Not more than one hour ago, we were chatting on the podcast about the lack of marketing for Palm’s (s PALM) Pre. The show will be up later today, but ironically I just received a “Meet the Palm Pre” e-mail from Sprint (s S), likely because I signed up to get notifications on Pre developments. Looks like the viral, buzz-style marketing is in play here. Here’s the note (emphasis mine):
“Exclusive to Sprint, the phone that lets you truly live in the now. Keep multiple applications open and move seamlessly between them while they’re live – email, maps, photos, websites and so much more. Hype the Palm Pre! Facebook it, Tweet it, whatever. Share your excitement with your friends!”
This is followed by a “Foward to a friend” link. I think it’s great that Sprint is using social media to hype the new phone, but we’re not yet at the point where that can be the only effective method. I’ve seen the Pre in the “Now Network” campaign that’s currently running on television, but the phone isn’t mentioned by name at all. And the only reason I got to “Meet the Palm Pre” via e-mail is because I knew enough to sign up for such notifications back in January. Most mainstream users don’t know that.
As was pointed out in the “Motley Fool: Palm Pre DOA” post yesterday, outside of the tech world, most folks don’t yet know about the Pre. If the phone is expected to have a whale of a launch sometime in the next 8-10 weeks, there needs to be some heavy-duty marketing involved.