John Bernard, Mozilla: How to make your digital marketing strategy stand out of the crowd

Shaping a digital marketing strategy that breaks out of the “other” category is no easy task to do, particularly when you have budget constraints and you’re on a tight schedule. This is why we were happy that John Bernard the Director of Global Marketing, Firefox OS, at Mozilla, kindly accepted our invitation to take the stage at How to Web Conference 2015 and share his experience on the matter.

John has been leading the strategy and Go-to-Market activity for Firefox OS, mobile OS for first-time smartphone buyers that has seen successful market introductions in 46 countries since its launch in 2013. Prior to this, he held senior global marketing roles within Sony Ericsson, LG and Siemens. In 2013, John achieved the ‘UK Marketer of the Year’ award from Marketing Week magazine and he is a spokesperson within the mobile phone industry.

During his keynote speech at How to Web, John will share the lessons learnt in his journey at Mozilla, from inception to launch and beyond, and he will discuss how Firefox OS went from an idea to reality in almost 50 markets worldwide. Meanwhile, he was kind enough to share with us some valuable tips from his experience in this interview. Enjoy!

Which are the best communication channels for your digital marketing strategy when you’re a tech company looking to launch its product globally?

In 2015, there are many advantages to using more online marketing as opposed to traditional levers as, for example, you can better measure results and see directly the impact of your campaigns. The obvious two tools for any tech company are keyword searches with Google and paid-advertising with Facebook. If budgets are tight as a startup, these two channels make the most sense for good exposure and value for budget.

How do you make sure your digital marketing strategy stands out of the crowd? How did you do this at Mozilla?

We have a number of unique tools for our Firefox OS marketing. In the first instance we have our own media platform, where we can push users to a Partner link or URL as we did with our partner in Romania to help promote and raise awareness for the KLIF smartphone. Having 17 million likes on Facebook and over 2 million followers on Twitter also helps to engage with users, informing them of new product launches or possibly wider Mozilla Web-focused initiatives.

There are lots of tools for marketers out there? Which ones do you use and further recommend?

The best results are found when you have a truly integrated campaign that merges online activity, communications, community marketing, if possible, and brand. If you have a physical product, then backing this up with a channel or retail strategy would have a better chance of raising awareness in consumer’s minds if done as part of a strategic marketing integrated campaign.

You’ve led the global marketing strategy for Mozilla’s Firefox OS. What were the biggest challenges you faced and how did you manage to overcome them?

Often the challenges that are hardest to deal with are ones that you cannot easily control. For example, we are now available for sale in 50+ countries globally and we have found out along the way that some of the countries where we’ve launched have a long customs process and hence it gets difficult for us to have devices shipped there – this is at times a very difficult process to overcome.

Some advice for early-stage tech startups out there working on their digital marketing strategy: where should they start?

Having a product or service with some end-user value is key but equally important is to have a differentiator. Having a strong product marketing message that will resonate with end-users is so vital and something I have seen a lot of startups not quite grasp. So research, testing the idea with your target market and getting sound user feedback early on for what you plan to launch is vital.

What mistakes should they avoid along the way?

Not testing. Testing with online campaigns is one thing but testing how well your potential users will take to your product is so, so important. So avoid the mistake of not testing.

This November you’re taking the stage at How to Web Conference 2015 to present the Firefox OS case study and the lessons learnt along the way. Why should people in our audience make sure they don’t miss your talk?

If you are launching a new product or entering into new markets, or you are up against competitors with bigger teams and larger marketing budgets, I’ll share a strategic marketing process coupled with execution that you could develop for your own companies.

Meet John Bernard and learn valuable lessons from his experience next week, when he will take the stage at How to Web Conference 2015 to deliver a keynote speech on how to build a digital marketing strategy that breaks out of the other category. With less than 15 tickets left for How to Web Conference 2015, we’re about to be sold out soon so make sure you get your ticket now and join the innovators community!

HTW 2015 Facebook Cover


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