May 23, 2012

Connecting The Dots

Mobile phone service providers make a lot of noise in a crowded market but this time around there are some clear voice
Apparently close to a third of Indians are more likely to give up sex than their handheld mojos, suggests a recent survey by global research firm Ipsos. That hiding the salami is less popular than chewing the fat via wireless telephony is good news not just for the moral police and family planning enthusiasts but also for mobile service providers and handset majors. Unsurprisingly, then, mobile service providers are spending big bucks and burning the midnight oil to woo consumers with high-decibel advertising and promotions, as is evident in the Brand Equity ranking of India’s Best Marketing Companies. Four service providers — Vodafone, BhartiAirtel, Tata Teleservices, and Idea Cellular — figure in the top 25.
Three of these mobile service marketers have relied on brand ambassadors — two men and one manmade — to connect with consumers. Idea has silver screen star Abhishek Bachchan, Tata Docomo has the relative new kid on the Bollywood block RanbirKapoor, and Vodafone has eggheaded creatures, the Zoozoos, doing the job.
India, with a mobile user base of 919.17 million at last count (source – TRAI), out of which 74% are active subscribers, is obviously a market rich with opportunity, both in terms of potential for penetration and in juicing out more revenue per user. But it also is a difficult market to operate in thanks to cut-throat competition, diversity of the urban and rural consumer landscape, a controversial regulatory framework, and scores of consumers dissatisfied with poor connectivity.
Against such a backdrop, the key to success lies in creating a base of happy consumers — not an easy task, but which service providers are valiantly attempting through their marketing efforts.
Says Bharat Bambawale, global brand director, BhartiAirtel: “No doubt the mobile telephony is a busy category with lots of messaging going around and lots of brands saying lots of things; and that is likely to continue. The game is about who will finally have the clearest voice in an otherwise noisy market and we are naturally aspiring for that voice.”
Vodafone claims to have made significant progress in that endeavour in 2011-12; the brand not only increased its share of the consumer’s wallet but also her heart, says the company’s official spokesperson. He attributes the spike to a superior network, focus on increasing customer value and great advertising to drive both admiration and affinity. Some of the campaigns in the year include the Super Zoozoo series, Vodafone Blue Facebook phone with a Broadway musical execution, the F1 on-ground activity with Lewis Hamilton, and the return of the pug with a new series.
Says KapilArora, country head – Team Vodafone, at Ogilvy Mumbai: “The market has graduated from just looking at shares in terms of the number of subscribers to revenue-share as a true indicator.” A quick look at the revenue shares of some of the main players, according to TRAI: Airtel 28%, Vodafone 21%, Idea 12%, Reliance 9% and Tata Teleservices 8%.
The only company not to go the brand ambassador route is Airtel-and that seems to have gone in its favour, what with the ‘Har Friend ZarooriHaiYaar’ campaign working well for the brand. Explains BhartiAirtel’sBambawale: “While connecting to the youth by itself is not a unique premise, the insight of unlocking the connection between the youth space and the role played by friendship as the connector is what has made the difference.” The other big campaigns for the brand have been the F1 sponsorship, which is a first for India and also for Airtel, and the Airtel Money campaign that was launched nationally.
Idea Cellular has always maintained that since it is a mass brand, the focus is on activities and alliances that touch the majority. That translates into liberal doses of cricket, Bollywood and music, says Sashi Shankar, chief marketing officer, Idea Cellular. Idea, he adds, spent much of 2011 creating awareness about 3G, with the junior Bachchan donning various avatars to spread the message.
Tata Teleservices has been a clear price-innovator: they pioneered the concept of ‘lifetime free’ as also the per second billing system. Their association with Docomo, the most successful 3G brand in the world, gives them a good leap in the product portfolio, says GirishTrivedi, co-founder & director, Monk Consulting.
“The next level of growth in this overcrowded category will come from the non-voice component as also the Tier-3 and the rural feeder markets.” says KapilArora.
In an overcrowded market, is the category in danger of losing the sheen and sharpness it has acquired after years of clutter-breaking communication and branding? Should it be fearful of becoming an undifferentiated category, almost like fast moving consumer goods, and look at overhauling itself, going by some of the not-so-fresh advertising doing the rounds? After all, a roll in the hay might just take precedence once again for many Indians who today prefer instead to go all the way with their mobiles.
Source: Times of India (

  1. payday loans May 6, 2015

    [url=]payday loans[/url] payday loans

  2. payday loan May 10, 2015

    [url=]payday loans[/url] payday loans

  3. faxless payday loan May 11, 2015

    [url=]loans online[/url] payday loans online

  4. payday loans May 11, 2015

    [url=]instant loans[/url] payday loans

  5. payday loans May 13, 2015

    [url=]payday lenders[/url] payday loans


Leave a Reply to payday loans Cancel

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *