From Xiaomi to Huawei, will online press conference become a trend for smartphone companies?

Each February and March is a big day for intelligent hardware manufacturers, and various exhibitions and new product launches are in full swing. This year is a special case. Due to the impact of the epidemic, MWC was canceled, and the offline press conference could not be carried out. Manufacturers could only open up another channel to go online.

After Xiaomi, which has successfully held an online conference, many brands have also stood out and announced that they would soon hold an online conference, such as Huawei, Honor, Realme, IQOO, Samsung, Sony, Black Shark, Red Magic, etc. 

However, is the choice in this special period "imperative" or "urgent"?

From Xiaomi to Huawei, the "Cloud release" of mobile phones has gradually become the trend

On February 13, Xiaomi became the first brand to host an online conference this spring. Xiaomi 10 appeared in the public through this way, and just like Lei Jun said "it is a difficult decision." But for others, the decision doesn't seem to be difficult.

On February 13, IQOO announced that it would hold an online conference on February 25 to release the new phone iQOO 3.

On February 14, Realme announced that due to the cancellation of the MWC conference, it would hold an online conference in Barcelona on February 24 to launch the new 5G flagship Realme X50 Pro.

On February 17, also due to the cancellation of the MWC conference, Huawei announced that it would hold a separate online conference at 21: 00-23: 00 on the 24th to launch new folding machines, 5G MatePad, PC, IOT and other products; meanwhile, on the 24th, Honor would start an online release conference at 18:30, which is earlier than Huawei. 

On February 19, Sony also announced that it would hold an online conference on February 24 to officially launch the new Xperia.

So, what special day is February 24?

Prior to this, the online release mode is not unusual. In the past, many brands used to use the online broadcasting method to synchronously broadcast during the press conference, and the online publishing alone was not absent. For example, last year's Meizu Zero was not allowed to release due to the boss Huang Zhang, and Li Nan could only broadcast online in the office room, which was a little shabby, but there is no form of large-scale online release.

It can be seen that in addition to mobile phone manufacturers, press conferences in all walks of life have gone online, such as TV, cars and even real estate.

Is there a market for online conference? Some people are not optimistic that "PPT" type of online publishing is just a gimmick, and it is not practical for consumers to have no experience. Perhaps this is true for goods such as cars and real estate, but it is another story for smart hardware products that are particularly like smartphones. Of course, this model is the best solution. The online model does not delay the release of products while avoiding large-scale crowd focus.

3C products such as mobile phones have long been out of the category of consumer goods, and are now more inclined to FMCG. Consumers can have a general understanding of the functionality and experience of the product even through "PPT". Moreover, mobile phone products have never been "experienced in advance". The real advantages and disadvantages of products can only be learned after they are used. In addition, even in the past offline conferences, consumers could not all go to the scene, so in essence, the difference is not obvious.

But if it is just for these reasons, it will not be so urgent for major brands to arrange online press conferences. The online model becomes the trend behind, each may have other thoughts.

"Cloud launch" brings additional surprises?

What can online conferences bring to manufacturers? There are three aspects that can be seen.

First, it can reduce costs and focus on communication. The online mode saves a lot of space, materials, and personnel reception costs. Related people predict that the cost of this online conference such as Xiaomi 10 may only be 1/3 of the offline cost. And it can greatly shorten the preparation cycle, focusing on the product itself. Eliminated the process of many invitations and receptions, and the saved manpower and material resources can be used in product dissemination and manufacturing topics, Without many invitation and reception processes, the saved human and material resources can be used in product communication and manufacturing topics, which can better guarantee the product's pre-heating and real-time traffic.

Second, live broadcasting can break the circle and raise attention. Even in tens of thousands of people's gymnasiums, there is a limit on the number of people on the spot, but on line, tens of millions of viewers are possible. Besides, the most important role is to "break the circle", so that people who are not in the circle and who have no interest before will "join it" because of zero cost.

Third, data can be seen and transformed. In the past, after the press conference, it is still necessary to convey the news to the market through the "bombardment" of the industry media, while the online mode omits this intermediate link. While the live broadcast is not only the product release, but also the product promotion, and it is directly connected with consumers and market.

However, these are not the most important. There are two core points of each large-scale online conference.

First of all, the purpose for major manufacturers scramble to create conditions is to seize time and not to fall behind.

In terms of the overall environment, all major brands have their own pains. For example, Huawei, affected by the "entity list" and Google GMS outage, has seen a sharp decline in overseas markets. According to the "2019 global smartphone sales report and 2019 Q4 global smartphone sales report" released by Canalys, Huawei's annual sales reached 240 million in 2019, ranking second in the world, with a market share of 17.6%, with a year-on-year growth of 17%. 

However, in the Q4 sales data in 2019, Huawei's ranking fell to the third place in the world, with 56 million global sales and a market share of only 15.2% and a year-on-year decline of 7%.

In addition, of the 240.6 million mobile phones sold by Huawei in 2019, the sales volume in the Chinese market reached 142 million, a year-on-year increase of 35%, while the sales volume in the overseas market was 98.6 million, a year-on-year decrease of 3%. The Q4 quarter was more obvious, and the overseas sales volume of Huawei mobile phones fell by nearly 25%.

Now, according to the prediction of major research institutions, smartphone shipments may decline by 20-30% in the first quarter of this year in the impact of epidemic. Huawei will be one of the most severely impacted enterprises. At this time, an online press conference is not only to seize the time, but also to stabilize the market.

As for other brands, Xiaomi 10's Xiaolong 865 chip is not the first in the world, but it is also the first Xiaolong 865 in China. IQOO 3 and Realme X50 Pro are also equipped with Xiaolong 865. At this time, Xiaomi has started it conference, so they can't fall behind too much, which forms the current situation.

Secondly, it is a large-scale customer attraction activity. Large-scale centralized online conference can not only build huge attention, but also make changes without being noticed. 

For example, Xiaomi has a tough time before. According to the data, in 2019, although Xiaomi's sales reached 126 million, a year-on-year increase of 4%, and its market share slightly increased to 9.2%. It can be said that Xiaomi's increase is mainly due to Huawei's restrictions, but Xiaomi's market situation is getting worse in China.

In 2019, the market sales fell by 21% in China, and the market shrank by nearly 2%. It can be expected that this trend will continue this year. Xiaomi needs to take measures if he doesn't want to lose the Chinese market.

The price of Xiaomi 10 starts from 4,000 yuan, which impacts the high-end and increases the profits. Looking deeper, Xiaomi is exploring new ways.

As a firm believer of Steve Jobs, the theater model of 10,000 people's offline carnivals has also been well received by "Rebus", but this year it has become a "single talk". Is this decision really difficult? Maybe not.

This special period has given Xiaomi a chance to change. It can even be said that Xiaomi is "premeditated" to break the original marketing mode by "following the trend", so Xiaomi was "surviving."

Looking at it this way, in fact, the large-scale centralized online conference of mobile phone brands may be more like a "show".

How to run an online conference?

No matter what the motivation is, how can an online conference be held if it is necessary to do well? At present, there are many discussions and suggestions in terms of network, equipment, platform and early publicity, but in the view of the author, these are "trivial matters", and the main factors will be in two aspects.

After the press conference, Lei Jun did not forget to remind his friends that "online press conferences are not easy. Because there is no audience and no communication between the audience and the media, and there is a high demand for the speaker." Lei Jun said that the focus is on "people."

Looking at all kinds of press conferences in China at present, Lei Jun, Yu Chengdong, Zhao Ming and even WeChat Zhang Xiaolong, as the keynote speaker, can't say that their performance on the stage is perfect. "Without passion, bland, no mood" and other words have appeared after relevant press conferences, which is normal after all, tension is understandable.

But if it's offline, the speaker's words are not good enough, the audience will still give the applause or cheer, and there will be no large-scale exit before the end of the conference. However, online conference may have these risks, such as "you don't know who I am, if you don't speak well, if you don't have fun, I will exit before the end of the conference". This may directly affect the effect of the conference.

Then, the most important thing is to have products. In this special period, how to enlarge their own products has become a problem.

Compared with many manufacturers holding the online press conference, except Huawei, most of them are releasing single products, while Huawei is releasing the whole scene. On the one hand, due to MWC, Huawei's early preparation is quite sufficient; on the other hand, affected by the epidemic, the rhythm of major manufacturers has been disrupted, and Huawei can take advantage of this opportunity to build its advantages.

The official slogan of Huawei at this conference is "Cross the space-time tunnel, and invite you to join the future together." It is not difficult to guess that it will be a conference with "5G IoT" as its core theme. Although the related products and concepts are not new, 5G didn't really land until last year, and now it has not achieved full coverage, so it is not too much to say that it is a brand new circuit.

In the early years, Huawei launched the "full-scene ecological strategy", taking smart hardware and content services as a breakthrough. After several years of intensive cultivation, Huawei has formed a "1 + 8 + n" full scene Ecological Cluster with mobile phones as the main part, tablet, PC, speaker, TV, wearer and car machine as the auxiliary part, coupled with pan IOT hardware such as lighting, security and audio-visual. Such a rich product ecosystem is sufficient to ensure the thickness of online conferences, and the linkage between products can ensure maximum influence.

Huawei's purpose is clear. First, it should expand product influence and increase market penetration. As mentioned above, Huawei will become one of the most affected brands this year. How to weaken these influences is the best way to release the entire product line.

The expansion of the entire category will minimize the impact of the epidemic. The market is about to usher in an outbreak of "retaliatory consumption". With the help of the "birdcage effect" of consumer psychology, people will buy a lot of products or buy nothing. While ensuring mobile phone shipments, Huawei is also continuing to expand its market share in other categories.

The second is to weaken dependence and build confidence. The impact of overseas market on Huawei is still ongoing, so this press conference is also an opportunity for Huawei to "establish information".

According to the current relevant news, Huawei will release a new Kirin processor and launch more new terminals equipped with the Hongmeng system on February 24. In addition, the HMS ecosystem will be the focus of Huawei's display. Yu Chengdong has previously emphasized that "In 2020, Huawei will strive to build the HMS ecosystem and form a new system of" self-developed chips + Hongmeng OS ".

Whether it's new systems, chips or services, it shows that Huawei is trying to get rid of its dependence on foreign manufacturers, not only to build confidence for itself, but also for the market.

So can the online press conference make the market pay? In view of the actual situation of Xiaomi, the conversion of the online conference is good. According to Xiaomi's official news, on February 18, the one-minute sales reached 200 million yuan. And during the conference, the major platforms participated in the live broadcast, supplemented by a large number of discounts, which greatly increased the sales of related products.

It is foreseeable that at the same time as Huawei's online conference, a similar model will inevitably repeat itself, and the advantages of the entire scene can be maximized.

Therefore, a press conference with content and thickness that attracts viewers to "buy it" can become a good online conference.

This is an article from Zhinengxiangduilun (ID:aixdlun), written by She Kaiwen, translated by Chris Yuan.