Business report

Introduction

Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC) launched the Virgin Mobile brand in the UAE. Virgin Mobile UAE is the first company in the UAE offering fully digital mobile service. It involves operating exclusively through a mobile app. The company offers a mobile app that is designed in a digital manner to simplify the life. Du and Etisalat are the competitors of Virgin Mobile UAE since they are the only telecom operators that have been licensed in the country. Investors believe that the company has added a competition layer that will enhance service provision in the country. To ensure that it accumulates profits, the company has considered various marketing approach including differentiation, customer centricity, product differentiation, and going digital exclusively giving it a competitive advantage. In the next three years the company should expand its customer base, develop features that can solve all possible mobile problems, and develop features that will reduce the procedure of signing up. Through the objectives, it will be able to build loyalty with youth, tourists, and high end user segments. Marketing tools such as marketing mix and social media are useful in positioning a brand in a competitive industry.

The current Market position of Virgin Mobile UAE

Introduction of new product

Virgin telecom UAE introduced a new product in a new market as part of the marketing strategy. The company offers a new mobile app in UAE with a purpose of providing flexibility and convenience for consumers. The digital service seeks to shape the future of mobiles. The new product involves downloading the App, choosing a number, selecting a plan, and then SIM is delivered to the customer. This means that customer need not visit mobile stores. Introducing new product in a new market is in line with marketing models specifically, Ansoff Matrix. The marketing planning model is useful to businesses in determining the growth of market and product. The matrix suggests that businesses can grow depending on whether they market existing or new products in existing or new markets. Ansoff Matrix suggests various growth strategies setting business strategy direction. It suggests market penetration, development, product development, and diversification. For the Virgin Mobile UAE, it considered diversification as a growth strategy. According to Ansoff Matrix, diversification involves a growth strategy where businesses market a new product in a new market (CIMA, 2014, pp.2). Virgin Mobile UAE introduced a new mobile App in UAE a new market making it the first company in the country to go exclusively digital. The key benefit of diversification is reducing the risk of losing capital to the investment portfolio. Virgin Mobile seeks to reduce the risk through the marketing strategy.

Offering unique product

Virgin Mobile UAE offers a unique product that is different from competitors. The product is unique in that unlike competitors, customers are not required to visit physical mobile stores. Customers are able to choose their phone number, personalize their mobile plan, and have their SIM card delivered to their doorstep within an hour no matter where they are. All this is done through the in-house app. The product is also unique in that customers can edit their mobile package monthly to suit their individual needs. To pay for the mobile package, one just needs to use their credit card and state whether one is a resident or a visitor. This makes it convenient for residents and non-residents. This is unlike competitors who require Emirates identification for a customer to acquire a mobile plan.

If a customer plans to travel abroad, there is an option of pausing the plan until one is back in the country. This is unlike competitors who require payment of even the unused services. On the other hand, one can customize the roaming package by choosing the country one is visiting. What is more unique is that the package only starts when a customer starts using the service. These unique features lead to a unique product. Having a unique product is a form of product differentiation, a marketing concept that involves distinguishing one product from others (Dirisu, 2013, pp.260). This aims at making a product more attractive to the target population. Product differentiation distinguishes a product from competitors’ products. Chamberlin Edward proposed the marketing concept through the Monopolistic Competition Theory inn 1933. Product differentiation gives companies a competitive advantage. Throughout product differentiation, Virgin Mobile UAE creates a value sense. This promotes the product in the country.

Going exclusively digital

Virgin Mobile UAE offers a more digital service that is first in the country to go exclusively digital. The uniqueness of the product increases the potential for growing profits. Porter’s framework of the five forces determines the profitability of a market. A market is attractive if it increases profits in general. The five forces determine the ability of a company to make profits. Looking at the five forces, Virgin Mobile UAE has a competitive advantage. On threat of new entrants, the company uses the advanced technology and this serves as a challenge for most upcoming companies. So far there is no substitute for the service offered by the company reducing market competition. Buyers power in currently low since there are no alternatives to the product in the country. On suppliers power, Virgin Mobile has operated in other countries prior to establishing its presence in the UAE and therefore has enough information on where and how to effectively acquire resources. When it comes to market rivalry, Virgin Mobile UAE offers a unique product that customers can easily distinguish from competitors’ products (Omsa et al., 2017, pp.10). This makes it easy to overcome the competition. Application of the advanced technology gives the company a competitive advantage.

Customer centricity

Virgin Mobile UAE uses a customer-centric approach as a marketing strategy. The company ensures that customers enjoy the flexibility and total control. Through the app, customers are able to manage the mobile life in an easy approach. It allows customers to tract their data usage in real-time. It gives customers an advantage of not queuing in mobile stores. It allows customers to view their recent payments and bills, and update their account details. The features of the app, focus on promoting customer experience. Customer centricity is a marketing concept that makes customers the centre of interest rather than the product. The needs, wishes, and expectations of the customers act as the starting point. Through a market research, the team of the Virgin Mobile realized that people in the UAE prefer an individual personalized number. With this information, the company decided to offer a feature that gives customers ability to select their mobile numbers. Customers do need to fill out papers, they just need to find their preferred numbers through the app. Through customer-centricity, Virgin Mobile UAE seeks to improve customer experience, promotion, and most of all loyalty (Jirinova & Kolis, 2013, pp.522). In addition, Virgin Mobile UAE uses social media to market its product. It also has a differentiated staff that helps in distributing the product to the customers.

Marketing Objectives over the next 3-year period

Objective 1: To reach a wider population.

Virgin Mobile UAE has managed to offer a product that is based on experience and unique in the market. The fact that the company is exclusively digital makes it attractive especially to the target population. Many people are using the app since it is convenient and promotes flexibility. Virgin Mobile UAE has already attracted customer especially in the areas it has concentrated on including Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and Dubai (Virgin Mobile UAE, 2018, p.3). Therefore in the next three years, the company should ensure that it reaches a wider population in the country. The fact that the service offered is performing well in Dubai, Sharjah, and Abu Dhabi means that even other places in the UAE have potential customers. Therefore, the company should take advantage of the large population of the youth across the country to market the service. Youths in any place have common needs especially in the digital era. They prefer a technology that will make their life easy. Youths are looking forward to a flexible digital solution, the focus of Virgin Mobile UAE. The company should therefore aim at widening the customer base for improved profits.

Objective 2: To develop features for the app that can solve all problems.

The second objective for Virgin Mobile UAE to pursue over the next three years is to develop features for the app that can solve all possible problems. Etisalat which focuses on youth in providing mobile services is likely to react to the competition by embracing the advancing technology to offer digital services. To avoid direct competition with the competitor, Virgin Mobile UAE needs to invest more in technology and innovation to ensure it stays a step ahead of rivals in the market. For example, the customer has a physical infrastructure where customers can seek assistance (Virgin Mobile UAE, 2018, p.2). This means that there are some problems that cannot be solved through the app. As Gap analysis model suggests, the company should analyse this gap and through innovation ensure that customers can use the app to solve all the possible problems reducing time wastage in queuing for services in mobile stores.

Objective 3: To develop features that reduce time used in signing up to use the app.

The third objective to pursue in the next three years focuses on ensuring that customers take a shorter time in using the app. Currently, customers need to download the app and register with a Facebook account, Google account, or with an email. Then one receives an email for verification of an email address and to create a password. Then several other steps follow for choosing the mobile number. Then the customer has to produce a credit card for details to be able to complete the procedure of signing up (Virgin Mobile UAE, 2018, p.3). This seems like a long procedure which can prevent potential customers from completing it. To ensure that the company does not lose the potential customers because of the long process, it should adapt the advancing technology to shorten the procedure and still ensure customer’s data is safe. The three objectives will ensure that Virgin Mobile UAE remains competitive in the very competitive market. This is taking the considerations that other companies are eying the potential market that is characterized by a large youth population in need of digital solutions.

Developing loyalty to target segments

Youth segment

Various target segments are useful in promoting a company’s growth. Through the three objectives Virgin Mobile UAE will be able to develop loyalty with the youth segment by reaching more youths in the country and enabling them to use the digital app. Youths will see that their needs are being taken care of. This is the first step to building their loyalty. Youths are loyal to brands that are more innovative. Considering that the app is digital-based, the youths will be attracted to it promoting brand loyalty. The segment believes in technology. Therefore having a brand that supports what they believe in promotes brand support. Through the digital platforms, the app, an opportunity for self-expression and individuality is provided. This also tends to be attractive to the youths. The element of individuality is a key driver of brand loyalty for the segment.

The second objective that involves developing features for the app that can solve all possible problems means introducing a new product and in this case an innovative one. These elements tend to attract the youth and build their brand loyalty. Youths are always informed and keep on looking forward to what is trending. To promote loyalty from the segment, Virgin Mobile UAE needs to stay ahead of the trend (Virgin Mobile UAE, 2018, p.5). Ensuring that through the app, all possible problems can be solved is staying ahead of trends. This will therefore be attractive to the segment and eventually help in building their loyalty. The third objective of ensuring that customers take a shorter time in using the app will also help in promoting the segment’s loyalty to the brand. The youth segment is always in a hurry and prefers spending less time in signing up. Long procedures tend to turn them off. Therefore, shortening the procedure time will definitely attract them to the service and finally build brand loyalty.

Tourists segment

The UAE is a tourism destination and tourism sector contributes significantly to economic growth. By improving the digital services, Virgin Mobile UAE will be able to attract tourists. Considering that the company has a global identity and a strong brand legacy, it can easily attract tourists in the country and develop loyalty with the customers. Develop features for the app that can solve all possible problems will enable tourists to use the app easily without looking for time to visit physical offices for assistance. This will ensure that they spend their time touring the country instead of queuing for mobile services. Such a service will help in attracting them and eventually building brand loyalty with them.This is enhanced by the fact that the company involves no contracts and therefore leaving is as easy as an entry (Virgin Mobile UAE, 2018, p.5). Ensuring that signing up procedure is shorter over the next three years will definitely be attractive to a tourist whose desire is to spend more time exploring the destination. Achieving the objective will help the country to attract the majority of the tourists in the country and this will help in retaining them. Ultimately, the company will build loyalty with the consumers.

High end consumer segment

Developing features for the app that can solve all possible problems means that the product will be unique in the market. This will enable Virgin Mobile UAE to offer premium items that the segment prefers over mainstream items. Since the company focuses on customer centricity, it will provide a unique product that promotes customer satisfaction making the segment to own up the product. Offering a high-quality app comes with an enhanced user experience for the target segment. Developing features in the app that reduces time spent by the segment on signing up will attract them since they prefer spending time on activities that ass value to their life. The fact that the company is exclusively digital already serves as a source of attraction of the segment (Mobile UAE, 2018, p.4). Therefore, improving the service to offer the best quality will attract the consumers and help the company to build loyalty with the high end consumer segment.

Use of marketing tools to position brand in a competitive industry

Use of marketing mix

Analysing the 7P’s of marketing mix helps in positioning a brand in a competitive industry. When it comes to product, making sure that the product is in line with the market demand puts a business ahead of the competition. The key thing is to ensure that the product offers the best solution at the right time. The second P is the price. To remain relevant in a competitive industry, it is important to ensure that the price is in line with the marketplace realities. Being flexible on prices is important to remain competitive. Placing a product in an accessible manner to potential customers helps in positioning a brand. To remain competitive, it is important to promote and advertise a product in an effective way. This includes making necessary changes overtime to maintain a leading position in the market (Souar et al., 2015, pp.2). The fifth P is people. This involves prioritizing people involves in the business. This involves being customer centric and hiring the right people to be competitive. The sixth P is a process which involves having a system that maximizes value. This is essential in positioning a brand in a competitive market. Finally is physical evidence. This requires that businesses deliver customer satisfaction. Having a physical evidence is helpful in making a mark in a competitive industry.

Social media

Social media marketing tool helps in developing an interactive with customers and potential customers instead of relying on secretly mining customer data. Some examples of the marketing tool include networking, blogging, tweeting, bookmarking, and social media sites such as YouTube, Pinterest, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Through social media marketing tool, a business can learn what is working with consumers and learn where to make changes. This enables a business to remain competitive in an industry (Collins, 2015, p.2). Other tools that are useful in interacting with consumers which enable businesses to make necessary changes and hence positioning their brand in a competitive market are digital media search engine optimization, and mobile marketing, and traditional media such as magazines and newspapers.

Conclusion

Marketing tools are effective in positioning a brand in a competitive industry. Virgin Mobile UAE has been able to attract customers in the country through various marketing strategies including differentiation, customer centricity, product differentiation, and going digital exclusively giving it a competitive advantage. Although the company has succeeded since it was launched, other competitors are ready to embrace technology and have a direct competition with Virgin Mobile UAE. It is therefore important that in the next three years it achieves various objectives. These include expanding customer base by reaching more youths across the country, develop features that can solve all possible mobile problems instead of encouraging physical visits, and develop features that will reduce the procedure of signing up. By achieving these objectives, the company will be able to build loyalty with consumers from various segments including high end users, youths, and tourists. Businesses should utilize various marketing tools including marketing mix and social media to position their brand in the competitive industry. This will help in building customer loyalty and improve profits which is the aim of every investor.

References

Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) (2014). Ansoff’s Matrix, pp.1-2.

Collins, M. (2015). Top 5 Types of Tools Every Marketer Should Be Using to Improve Marketing Effectiveness. Huffington Post. Retrieved on 23 April 2018 from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/matthew-collis/top-5-types-of-tools-ever_1_b_7840902.html

Dirisu, J. (2013). Product Differentiation: A Tool of Competitive Advantage and Optimal Organizational Performance. European Scientific Journal, vol.9 No. 34, pp. 258-281.

Jirinova, K. & Kolis, K. (2013). Research of Customer-Centric Approach and Involvement of Customers into Innovation Process across Czech Smes. The 7th International Days of Statistics and Economics, Prague, September 19-21, 2013, pp.521-531.

Omsa, S., Abdullah, I. & Jamali, H. (2017). Five Competitive Forces Model and the Implementation of Porter’s Generic Strategies to Gain Firm Performances. Science Journal of Business and Management. Vol. 5, No. 1, 2017, pp. 9-16.

Souar, Y., Mahi, K., & Ameur, I. (2015). The Impact of Marketing Mix Elements on Customer Loyalty for an Algerian Telecommunication Company. Expert Journal of Marketing, vol.3 no.1. pp. 1-10.

Virgin Mobile UAE (2018). About Us. Retrieved on 23 April 2018 from https://www.virginmobile.ae/about-us/

Annexure

In writing the report various studies have been looked at including marketing models and concepts. The models have been utilized in examining the current market position of Virgin Mobile UAE. Various target segments have been studied. In addition marketing tools have also been studied in identifying how to use them to position a brand in a competitive industry. Journals, and company website have been used in the research to complete the assignment requirements. References (above) has the specific sources used to complete the assignment.