I just got back from attending a wedding near Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. The hotel of our stay had network issues. So neither calls nor mobile data were working. Unable to use Whatsapp or Facebook for 3 days made me realise how we take our telecom operators for granted because they give uninterrupted internet services so that we are always online.
I am very happy with my telecom operator- Vodafone! But research showed that not everyone has the same sentiments. Hence, it is lagging behind Airtel and Idea in terms of mobile data users.
Vodafone now has 5.2 million 3G users, compared to 9.5 million for Airtel and 8.7 million for Idea- Businesss Today.
Therefore it needs to catch up with the other two if it wants to increase its revenues. Because mobile data services yield up to 50% profit margins for the telecom operators.
There is a reason everyone loves data users, even though their typical monthly usage is Rs 100, compared to Rs 200 for those who use only voice and SMS. However, the profit margin in data is about 50 per cent more- Business Today
Vodafone’s Current Marketing Strategy
But unlike in voice services, marketing would play a more significant role in data services.
Vodafone has more rural subscribers than urban subscribers and is doing a lot to increase data usage amongst this rural base. Thus urban areas need more boost for Vodafone Internet.
In terms of subscribers, Vodafone has more rural subscriber i.e. 89.4 million rural subscriber vis-a-vis 77.2 urban subscriber- Teleanalysis
Vodafone India launched ‘Gammat Jammat’, a unique initiative aimed at building awareness on the benefits of mobile internet amongst school children in the rural districts of Maharashtra……A special ‘GammatJammat Pack’ has been launched by Vodafone especially for rural consumers. – Economic Times
Against this backdrop, if I were marketing @ Vodafone India (Telecom)…
- All adults with a skew towards youngsters
- Urban consumers (since rural is already being tapped)
Primary objective- “We’re trying to coax people who surf the Internet from their desktops to migrate from time-bound access to continuous mode via mobile without fear of bill shocks or unwanted deductions,” said Vivek Mathur, Vodafone India’s chief commercial officer- Times of India
Sticky Marketing Ideas
1. Escalator or staircase branding
Take the escalator of shopping malls and put stickers of the various apps that can be used with Vodafone Internet. At the top of the escalator, let a Zoozoo hand out leaflet to people saying- Unlimited Vodafone internet. Limited bill amount.
2. Movie Tie-up
Do an exclusive tie-up with new movies such that they can be viewed off screen only on Vodafone Internet/ Live. Two reasons why this would work- entertainment is the biggest trigger for mobile internet and movie streaming uses lot of mobile data. So with this you are telling people that even if you stream lots of videos and movies, your bill won’t be a shocker.
3. College canteen menus
When students come to the canteen, instead of the food menu, give them a menu which lists all social media sites. Each with a corresponding rate of XYZ. The message being- Consume as much Vodafone internet as you wish, the bill will still be very low.
4. Social media clocks
Give Social Media clocks at counters of McDonald’s or KFC or CCD- any youth centric chain. And the message should be ‘be online 24×7 without worrying about bills’.
5. Fastrack tie-up
A variation of the previous idea is to tie-up with Fastrack (a Titan sub brand for youth) to create Social Media watches/ bags- co-branded with Vodafone with the same thought- Be online 24×7 without worrying about bills. Use this as a promo gift for new subscribers of Vodafone 3G. Or put up a subscription desk in college fests with these co-branded gifts as giveaways. Since the brand is extremely youth centric and edgy/ experimental too, Fastrack would be a good connect
6. Life Size Wallet
At the entrance to college campuses or other youth places, place a 3 ft tall wallet– with social media icons in place of cards and a single Rs 100 note coming out- the message being Vodafone internet will hardly cost you anything.
7. Books and Graduation Cap
Place a huge pile of books and Graduation cap at the final year floors of relevant colleges- with the placard saying- CAT, JEE etc courses in your pocket, only with Vodafone Internet’s Exam Zone.
8. Graduation Gown Cutout
In final year floors of relevant colleges, place a cutout of the Graduation Gown and Cap such that students can stand behind it and click a picture. Thus making it a sort of photo booth. The message- CAT, JEE etc courses in your pocket, only with Vodafone Internet’s Exam Zone.
9. Alarm Clock bin at Vodafone Stores
Place a dustbin with lots of alarm clocks in each Vodafone store with the message- Don’t make your internet usage time- bound for fear of huge bills.
10. Huge Dangler at Vodafone Stores
Put a huge dangler with social icons coming out of only a few notes from the wallet. And the message being- Use internet to your heart’s content, without worrying about the bill.
11. Main Traffic Junctions Direction Signs
Put a prominent direction sign at main traffic junction- a direction sign of internet and social media. And have Vodafone branding and message at the base- For anything internet, don’t look further. Vodafone internet- unlimited internet, limited bills.
12. Vodafone Zoozoo on scooty with sidecar
Let the Vodafone Zoozoo sit on a Vodafone branded scooty with sidecar. Sidecar will be brimming with internet and social media icons. This Zoozoo can drive around all major metros to generate buzz and word of mouth. Here the thought would be- internet unlimited, bills limited.
These are some of the ideas for marketing Vodafone Internet in urban areas. Would love to get your feedback on the ideas. Power to you, friends.