Business & Management

Lame Marketing: Funsters And Their Economic Significance To Airtel

How do you think Airtel’s gearing up to propel forward in the ultra-competitive Indian telecom market? By “embarking on a significant shift in its marketing strategy” through “reorganizing users into different segments based on attitude, adoption of value added services, and revenues generated per user.” It seems Airtel had a one-size-fits-all demographic segmentation up to now. I think someone at Airtel stumbled upon one of Kotler’s books.

The new segmentation approach is not without its share of laughs. For example, if you happen to be a 18-35 year old who also happens to be an Airtel customer, do you know what you are being called? A Funster.

Airtel will focus most of its activities on a group they’ve defined as the “Funsters”, a group [comprising of] 18-35 year olds, but with a common trait; a high adoption of VAS (Value Added Services). This group accounts for VAS spends of Rs 100 per month and Airtel thinks with some targeted marketing it can be pushed to Rs 250.

I fall in the 18-35 year old group and I also happen to be an Airtel customer. Guess I am one of those Funsters. If you’re reading this and you too happen to be a Funster, drop a comment. Let’s form a social network for Funsters.

This group [the Funsters] constitutes nearly a third of Airtel’s user base of 40 million customers.

So we Funsters are apparently going to add: 13 million Funsters x Rs. 150 per month = Rs. 1,950 million per month to Airtel’s kitty. Hey, who said that Funsters can’t be an economic force a to reckon with?

Finally, from their segmentation research, Airtel has identified music on demand as a key value proposition since a lot of users are on the move. Airtel will offer subscription to 30 minutes of music for Rs. 30, which users can download and listen for a month.

Is that a Value Added Service or Value Added Crap? But we Funsters will blindly consume anything right?

Note: The only Value Added Service I use is SMS and, unfortunately for Airtel, my plan comes with 200 of those free every month and I make sure that I never cross that limit.


Airtel to express itself from four platforms

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