu's Avatar
    Hard to understand why this Toronto newspaper always seems to be riding RIM so harshly:
    Maybe Apple's paying them
    05-02-12 11:35 AM
  3. scorpiodsu's Avatar
    Hard to understand why this Toronto newspaper always seems to be riding RIM so harshly:
    What’s behind RIM’s 'dyslexic' marketing missteps? - The Globe and Mail
    I don't always agree with the harshness of the tech media when it comes to RIM, but they have been contradicting themselves in some of their ad campaigns. I was thinking similar thoughts when they basically said you can't be as productive without a physical keyboard but knew they were comnig out with new devices that would be all touchscreen. Even Kevin has been saying somethings about how great it is to have a physical keyboard and throwing jabs at all touch screen devices. But I'm guessing his tune will change when RIM's new devices come out about how great all of a sudden touch screens are and blah blah blah.

    I do understand what RIM is trying to say but at the same time you have to be careful because you look silly later on. For instance, all the people calling iPhones and Androids "toys" and how apps don't matter. Hmmmm, apparently RIM thinks otherwise as they are looking to give big incentives for devs. What do people think the devs are going to do? Develops apps and games that will make RIM devices uses just like the other "toys". They just have to be smart about this transition period and the message they are sending. They want people not to buy a device until they have one like it. So they trash it in the meantime and then praise it when they have it. Just plain silly. You want people to "wake up" and not be apple sheep but become RIM sheep. Again, I get it but they have to make the messages a little more subtle and be sure it doesn't contradict their future plans. How many BB fanboys claimed the idea of an iPad and tablet device was just dumb back in 2010? But soon as the playbook was announced, suddenly a tablet was a great idea. Just can't do that.
    Shlooky likes this.
    05-02-12 11:48 AM
  4. addicted44's Avatar
    I was thinking similar thoughts when they basically said you can't be as productive without a physical keyboard but knew they were comnig out with new devices that would be all touchscreen.
    This isa good point. It is okay to claim something is terrible, and then change your mind. However, what is stupid is to extend that to your advertising. If your advertising is successful, then people will question you when you release a product with features that you made fun of.

    OTOH, in RIM's favor, their "Tools not toys" campaign wasn't really very successful, so it should hurt them all that much.
    scorpiodsu and Shlooky like this.
    05-02-12 12:34 PM
  5. scorpiodsu's Avatar
    This isa good point. It is okay to claim something is terrible, and then change your mind.
    Fully agree. Just makes you wonder do people claim it's terrible because they don't have it or don't do it or because they really feel it is terrible. And in RIM's case and followers (of all brands) do a lot of bashing of things until they have it or their company of choice now has something comparable. Like when Jobs trashed flash. He meant every word he said. And he wasn't saying that because Apple devices couldn't do it, but it was a firm belief by him. Just like they said they "no one wants a big phone". I expect them to stick to that by finding a way to increase screen size in a similar size. And that's just a couple of things. But I do agree that it's ok to change your mind, but the initial motive behind criticism usually stems from jealously and envy of some sort.
    Shlooky likes this.
    05-02-12 01:36 PM
  6. louzer's Avatar
    The point being missed is that RIM is looking to reinvent the touchscreen keyboard experience. The comment about 1000 emails a day refers to touch keyboards available today and not the new keyboard that RIM is looking to put on the new BB10 phones.
    gravymonster likes this.
    05-02-12 03:05 PM
  7. FSeverino's Avatar
    “Try writing a thousand e-mails on a touchscreen,” she says.

    Of course, at the same time, Mr. Heins was taking to the stage in Orlando, Florida, and unveiling the BlackBerry 10 prototype device that features a touchscreen keyboard. The new operating system and new set of devices form the platform that is meant to save the company.
    Its funny how people get paid to do a job, but are really not doing that job... but still getting paid.

    It has been stated MANY MANY MANY times that the device released is a PROTOTYPE ALPHA DEVICE and it has also been stated MANY times that THERE WILL BE PHYSICAL KEYBOARDS on BB10 DEVICES.

    I wonder how accurate reporting would be if people would actually get fired for not doing their job properly... just like i would get fired for not doing my job properly.

    How is incompetence ok in a field that is supposed to pride itself in accuracy of information?

    I think RIM needs to hire someone to just explain things in severely dumbed down english to the media, because they obviously cannot comprehend regular english.
    05-02-12 03:33 PM
  8. FSeverino's Avatar
    The point being missed is that RIM is looking to reinvent the touchscreen keyboard experience. The comment about 1000 emails a day refers to touch keyboards available today and not the new keyboard that RIM is looking to put on the new BB10 phones.
    Exactly... but there is also the point that THERE WILL BE PHYSICAL KEYBOARDS
    but there is no point of spend time to show a physical keyboard which may not have changed that much when there is SO MUCH INNOVATION to show.

    People are funny.

    RIM IS FAILING TO RELEASE ANYTHING NEW...
    RIM RELEASED SOMETHING AMAZING, BUT DIDNT SHOW US OLD STUFF...

    lol. I like living in this world, it is never boring.
    05-02-12 03:55 PM
  9. blackhawksfan75's Avatar
    Although I think the BeBold TV ads are underwhelming to what the BB9900 phones are capable of, I understand why they are doing it. RIM is about to launch their biggest smart(global)phone in the next few months, and their relevancy has taken a huge sh*t kicking. So why not steer that ship in the right direction. Make Blackberry relevant again. The commercials are tacky but at least there is something on TV. Blackberry is promoting the EA Sports NHL 13 choose your cover athlete, the NBA playoffs I believe, and amongst other things.

    This reminds me of Bill Wirtz with the Chicago Blackhawks and how things can be turned around. The Blackhawks were basically irrelevant in the NHL back in the 90's and mid 2000's. Bill had this crazy notion to NOT show Blackhawk games on local TV because he felt it would discourage the fans from attending home games. This team was the laughing stock of the NHL for many years, nobody wanted to play there, and most importantly the fans stopped caring. After a couple of high draft picks things started to turn around on the ice but still irrelevant because of lack of exposure. After Bill's passing his son Rocky took over. He made the Blackhawks relevant again not only in the National Hockey League but in Chicago. It took some. The first year after making the Blackhawks available for TV there were maybe about 20 games shown all year. The following year practically every game was on CSN, following up with a Stanley Cup in 2010.

    The point I am trying to make is with right people and the right attitude (which so far has been shown with Thorsten Heins) this ship can be turned around. Blackberry will be relevant again in the smartphone market and people will jump back on board.
    05-02-12 04:47 PM
  10. OzarkaTexile's Avatar
    Exactly... but there is also the point that THERE WILL BE PHYSICAL KEYBOARDS
    but there is no point of spend time to show a physical keyboard which may not have changed that much when there is SO MUCH INNOVATION to show.

    People are funny.

    RIM IS FAILING TO RELEASE ANYTHING NEW...
    RIM RELEASED SOMETHING AMAZING, BUT DIDNT SHOW US OLD STUFF...

    lol. I like living in this world, it is never boring.
    They haven't released anything at all. That's kind of the problem.
    Shlooky, scorpiodsu and JeepBB like this.
    05-02-12 04:51 PM
  11. calicocat2010's Avatar
    They haven't released anything at all. That's kind of the problem.
    That's because they want to get everything right. Why rush something when it's not completely finished? Media, consumers all had beaten down this problem where no one was satisfied. It took what, a Year to get Native Email and other apps on the PlayBook?

    I understand the need for these BB10 products to come out but at the same time We don't need it to be rushed or else they will be Half baked as some would call the PlayBook before OS 2.0 came.

    I'd rather get a very good quality product then a defective one with faulty hardware.
    Last edited by calicocat2010; 05-02-12 at 05:07 PM.
    05-02-12 05:05 PM
  12. gravymonster's Avatar
    I said it in another post somewhere but i'll say it again. RIM has to respond to the market. While myself, the lady in that ad, and a ton of people on this board all agree that physical QWERTY is the best way to go... the market CLEARLY doesn't or else the Bold 9900 and Torch 9810 would be outselling the iphone because people would be lining up to make apps for it and not the other way around!

    RIM has to be smart and make a phone that everyone is going to want first.. Therefore a best-in-class touchscreen typing experience... and then they can afford to make something for us later. It's common sense y'all.
    05-02-12 05:27 PM
  13. louzer's Avatar
    I think that it has to do with much more than a physical keyboard. It's what you do with the keyboard. Even a few years ago in the Blackberry heyday, there was a learning curve to using a Blackberry. With an iPhone, the experience has been simplified so that all you have to do is to touch an icon and the app opens. Within the app there are buttons that are easy to understand. Blackberrys have a much tighter integration among the apps, but you have to be familiar with the menu system and the keyboard shortcuts to really become a Blackberry master.

    Today, the iPhone is achieving more and more integration among components and it's still easy to use. Most people with iPhones will agree that it's not pleasant to type anything of any length on their touch keyboard. RIM is addressing this by making the keyboard more intuitive. And yes, they will eventually offer a BB10 device with a physical keyboard. But that's not what is going to drive people to the new devices. What I think is important for RIM is not the keyboard, but what Thorsten referred to as the 'flow'.

    The keyboard they showed off was truly amazing, but what I really liked was the whole flow of actions that they were showing off. As stated in the presentation, it doesn't matter what app you're in. You can go anywhere you want from wherever you are.

    If you take the BeBold ad with the woman using her phone and Playbook to manage her day and replace the phone with a BB10 phone and put BB10 on the Playbook, the 'flow' in the ad would present a much more compelling experience. Once this is all in place, get some good marketing minds together and it will be the 'flow' that will sell the experience.
    05-02-12 11:21 PM
  14. ALToronto's Avatar
    Most consumers aren't doers, they're viewers. And a touchscreen phone is best for viewing. I love my Torch 9860, btw, but now I type long emails on my PlayBook.
    05-02-12 11:54 PM
  15. FSeverino's Avatar
    I said it in another post somewhere but i'll say it again. RIM has to respond to the market. While myself, the lady in that ad, and a ton of people on this board all agree that physical QWERTY is the best way to go... the market CLEARLY doesn't or else the Bold 9900 and Torch 9810 would be outselling the iphone because people would be lining up to make apps for it and not the other way around!

    RIM has to be smart and make a phone that everyone is going to want first.. Therefore a best-in-class touchscreen typing experience... and then they can afford to make something for us later. It's common sense y'all.
    Here is the problem with what you are saying.

    if everyone OTHER then the 'BlackBerry People' want full touch screens and apparently ONLY the BB PPL NEED physical keyboards then releasing ONE phone can not possibly satisfy both camps. What is the problem with releasing two?

    Problems solved. Rim currently has a slider phone and a touch/keyboard phone... why can it NOT have a touch/keyboard phone and a full-touch phone?
    05-03-12 12:11 AM
  16. Rootbrian's Avatar
    Its funny how people get paid to do a job, but are really not doing that job... but still getting paid.

    It has been stated MANY MANY MANY times that the device released is a PROTOTYPE ALPHA DEVICE and it has also been stated MANY times that THERE WILL BE PHYSICAL KEYBOARDS on BB10 DEVICES.

    I wonder how accurate reporting would be if people would actually get fired for not doing their job properly... just like i would get fired for not doing my job properly.

    How is incompetence ok in a field that is supposed to pride itself in accuracy of information?

    I think RIM needs to hire someone to just explain things in severely dumbed down english to the media, because they obviously cannot comprehend regular english.
    I fully agree with that. So many dumb people, so many incomprehensiveness and so many spoon-fed who cannot make up their minds or make intelligent reports. (No offense or pun intended at all)
    05-03-12 03:48 AM
  17. addicted44's Avatar
    The point being missed is that RIM is looking to reinvent the touchscreen keyboard experience. The comment about 1000 emails a day refers to touch keyboards available today and not the new keyboard that RIM is looking to put on the new BB10 phones.
    I agree with this. I am not saying that this is not true. My point is that such subtleties and nuances have no room in marketing. RIMs marketing painted themselves in a corner by bashing touchscreens in general the last couple of years. While it may not be a major detriment, it can easily blow up in their face (like it does in this article).

    All the customer is hearing is.
    1) RIM says touchscreens are terrible.
    2) RIM releases a touchscreen device.
    3) RIM says "no, actually, it is all those OTHER touchscreen devices are terrible. Ours is awesome"

    This is the MARKETING message that is coming through (which is exactly what the article picked up on). I don't know about you, but it makes RIM's marketing sound really bad.

    The existence of physical keyboards on other devices is irrelevant when discussing the merits of the touchscreen device (which will likely be the only BB10 device in 2012 and sales of which will dramatically influence perceptions of BB10's success.
    app_Developer likes this.
    05-04-12 04:56 AM
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