Marketing is only half the battle

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from  Kansas City, MO
| March 13, 2013


Tomorrow is the big day; the day that all the tech bloggers and websites have been waiting months for. Thursday night Samsung will presumably unveil the magical, wonderful, great and awe-inspiring Galaxy  S IV. How do I know it’s going to be magical, wonderful, and awe-inspiring? Well, because the advertising tells me it will be, in so many words. That’s how.

But in all honestly, I have no idea what the device will be like.

I have to hand it to Samsung that their marketing is good - really good. They know they already have top notch products on the market and the attention of the general mobile consumer, so they’re allowed to have commercials that make it seem like their newest product is better than your great grandmother’s award-winning double chocolate cake - and we'll believe it before we even see it. However, marketing is only half the battle. No matter how good your marketing may be, or how much media attention you receive, it’s ultimately up to the finished product to live up to the hype a company is creating.

Rumors are floating around that the Samsung Galaxy S IV is predicted to sell around 10 million units within its first month. That’s a lot of units within one month, and I think I would honestly be a little surprised if they actually came across that same number. I understand that there’s a lot of hype around the product because hey, it’s Samsung. Actually, that sounds like a very familiar phrase that was set up for another big name tech company not all that long ago. “I understand that there’s a lot of hype around the product because hey, it’s Apple.” I can’t be the only one making the connection here, can I?

In fact, let’s shift gears a little bit and take a look at how Apple is doing right now. Their marketing hasn’t really slowed down – I still see more iPhone 5 commercials than any other phone out there. There is still  a certain eliteness that surrounds owning an Apple product. However, that won’t keep Apple from sinking if something doesn’t change soon, as fellow PhoneDog editor Evan Selleck so eloquently put it earlier today. iOS 6 is stale, and can easily be confused with iOS 5 except for a few choice cosmetic changes. We see how this affects a company that doesn’t change with the industry. While I can’t say for sure that Samsung is heading in the same direction at this point in time, especially without knowing exactly what the Galaxy S IV has in store for us, I can’t help but get the feeling that maybe they’re going to end up the same way.

So far, rumors lead me to believe that the Galaxy S IV is just a larger and glorified version of the Galaxy S III… kind of like how the iPhone 5 is a larger and glorified version of the iPhone 4S. While there were several reasons the iPhone 5 needed to have a larger display, we can see that just incorporating a larger display or having the back made out of different material does nothing in the long run if the software has nothing new to offer. One of the reasons I still hold on to my iPhone 4S is because I’m not tempted enough by the iPhone 5 to get it. While my 4S is outdated, it’s not so outdated that it’s unusable and it’s still held up better than any other phone I’ve ever owned.

I can see Galaxy S III owners feeling the same way about the Galaxy S IV if it doesn’t bring much more than a faster processor and Smart Scrolling and Smart Pause to the table.

Right now I just kind of hope that Samsung has some extras up their sleeves for their event tomorrow. When the iPhone 5 was announced and I watched the live blogs surrounding the event, I can’t recall a time where I was like “Wow, I didn’t know it would have that feature!” I pretty much knew and expected everything that I saw. I want Samsung to say, “Oh yes, we’ve implemented Smart Scrolling and Smart Pause, but what you didn’t know is that we also have a battery that lasts up to three days!” A battery that lasts up to three days with those features – now that would be something worth hyping.

Like I said, I don’t know for sure what the Galaxy S IV has in store for us – but I do know that their marketing has me excited for the device and I wish that it didn’t, because I fear a repeat of the letdown I felt with the iPhone 5 event. I just hope the amount of attention and hype this device has gotten is matched by the device itself.

Readers, what do you predict? Do you think we’ve seen all there is to see through rumors and marketing, or do you think that Samsung has something else up their sleeve for us at their release event? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!