Bhawna Sajwani | Welingkar institute of management development & research
TATA DOCOMO is the pioneer of “PAY- FOR-WHAT-YOU -USE”. A joint venture of Tata Teleservices (TTSL) and Japan’s leading mobile operator NTT, DOCOMO took the right steps to penetrate into the overly crowded Indian telecom market. The first step was of knowing their target audience well and hence emerged plans like per second charging scheme for calls and per character charging scheme for SMSs, with Rs 95 for unlimited GPRS. The innovative concept was mixed with perfect marketing to win over other players.
It used tariff plans to differentiate itself from other major players like Vodafone, Airtel and Idea in the GSM category. It has cheaper rates than any other CDMA service provider and the added advantage is that unlike CDMA, a different handset is not required. Pulse rate of per second, where all other services used one minute gave TATA DOCOMO the first mover advantage.
Also, services offered were customised as per subscribers. TATA DOCOMO has unveiled a portfolio of Value-Added Services that has reinvented mobile telephony in India. It offers products and services like diet SMS, Free VoiceMail, Timed SMS Service, Missed Call Alerts, Call-me Tunes, etc. All of them are customized to liberate and refresh the subscribers.
TATA DOCOMO has positioned itself as a “value for money” brand. The first move on this front was to cut through the clutter and redefine the entire pricing paradigm. In the clutter of confusing service providers, TATA DOCOMO is positioned as the country’s most transparent, innovative and liberating telecom brand.
Country-wide TATA DOCOMO service rollout is set to be completed this year itself. Best coverage was ensured in every state of India at the time of launch. It started its rollout from Southern India and continued to other parts of India. The launch was supported with “DIVE-IN” stores. The stores have a unique concept that offer a relaxing and interactive environment for consumers and are aimed at inspiring and educating them on the benefits of mobility. These stores are perfectly placed to execute aggressive sales promotion of the new brand and to connect with customers.
DOCOMO has invested heavily into outdoor, print and television media. But the fact that they are open to the idea of using social media marketing is in itself laudable. TATA DOCOMO has understood the Indian fondness for E-MEDIA and has used social sites like Twitter and Facebook. This demonstrates their social marketing approach.
The theme of marketing being used by the brand gives a trigger to “forget the old ways and do the new”. The launch of DOCOMO was carried forward with the association of the brand with the thought “do”. Such theme connects with everyone in diverse segments. Also the fact that they achieved this feat without any celebrity endorsement is laudable. Recently, it has struck a deal with Neo Cricket as season partners and is promoting itself heavily during the ongoing India vs. Sri Lanka test series.
Segments for TATA DOCOMO are not restricted to any particular age, sex or mood; it includes all Indians who have the potential to use a mobile phone.
The print advertisements are customised as per the states. Different states with respective culture, dances etc. are shown with TATA DOCOMO highlighted on the ads.
Also, the TATA DOCOMO signature tone is being liked and recognised by the Indian public in general; especially the advertisement with “Friendship Express” is gaining popularity. To complete the promotion strategy the website for TATA DOCOMO has all the elements to engross the GEN-X. Currently they have the “Animator Ahoy” contest to engross the visitors.
Competition and Challenges
Other players in market have stolen the success formula of TATA DOCOMO. Vodafone, Airtel, Loop, Aircel and others have introduced 1 sec pulse. But TATA DOCOMO still has the edge over competitors.
As they are in the GROWING phase of product life cycle, their innovative rates planning is keeping them ahead of the crowd. The customisation provided in VAS is still a novel concept in the market. But to sustain the lead they have acquired, they need to innovate continuously.