Telecom operators offer attractive packages to lure customers
By Omair Zeeshan
KARACHI: Cricket fever has gripped the country and the telecommunications industry is working hard to cash in on the opportunity, increase revenues and build up their respective brand images. Some of them are offering lower international calling rates, while others have introduced new SMS bundle packages.
Though the telecom industry is not the only one trying to get into the spirit of cricket, it is one of the most competitive in terms of marketing efforts and brand management and its response to the Cricket World Cup was almost instant.
Nearly all telecom operators brought out packages that seem to be targeted at customers who will be monitoring the cricket tournament with extreme vigilance. Quizzes, live commentary and match updates are some of the services that have been introduced.
Telenor’s Director Corporate Communications and Responsibility Anjum Rahman said: “We are offering a number of services in the cricket season to provide easily accessible information to our subscribers. Interactive quizzes and prize schemes are on offer as a daily activity. For Telenor Pakistan, the Pakistan team comprises not just the players, but millions of fans and supporters spread across the country.”
A Mobilink official said that the company had introduced services which allow users to receive live updates on ongoing matches and find out rankings, which are popular among customers.
Industry players say a high uptake has been observed, indicating there were plenty of customers subscribing to these new services, which in turn would be profitable for cellular companies.
Warid has introduced an SMS package which the company claims is cheaper than all others, in what seems to be a move to get their customers to text more. “Everyone won’t be in front of the television and they would probably like to share the excitement,” said a Warid official.
Telecom operators have also taken up the challenge of facilitating customers and making a corporate bonus. Prizes are being offered and return tickets with all expenses-paid vacations are being issued to customers, so they subscribe to company-specific cellular services.
Some companies have also taken advantage of the World Cup not happening in Pakistan, by offering lower international calling and SMS rates for people travelling to host countries.
Other operators are using celebrities to promote their brands. The recent World Cup song, for instance, was sung by the brand ambassador of a telecom company. Industry observers, however, pointed out that this could backfire. “The associations will remain, even if the team lost, heavens forbid,” said an observer.
Source: The Express Tribune