Palm shifts marketing from devices to benefits

Responding to competition

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Should Palm continue its strategy of focusing more on solutions rather than device features? "You can convince people of the benefits of mobile computing," Slawsby said. "But Palm is finding itself with stronger competition. It needs to convince people that Palm mobile devices are the best."

Last week, for instance, Handspring issued a statement indicating that its sales continued to be strong. Like Palm, Handspring is beginning to go after the enterprise market, said Darren Thierry, director of enterprise sales at Handspring. The company will begin selling its product through corporate value-added resellers, starting with a distribution agreement with Ingram Micro Inc. announced last week.

While there is no ad campaign planned for the m500 or m505, Palm is working with its developer community to provide product and solution information through its ongoing conferences, Web site, e-mail and marketing collateral.

Palm officials did not disclose the company's annual marketing budget. But last year, when it switched its advertising account to Citron Haligman Bedecarré, San Francisco, after FCB Worldwide resigned (FCB had picked up Compaq Computing Corp., maker of a Pocket PC device), the Palm account was said to be $70 million.

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