When It Comes To Marketing Dollars, Samsung And Apple Dominate…We Feign Surprise


While there’s no question the actual numbers here are interesting on their own, it’s no surprise whatsoever that Samsung and Apple run away from the pack when it comes to marketing dollars. In fact, the most interesting takeaway here is just how much more Samsung and Apple spend against their three largest competitions in HTC, BlackBerry and Nokia. For its part, Samsung leapfrogged Apple in 2012 with spending from $78 million in 2011 to $401 million in 2012. Apple spent $253 million in 2011 and $333 million in 2012. Comparatively, HTC, BlackBerry and Nokia all spent less money in 2012 than in 2011.

These numbers, according to ad research and consulting firm Kantar Media represent part of the reason as to how Samsung has opened up its lead in the smartphone race. Samsung’s willingness to spend big dollars on marketing will likely grow more important as technology gaps close between the competition.

“They understand how to build a strong product…and have been willing to invest to drive their success,” said Michael Sievert, chief marketing officer of T-Mobile USA.

Still, we can’t discount Apple’s own marketing prowess which is often a textbook example for just how successful a company’s marketing campaign can be. However, with Samsung set to introduce the Galaxy S IV tomorrow night, it’s a sure thing that their marketing dollars will rev into high gear in the coming weeks and months. With the closest Android competition unable to match Samsung’s level of marketing investment, they are likely to continue pulling away from the pack.

Fared Adib, senior vice president of product development at Sprint, says Samsung’s marketing strength is now more important because of the focus carriers have on marketing their own services and plans over hardware. With carrier marketing budgets better spent on their own products, that leaves the marketing and promotion up to the device manufacturers, an area Apple and Samsung are likely to continue dominating for the foreseeable future.

Wall Street Journal


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  • Ashley

    Throw money at the fire HTC! It will suffocate it.. Honestly though if you make a good product then spend more than the rest you will sees results.

    • Their issue has always been that the device lineup was simply too spread out.

      HTC One S on T-Mo.
      ONE X and ONE X+ on ATT.
      EVO 4G LTE on Sprint.

      They never aligned themselves behind one hero device across all carriers. With the HTC ONE this year, it’s their first real opportunity to make an impact. Now it’s just time that they make it rain in the marketing department. This is their first real shot of having a “winner.”

      • Ordeith

        HTC 8X says hello.

        • But… Windows Phone 8.

        • Ordeith

          That only makes it better.

        • Not to most customers. They seem to like the design of the 8X but get turned off when I tell them it’s a Windows 8 phone.

        • Ordeith

          Most customers need to open themselves to better experiences, then.

      • You sir are correct. Of course they have had the evo line however this is the first time that they build one device for each major carrier (verizon excluded) an amazing devices with so many great features just waiting to be highlighted in an advertisement. Htc has already half of what it takes now they need to deliver with advertising to get people To take notice of their great product.

  • archerian

    If you calculate the per device cost for Apple and Samsung, it must be like $10-$15 per unit or lesser

  • 21stNow

    What was BlackBerry spending marketing dollars on in 2012? They didn’t release any devices. I know that there was a lead-up to BBOS 10 in 2013, but it seems that $35 million was still a lot to spend in 2012. I would have thought that most of what was spent in 2012 would have be R&D costs.

  • Ordeith

    Nokia is doing pretty well for themselves considering.
    At least on AT&T and Verizon.

    Although maybe they just got more efficient with their advertising dollars. 2012 saw the launch of the Lumia 900, 710, 920, 820, 822, and 810 handsets in the US. Prior to that – symbian. Hard to believe they are spending less promiting their Lumia line.

  • Sprite

    Can’t wait to see how these numbers look for 2013. Hopefully HTC comes back with gusto. And won’t be surprised to see RIM significantly higher.

    Just goes to show it’s not the quality of device, but how well known it is. Sammy wins in marketing. Any wonder why they’re tops in the android world?