afaqs!

Tata Indicom sticks to three pillar marketing strategy

By , agencyfaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | October 26, 2007
In March this year, the company moved to the current positioning, 'Switch to Tata Indicom and Experience the Difference', which has worked wonders for it

Tata Indicom, the & #BANNER1 & # mobile service by Tata Teleservices, has its eyes fixed on a three pillar strategy that it has defined for the brand's growth.

With a subscriber base of more than 20 million today, the game seems to have just begun for the brand. According to Abdul Khan, president, marketing, Tata Teleservices, "There is a growing market there to reach out to, and every minute, a new generation mobile user walks in. We went back to people, and we realise that customer aspirations have catapulted - they are in constant search for new, better and latest services. They are very clear - they don't love you if you don't offer them what they want! They will churn and go away, so we have to literally keep running to stay in the same place."

Abdul Khan
From its inception, the brand has chosen to speak 'mass market'. Khan says, "We adopted the mass market route to target the first user. But today, interestingly, more than 30-40 per cent users are GSM add-ons, which is a huge paradigm shift. Looking at this, we now have to move on from being simply a mass market brand to being an aspirational brand, yet not abandoning the mass market approach completely. We can't be 'either/or', we have to be 'and'. The whole category being aspirational, it was necessary to look at that."

With a set of advantages, Khan says, the company began with promoting its network on the basis of coverage, clarity, connectivity, etc., taking it further by talking about its VAS, and then its handsets. Tactical offers continue to exist.

Khan clarifies, "For building our brand image, which is the first pillar of our strategy, we have to go on from being positioned as a cheap brand. There is nothing wrong in being low-priced, but if you also offer something more apart from that... We are looking at refreshing the way we are."

New signage- pilot store
The company is looking at expanding its retail network as well. It plans to take its store count to 3,500, and all True Value hubs and stores will be singularly named Tata Indicom Exclusive Stores. Customisation of the retail experience has been an important consideration, reveals Khan.

Innovation is the second pillar of the company's strategy. Khan believes that there has to be 'new news'. "Unless, as a brand, you are refreshing yourself, which goes beyond changing from blue to red, and actually moving towards good product offerings, you are moving nowhere," he says. Driving towards innovations, the company plans to leverage its product -mobile Internet - to connect with a significant target group, the youth.

With the objective of showing off its VAS (value added service) offerings, Tata Indicom has conceptualised and executed an AFP (advertiser's funded programme), 'Fun on the Run', which airs on Zee TV and, as a branded reality show, showcases TV celebrities utilising the services of the brand.

The third pillar is the objective of driving 'numbers' by addressing the popular segment, which the company plans to do by offering exciting products, services and packages.

Television accounts for the maximum share of the brand's advertising pie. Apart from advertising through traditional media, the company is looking at sponsoring seminars and taking up direct marketing initiatives, which will give it the opportunity to showcase the product solution offered by the brand as well as to build a strong imagery.

Kajol - the brand ambassador
In March this year, the company moved to the current positioning, 'Switch to Tata Indicom and Experience the Difference', which worked wonders for it.

Khan reveals, "Brand awareness has moved to 85 per cent, while ad awareness has shot up to 90 per cent. And brand preference has moved up to 21 per cent , as compared to 14 per cent at the beginning of the year."

As per TRAI data, for the quarter ending June 30, 2007, the total subscriber base for wireless services was 184.92 million subscribers, out of which 147.52 million were urban subscribers and 37.40 million, rural subscribers. The market is led by Bharti, with a subscriber base of 42.7 million and a market share of 23.09 per cent, followed by Reliance, which has a subscriber base of 232.05 and a market share of 17.33 per cent. BSNL follows Reliance closely with a subscriber base of 31.88 million and a market share of 17.24 per cent. Not far behind is the Vodafone-Hutch Group, which has 30.75 million subscribers and a market share of 16.63 per cent. Tata Indicom stands fifth with a subscriber base of 17.32 million and 9.37 per cent market share, followed by Idea, which has a subscriber base of 16.613 million subscribers and a market share of 8.72 per cent. Local subscribers in various parts of the country have a base of 14.09 million users and a market share of 7.62 per cent.