Vodafone Company is the largest telecommunication company in the world with a customer-base of about 130 million subscribers globally (Company Spotlight, 2010). It operates in more than 26 countries that are distributed in different continents and employs about 65,000 staffs to facilitate their telecommunication services to their customers. The company headquarter is based in London though it has well established offices in all the regions where it provide its services. Vodafone is a public limited company with listings in New York and London stock exchanges (Company spotlight, 2010). This paper analyses the operations of this company and the marketing strategies it uses to serve its customers better.
Lines of operations
The company provide mobile network in different countries such as India, Australia, Egypt, Finland among other countries on its own. It also partners with other companies to provide network in more than forty countries. For instance, Vodafone owns about 45% of the Verizon Wireless which has the largest number of subscribers in the US mobile telecommunication market (Company Spotlight, 2010). The company sells a number of products ranging from mobile network, to mobile phone internet services and mobile handsets among others. Some of the commonly known names with Vodafone mobile products include Vodafone mobile USB modem, Vodafone live, Vodafone passport, Vodafone 710 among others. The company has continued to come up with new products each and every year to suite the needs for its customers. In 2009, the company released Vodafone 360 in the market which is a new type of internet service for PC, Mac and mobile phone. In 2010, it launched the cheapest mobile phone in the world (Vodafone 150) which is sold less than $15 targeting customers in developing countries such as Turkey, India and Kenya among other third world countries (Harris, 2011). In 2007, the company in conjunction with Safaricom Company in Kenya invented a mobile phone money transfer (M-PESA) to act as a bank account for those people who never had a bank account. The product was the first one of its own kind in the world and it was later introduced in other countries such as Afghanistan (Harris, 2011). In addition, the company launched mHealth solutions, which is a mobile application for network technologies and communication used in provision of health care services. The product aimed to improve internal processes in the health organization and to facilitate accessibility and delivery of health care services. Thus the operations of the Vodafone Company are not limited to one industry but they are developed in different areas as the customers’ needs arise.
Marketing mix of the company
The global telecommunication market is very competitive and any successful company need to have very visible brands that will sell in this market. Effective marketing strategies are therefore very important where the company assesses the needs of the customers in the market and then develops the appropriate products to meet those needs. Vodafone has succeeded in this area where the company aims not only to impress its customers through its products’ features, but also to benefit them by giving them what they really need. The company is committed to promote effective communication among its customers using all the possible means. Lately there have been decreased sales of mobile phones in the UK as the market reaches saturation level (Sagar, 2011). However, Vodafone has continued to attract new customers as well as to retain the existing one by sticking to uniqueness of its brands and developing new products to meet customers’ needs that are not yet met by the products that are already offered in the market (O’Neill & Madan, 2002). The company aims to increase its profit margin and revenue by raising its value on all its products and services.
The company has a long-term market strategy that focuses on how marketing mix can be used to increase the sales of the company. The marketing mix strategy as usual is represented by 4Ps which represent the product, place, price, and promotion.
Product refers to the benefits or features of a given service or good. Vodafone has provided its customers with products of different varieties to meet their needs. For instance, Vodafone mobile phones have features that enable customers to chat, receive and send pictures, play games, view and send video clips and messages, receive information concerning sport events and travel, among other services.
This refers to the place customers can buy the products of the company. Vodafone is committed to make sure that its products are easily accessible to all their customers by establishing stores in all the regions where it operates. Some products are also sold through independent retailers like Carphone Warehouse (Sagar, 2011). Customers are also encouraged to see and touch the products they are intending to buy with help of customer service assistants who answers all the questions that the customers may have about the products.
Price refers to the amount of money that customers are giving in exchange of goods and services. The company has different price structures to cater for customers in different market segments. It ensures that all customers both rich and the poor can access their products by developing products for various prices. For instance, the product Vodafone 150 was developed to suit mobile phone users in the developing countries who had to pay as little as $15 to own it (Sagar, 2011). In addition, there are several payment methods such as prepay services, monthly payment and online payment to suit different types of subscribers.
Promotion refers to the strategies that the company is using to publicize its products. The company has used celebrities like David Beckham to advertise its products. Other advertising strategies used include billboards, TV programs, magazines, special offers among others (Sagar, 2011).
Variation in strategies among the countries
The company employs different marketing strategies in different regions depending with the nature of the market segment. For instances, low prices are used in developing countries where customers may not be able to buy expensive products (O’neill & Madan, 2011). On the other hand, promotion strategies are used in highly competitive market like in UK to retain their customers. In additions different products have features that are in line with the level of technology development in a given country.
Vodafone is an international telecommunication company that operates in more than fifty countries. The company operates in different lines such as internet and network provision, mobile phone products, money transfer services among others. Vodafone has used market-mix as one of its marketing strategies to reach diverse customers who are distributed in different parts of the world. In addition, the company has also been able to distinguish its brands in the market despite increased competition in the telecommunication market.
Company Spotlight: Vodafone Group Plc, (2010). Market Watch: Global Round-up, 9(5), 255-262.
Harris, J., (2011). What a Kenyan financial company can teach our banks. Backbone, 19.
O'Neill, A. & Madan, A., (2002). Vodafone: A Recovery in Two Parts. White Book - Vodafone: A Recovery in Two Parts, Preceding 1-17.
Sagar, T., (2011). Vodafone's ZooZoo Campaign: Brand Communication Strategies. IUP Journal of Brand Management, 8(2), 61-82.