Focus on brand activations has reinforced Ericsson’s thought leadership: Cecilia Dahlström, Head of Brand Management & Activation, Ericsson

In an exclusive interview with EE, Cecilia Dahlström, Head of Brand Management & Activation, Ericsson, spoke about Ericsson's marketing strategy, its new campaign, future plans and more.


Ericsson is one of the leading providers of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to service providers, with about 40% of the world’s mobile traffic carried through our networks.It enables the full value of connectivity by creating game-changing technology and services that are easy to use, adopt, and scale, making our customers successful in a fully connected world. For more than 140 years, its ideas, technology, and people have changed the world: real turning points that have transformed lives, industries, and society as a whole. 

In an exclusive interview with EE, Cecilia Dahlström, Head of Brand Management & Activation, Ericsson, spoke about Ericsson's marketing strategy, its new campaign, future plans and more.

Tell us something about Ericsson’s overall marketing strategy and marketing spend as a company.

Our overall marketing strategy comprises a healthy mix of below the line activations, sponsorships and digital platforms. We organise owned events where we showcase our latest technologies and solutions as well as organise customer workshops based on customer needs. We participate in events like Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and India Mobile Congress where we focus on new launches to create impact. We also leverage digital channels like Facebook , twitter and linked in apart from undertaking digital initiatives like Influencer Marketing etc . 

How important is experiential marketing for a global brand like Ericsson?

At Ericsson, we are working towards building engagement platforms and enabling experiences for customers that help them in understanding our solutions and making purchase decisions. A big part of this involves creating immersive demo experiences and sharing insights on the working and know-how of the technology/products. We make sure our customers engage and experience our brand not only online, but also through customer events and workshops. We like to work together with our customers by adopting a consultative/ solution-oriented approach.

What kind of marketing mix does Ericsson follow, how big is experiential in that? 

Ericsson follows an integrated marketing approach which unifies multiple channels of offline (F2F), PR as well as digital touch-points.From an experiential perspective, our technology showcase at the Mobile World Congress every year along with the subsequent roadshows for customers and industry events, enable our key stakeholders to touch, feel as well as experience 5G come to life through interactive & engaging demos. Digital enables us to amplify such events and activations to reach a wider audience and continue to leverage the experience & positively influence the customer journey. A focused PR outreach strategy enables us to drive business focused media activations, reinforce Ericsson’s thought leadership across the 5G experience & amplify the messaging. 

What is your new campaign all about and what’s the rationale behind it? 

5G networks will revolutionize our lives in ways we can’t even imagine yet. It will make it easier for societies and companies to take a step further into this connected future. As a pioneer and key player of all things 5G, we wanted to pay homage to the power of its connectivity, and how it is enabling innovation, inspiration and a thriving technology ecosystem. 

With the freedom and strength that 5G connectivity is bringing, we want to show how it will enable innovation to thrive while highlighting people who inspire us to push our limits. These are the tech heroes featured in the Film . As thought leaders within their field, these individuals represent a forward-thinking mindset that work in areas where we know connectivity will have a significant impact. All of these individuals are creating solutions and fighting for development that drives innovation and makes peoples’ lives easier. 

The film features Haben Girma, the first ever deafblind Harvard Law School graduate, in a driverless car; gaming pioneer AtomicMari inside her own immersive gaming universe; singer-songwriter KIDDO; Paris Saint-Germain footballer Nadia Nadim; and scientist Danica Kragic remote-operating a pair of robotic arms. 

Our new brand campaign ‘Power of Easy’ highlights the new age of 5G, that is becoming real as we start to see 5G come to life around the globe. To fit the theme of being seamlessly connected, the ambitious 90-second cinematic has been shot in a single fast-paced take. 

Tell us the reason behind partnering with these influencers. Where do they fit in in the campaign? 

At the heart of innovation’s boldest quests lie the tech heroes dedicated to driving them forward. For us, the main reason of partnering with these tech heroes was to celebrate the idea of connectivity and how it will power our world in the future. We also wanted to talk to the broader audience about Ericsson, with each of these tech heroes bringing their own expertise in the area they represent and then stitching it all together seamlessly by talking about the connectivity that Ericsson provides. 

What kind of platforms is Ericsson looking at for distribution of the campaign? 

As a starting point, we utilized our social network platforms. We reached out through channels like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Since we were working with our own network of influencers, we needed to leverage the tools of social media to create a digital campaign. Social platforms are an important vehicle for us to drive this campaign. Also, if I talk about next steps, we have built more knowledge around this. The brand film is one entry point to the campaign, but with the help of our separate tech hero films that we have launched following the main film , again on the digital platform , we talk about different use cases that have been shown in this film. 

What kind of investments & creative strategies went into the campaign? 

We cannot comment on specific spends, but one of the main reasons of this investment was mainly because we wanted to reach out to a broader audience around Ericsson’s thought and technology leadership in the 5G domain. It was important to demonstrate the impact of a connected tomorrow and how it will impact everyone and not just industries. We believe that this investment will help us reach a wider audience that we want to engage with. What was the general response the company received after the campaign went live? The response has been really good. We have not done something like this in a while and we are very happy with the results. The brand campaign has generated a fair amount of conversation amongst our target audiences including our customers and potential employees.

Tell us some of your future plans for Ericsson? 

We are working towards helping our customers realize the full benefits of 5G. Our most important plan is to ensure a connected world and we are working towards it. At Ericsson we want to continue our work of bringing connectivity to people, businesses and society at large in a way that all can benefit from connectivity. We want to continue working alongside our customers and make this happen. From a marketing perspective, of course, we are making sure that the right audiences know about our purpose at Ericsson, leading this evolution.

What are the three big challenges for Ericsson when it comes to customer connect?

The customers of today are empowered, and information is changing the way they buy. It is believed that an average B2B purchase decision is 57% complete, and more than 10 information resources have been consulted by the time a supplier is engaged. Customers prepare by searching and evaluating different options online long before they contact a physical sales person. Then they continue using information resources online in combination with physical sales rep interactions during their entire buying journey. Hence Ericsson has adopted a customer focus building a deeper level of intimacy and engagement. This is achieved though delivering an exemplary experience across physical and digital touch points throughout the customer journey to be relevant. We use an outside-in approach and adapt our engagement to the customer’s buying journey focusing across the multiple phases of “See”, “Think”, “Do” & “Share”.


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