Marketing Communication In Mobile Industry

By: Monika Mehra

? Advertisements from competing manufacturers and service/solution providers ofmobile industry time and again seem to harp on the two important aspects i.e.how to target the common public and the affordable rates.

?This has certainlyinfluenced the mobile industry (mobile phones, services and solution providingcompanies).There has been frequent switching among customers. Instead ofconcentrating on building clientele in the short term the time has now come forthe these companies to identify their specific and unique strengths , corporateimage , brand value or service , position themselves accordingly and build longterm relationship and loyal clientele among specific consumer segments.

In today’s circumstances, it is imperative thatcommunication is hassle free and cost effective. Today all over the world, themobile industry is doing quite well, offering reasonably good products and servicesat affordable rates. Do you rememberwhen the first mobile hand set came in the market? How expensive it was with thundering mobile service charges and othersolutions. Comparatively, now everything seems to be quite under controland affordable. Not only mobile handsets have become in-expensive but variouskinds of services and mobile solutions are also available at very costeffective rates. The growth rate of this sector is robust and beyond imagination. Different companies are coming outwith innovative schemes and price benefits to consumers practically, everyday. Almostall companies have imbibed one philosophy –keepthe tariff low and create a huge customer base; and profit will come through volumes.

With this philosophy of attracting customers at low tariff,almost all companies in the world offer and communicate similar services,network and of course price.

Most of the advertisements are similar and it is difficultto relate which creative goes with which brand. They are probably clamoringabout the same features.

You can think yourself, when talking about basic mobilephones

What is the greatdifference between a Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Samsung and other mobile phone?

?

Yes, the difference is almost negligible. The same is thecase with mobile service and solution providers. The services provided byAirtel, Vodafone, Tata Indicom, etc are almost the same. Looking at any of theadvertisements of these companies the main communication hovers aroundnetwork/communication and low tariffs, and not much else. None of these companiesis trying for innovation in “Communication". ?In order to exaggerate their product, theyjust talk emphatically about the network and connectivity.

The same is the case with email clients like Yahoo mail,Gmail, Hotmail, and others. All of them are delivering the same kind ofmarketing communications. The saddest part of this kind of communication isthat they don’t talk about differentiating factors which might have put theirbrand above the rest. At the tangible front , the consumers are basicallyindifferent towards the technology. They just want a product which caters totheir needs and falls within their pocket. But if a company can do something sothat people perceive different technologies vis-à-vis service differently, anddemonstrate how a particular technology can actually give them bettersatisfaction, consumers will sway towards that company. Creating a perceptiondifference through technology may not be too easy, but if it can be created, itcan do wonders.

?It takes time tobuild corporate image. It is not build overnight. It demands a lot ofcommitment towards the consumers. Companies should carry out continual researchto find out what actually makes the consumer tick and take their servicesaccordingly. The high churn rate among consumers from one product to another,clearly suggests that currently people do not trust and stick to any of thebrands for the long run.

Brand value is not an isolated concept. Brand value developswhen a company has the “RightTechnology", “Right Image" and a “Strong Consumer Pull. These threefactors, in the right proportion, can create a strong brand value anddifference.

The telecom industry has to offer “Service and a service with a difference". Without proper service amobile company just cannot survive, as consumers will soon desert it.

For example: Today, when everybody is accessing their emailaccounts on their mobile handsets with Yahoo mail and Gmail, Email@mobile created the big difference by offering its users afree service to create mobile email ID from ones basic mobile handset withoutbeing limited to the PC.

It actually made agreat difference for the mobile population who had the need to access theiremail accounts but did not have a PC like the studentsScience Articles, sales executives orsenior/retired citizens to create their email IDs and benefit from theadvantages of mobile email.

Thus the mobile Industry and their advertisers shouldtherefore nudge themselves out of the narrow focus of building a huge customerbase in the short term based on universal attributes. They should instead movetowards developing a communication strategy for the long run that would buildon their unique attributes (tangible/ intangible) so as to build loyalclientele among specific target groups.

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