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The Marketing Mindset: Putting Consumers First

Insights from Janet Lee, Vice President and Head of Mobile Marketing for Samsung Electronics America
By Samsung |

When I first began my career in consumer technology, I knew very little about smartphone innovation. Technical details — like processor speeds and camera quality — were a foreign language to me. But I brought something else to the table, just as important: the insights from a career in marketing and an ability to deeply understand the needs of the consumer.

The truth is, you don’t need to know how batteries or cell towers work to pursue a career in consumer technology marketing. In fact, you don’t need to master the technicalities of any industry to make it as a marketer. You just need to deeply understand what your consumers are looking for.

I can tell you that personally.

Before joining Samsung, I worked in CPG marketing, where I specialized in the beauty category. I managed skincare and fragrance brands, helping consumers develop skincare routines that made them feel and look their best and promoting fragrances that allowed consumers to express their style and individuality. Yes, making the switch from marketing moisturizers and perfumes to smartphones was a big change of pace. For one, the consumer’s purchase decision-making process is completely different when they’re looking for a new phone. But when it comes to marketing, your approach should be exactly the same — no matter what you’re selling. Always put the consumer first.

Whether you’re selling a smartphone or a skincare routine, you need to establish an emotional connection with your consumer. Put yourself in their shoes. At Samsung, I often encourage my colleagues to think beyond the specs and megapixels. I ask them to consider how our innovations make life easier and more seamless.

When one of our users upgrades their device, they’re looking for a new experience — an easier way to capture their favorite memories, connect with friends and family or play their favorite games with friends. It’s not about the technology itself. It’s about what the technology makes possible.

So, if you’re someone who has a passion for marketing in any business, don’t get hung up on trying to understand the technical details. Trust me, I understand how intimidating it can be to find yourself in a boardroom full of engineers and innovators. Don’t let that get to you – trust your skills and knowledge. I’ve learned to trust the expertise I’ve developed as a marketing professional.

And you should trust yourself, too. As long as you let consumers lead the way, the rest will fall into place. They bring meaning to the products we create. And we bring their perspectives into the workplace.

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