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How OnePlus’ Marcel Campos Markets to 20 million Tech Wizards 

Marcel Campos, Director of Integrated Marketing Campaigns at OnePlus North America, directs most of his marketing efforts towards the 20 million U.S. tech wizards. Find out how he does it.

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Marcel Campos, Director of Integrated Marketing Campaigns at OnePlus North America

Smartphone marketing: Apple, Samsung, and Lenovo dominate the U.S. smartphone market, with a combined market share of more than 80%. Yet the most exciting action may occur among the remaining companies, which capture 10% to 15% of the market share. Shenzhen, Guangdong, China-headquartered global technology brand OnePlus is a crucial player in this subsector. Marcel Campos, Director of Integrated Marketing Campaigns at OnePlus North America, tells Portada that in the U.S., the company’s primary audience target is the tech wizard, the technologically proficient or tech-savvy consumer. In addition to smartphones, OnePlus markets earphones, power banks, OxygenOS, phone cases, shirts, bags, televisions, and smartwatches.

“We compete with everyone who sells smartphones. Both in terms of hardware quality and price,” says Campos. But OnePlus’ primary target audience is the tech wizard, he asserts. According to Campos, there are approximately 20 million tech wizards in the U.S. out of a total smartphone market of 310 million users (96% penetration rate). “For our upcoming product launches, our focus will be on the tech community; we have a lot of tech wizards to conquer,” he adds. Campos also mentions that OnePlus’ Android operating system tends to be more popular among tech-savvy consumers than Apple’s iOS.

“Our focus is on the tech community; we have a lot of tech wizards to conquer.”

Digital Marketing: Focus on Youtubers

“We focus on where tech wizards are; we scope them, find them, test our messaging, and keep revising,” Campos says about his integrated smartphone marketing practice.  Because OnePlus predominantly markets to tech wizards, who are almost, by definition, digitally savvy,  the company’s marketing is 100% digital.

“Smartphone marketing to tech-savvy consumers requires very detailed content in the messaging. We decided to talk to them through social media,” says Campos. The social networks he employs include IG, TikTok, and Facebook. “A big focus is on Youtubers,” where OnePlus is present through advertising and content creators/influencers. OnePlus uses two types of influencers. On the one hand, tech influencers. On the other hand, it employs influencers who are not techy “to expand a bit more out of the tech wizard segment and show a different side of the product,” Campos maintains.   In addition to social media, OnePlus also utilizes social news aggregation site Reddit and in-app mobile game advertising, as these channels efficiently target the tech-savvy consumer. CTV is also part of the mix, with ad platform MNTN enabling precise targeting. Segmentation objectives include the Hispanic consumer. The OEM also partners with some retailers, like Best Buy, on co-op advertising campaigns.  “We use a strong CRM platform to manage it all,” he asserts.

Smartphone Marketing: Marketplaces and D2C

OnePlus smartphones and related products are available in online retail marketplaces, including Amazon and Walmart. That is why e-commerce marketing and advertising also play a role in OnePlus’ media mix. The company has a D2c site. (OnePlus.com) where it sells directly to the public. “The D2c site has the advantage that the consumer gets the product directly from the manufacturer. The consumer is more confident if he buys directly from the brand.  These consumers also like to talk to each other and are great brand ambassadors,” Campos explains.

“The D2c site has the advantage that the consumer gets the product directly from the manufacturer. The consumer is more confident if he buys directly from the brand.  These consumers also like to talk to each other and are great brand ambassadors.”

Smartphone Marketing: Focus on Cameras

Over the past few years,  OnePlus has heavily invested in its cameras. Investing in this capability has been as much a marketing decision as a technical one for the company. According to Campos, “Camera phones don’t just capture an image, but they’re a means to capture the feeling and sensations associated with a moment. At OnePlus, we’ve invested heavily in improving our cameras, and now our latest round of devices, like the OnePlus 12 and 12R, offer some of the best cameras on the market.”

Some estimates cite that 92% of smartphone owners use their phones to take photos or videos. Today, in terms of technological advancements, conversations don’t center around superficial specs like zoom or processing capabilities but have now shifted to focus on the best ways camera phones can take photos. OnePlus has a partnership with digital camera manufacturer Hasselblad, which allows it to use high-precision camera software.

How critical is the camera as a factor for smartphone purchasing? “It’s a top ten factor,” says Campos. For most consumers, it lies among the top three, but for the tech wizard, camera brightness, resolution, processor strength, and storage rank higher.

 

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