MTC touch is one of two mobile operators in Lebanon currently with more than 2 million subscribers. Since 2002 the mobile telecom sector is owned by the government and operated by 3rd party firms, thus MTC Touch is no anomaly, it is owned by the government and managed by Zain Group.
As for competition MTC Touch is competing with its Rival Alfa the second mobile operator.
MTC Touch mission
Clearly defined missions can be managed better, to help assess MTC Touch business mission we will follow the four main points: Purpose, Strategy, Behaviors and Value (Campel & Yueng, 1991)
MTC Touch is committed to excellence and clearly states that Enhancing people’s lifestyle is one of its top missions through application and maintenance of Quality management system that is ISO compliant (Touch, n.d.)
MTC Touch is embracing every opportunity to improve and optimize its products and services and be an active contributor to the community (Touch, n.d.)
MTC Touch is betting on its high level of professionalism and internal coordination by providing a special place to work (Touch, n.d.)
MTC Touch believes in adding value to its Stakeholders and its customers through continuous innovation, performance and quality
MTC Touch Marketing
Lebanon was notorious for its slow internet, In Late 2011 MTC Touch launched its 3.9G network and offered five new data packages, ranging from 10$ to 99$, and three new blackberry services, ranging from 1.5$ to 4.5$ a week, urged by market forces to develop variety of marketing mixes (Borden, 1964) .
MTC Touch operates domestically in a Business to Consumer marketing fashion; it is worth looking at the Market Orientation and its evolution within MTC Touch, and assess the main components: customer orientation, competitor orientation and inter functional coordination (Stanley & Narver, 1994).
To accommodate to its customer value chain which is evolving with time and to create superior value for its customers MTC Touch was urged to continuously improve current services and launch new services.
By knowing its rival Alfa short-term weakness, which was in the process of launching 3G, and with the launch of more advanced and latest 3.9G technology, MTC Touch demonstrated well developed competitor orientation practices.
MTC Touch knew that for successful release of the new products they have to build a swat team to coordinate internally which demonstrated strong focus on inter-functional coordination demonstrated by the launch of its products in sync with network upgrade, marketing campaign and distribution facilities.
It is clear that the market orientation is serving the global strategy goal declared in MTC touch mission, This gives us how close to the customer they aim to be and how effective they are in responding to market changes (Baines, et al., 2011).
Effective marketing strategy requires homogeneous segmentation of market in response to market heterogeneity, understanding the needs and providing the right products (Baker & Hart, 2008). The following illustrates the segmentation and different factors known as the marketing environment affecting the MTC Touch marketing mix.
The Marketing Environment
Factors that affect the marketing mix are known as the marketing forces, this section will shed the light on those factors that affected MTC Touch marketing mix, in a differentiated marketing approach.
The Socio-cultural environment pushed MTC Touch to release variety of products for business users, teenagers, light and heavy users, as failing to adapt to such changes through changes in products mix will ultimately have bad impact on companies (Baines, et al., 2011) , it is always good to understand the variation in income in individuals’ life time and its influence on buying trends (MarketingTeam, n.d.).
The economical environment which has direct impact on consumer behaviors (Borden, 1964) where it identifies how much people can spend buying products, urged MTC Touch to release products at different prices.
The Technological environment which is shifting more towards mail and web based marketing in current technology evolution era (Sclater, 2005) was demonstrated through MTC Touch advertisements utilizing Facebook, websites, tweeter and YouTube.
The Legal and governmental environment in Lebanon of which companies have to follow strict regulations over pricing, promotions and advertising (Borden, 1964), The Dilemma here was to attack rivals network and products given that direct comparison is banned.
The industrial environment represented by realizing the size, strength, motivations and attitudes of direct competitor (Borden, 1964) ,which is ALFA this case, as a result MTC touch rushed to upgrade its network and responded to the pressure of booming Smartphones and the incredibly data hungry applications to satisfy its customers.
The Ecological environment puts more pressure caused by Government and MTC Touch being committed to be eco-friendly, as consumers are becoming more worried about the impact of products on the environment (Baines, et al., 2011);MTC touch green success comes in the form of replacing obsolete generators and use eco friendly ones to reduce pollution and also demonstrated by the launch of several green services such as ATM recharge, online recharge, credit transfer, bill e-pay and online provisioning (Touch, n.d.).
Apart from external factors listed above another forces affected the marketing mix which are related to consumer behaviors.
The consumer behavior factors of which we consider, the individual part where customers are in need for high speed internet to stay connected to work and social hubs in a world of smartphones, Roamers are in need and looking for high speed internet services that match with to their home countries, MTC Touch was missing huge amount of unidentified revenue, the sociological part presented through the influence of other consumers either friends or family members that are already aware of such products such as inbound Roamers (Baker & Hart, 2008)
This section will examine the segmentation procedures used by MTC Touch which were based on profile, behavioral and psychological criteria, good segmentation identify the groups that are worth looking at, the underserved and the dissatisfied (Yankelovich & Meer, 2006).
Behavioral based on consumer’s usage of mobile internet, social, functionality and people being so attracted to technology
Profile based on demographics such as age, income, occupation and education
Psychological based on consumers’ interest, personality and their lifestyles.
MTC Touch launched products targeting roamers and extensive consumption customers as marketing today is becoming more focused on smaller but profitable segments in a way to be more efficient and effective (Duncan, 2002).
The Marketing Mix
Marketing is a key management discipline (Marketing, n.d.) In which MTC Touch considers it as a philosophy for reaching new customers by offering different marketing mix to different segments, and to be a successful one it should have the four rights: product, place, time and price (Marketing, n.d.).
Through this product mix offerings MTC Touch tried to enhance customer perception by maximizing the customer benefit of their offerings (Borden, 1964) , they were able to reach new business segment through their blackberry products, this launch was coupled with several intangible services such as Credit Transfer, online provisioning and free mobile app to manage and monitor usage
By launching different products, MTC touch tried to target different market segments business and personal, they even launched same product in different prices but different consumption cap, which enabled them to reach both low and high income market segments.
To promote their new products, MTC Touch covered different aspects advertisement, PR and branding where it made use of TV, Radio, website, creating weekly episodes to maintain online hype and interaction and billboards (Lynx, 2012).in conjunction with the launch MTC Touch had plenty of offers such as free prepaid to postpaid switch, Free night data usage, 40% discount on night voice calls and all day on Sunday.
The “Bati2” campaign, in English (too slow), won the first prize in Dubai international advertisement festival, MTC Touch challenge due to regulations was to communicate to customers that the new 3.9G network is faster than the rivals 3G network and the solution was ‘speedy and amigo’ with a mission to find anything faster than 3.9G. Results were instantaneous, “Bati2” was everywhere in tweets, jokes, comments on sports, politics and the latest news, on facebook, it was even on popular TV programs. As a result MTC Touch added over 200 000 new subscriptions within 6 weeks (Lynx, 2012)
MTC Touch reaches everyone anywhere, recharge cards available in MTC Touch retail stores, market Shops, Fuel Stations, Mobile outlets, online charging is also another option, ATM recharge and even Credit transfer between MTC Touch customers.
Aligning their branding strategy with packaging, MTC Touch stresses on the “High Speed” message, all recharge cards comes out with ‘Speedy and Amigo’ on the cover
MTC Touch fell short in this area, They didn’t have the competitive edge in both presales and post sales support, appropriate training was not provided for call center employees, there is no process defined for submitting a support ticket, The Retail employees don’t have enough information about the released products and were not a help to customers to best select the product that fits
Evolution of influencing Forces
We are living in a dynamic world with continuous changes of behaviors, of which the successful firm has to adapt to those changes and shall predict consumers and competitors responses to its products, a firm that is always seeking opportunities and creating them, a firm that has foresight and observing market signals whether they are natural, economical, social, industrial or technological (Borden, 1964).
The marketing mix is nothing but a solution to a problem at a given time and should never be constant or fixed, markets evolve and become more challenging, marketing mix should be as well in continuous motion responding to markets, to consumers, to competitors and to other external forces (Borden, 1964).
MTC Touch and influencing Forces
The economical factor; Lebanon is passing through difficult times and the mobile rates are still highest if compared to the region despite the current reduction in prices. Further reduction in prices may be faced with legal constraints from the government.
The Technological factor; in the era of social media where people posting their bad perception of products online and in reach of everyone,
The Legal, governmental and political factor; changing prices is limited by government, political issues continue to evolve in Lebanon and the whole region which will have impact as Leading political parties will always aim to have more control on the telecommunication sector through changing the management team , thus impacting the whole firm strategy. The government is planning to release a third license in Lebanon ,as a result this will redistribute the market share, another negative note would be low prices offered by the new entrant as it will be given a grace period in terms of offers and prices.
The industrial factor; Telecom sector is dynamically evolving and today’s technology could be obsolete by tomorrow, MTC Touch rival is in plan to upgrade their network to 3.9G by then MTC Touch will lose their technological edge, Data usage is surging due to the introduction of smartphones.
Consumer behaviors are rapidly changing, high speed internet and being socially connected is becoming more a need not a demand, and Consumers are looking for services that fit their needs.
Response to Changes
MTC Touch should always be creative and innovative in terms of developing and adjusting its marketing mix, should follow the trend and respond to its customers by always being up-to-date in terms of technologies and offered products, should always target the underserved consumers by offering new products or by adapting its current marketing mix.
MTC Touch should have more focus on Relationship marketing with consumers and distributors to increase their sense of loyalty, to engage consumers in developing or adjusting products; more focus on integrated marketing through communicating with consumers, try to answer their questions, get their feedback; more focus on Internal marketing through aligning the vision with stakeholders and employees, giving them sense of involvement.
Marketing research is the process of gathering, analyzing and communicating information to provide the business with insight to assist taking marketing decision for future activities to successfully satisfy consumers’ through understanding their needs, motivations and ambitions (Baines, et al., 2011).
Marketing research methodology process consists of different stages with a continuous feedback loops to help go back and assess work done or take corrective actions (MarketingTeam, n.d.).
The process starts with defining a problem or an opportunity where the precise definition will aid shaping the market research objectives through better understanding of the needed information. Possible triggers are market conditions, competitor actions, market share or consumer behaviors.
Research Approach development, decides how to proceed with the activities, what data is needed and how to collect it, how to coordinate internally or with the researcher to make the research more comprehensive.
Research design development, selects the research method to be followed whether it is descriptive, exploratory or casual research, this stage also decides the selection of research agency, whether to go in-house or outsource.
Data Collection and sampling, Data sources can be secondary or primary data and will be collected based on selected research method, this may include observational, Qualitative or Quantitative method, while Survey Methods can take any of the following forms: by telephone, interviews or by email (Malhotra & Peterson, 2001).
Analysis and presentation, analysis will be performed Depending on the nature of collected data and collection method used (Baines, et al., 2011)
Reporting, this step is as important as the whole process as it is the communication method to convey the research message in a well interpreted and understandable format to decision taking people.
Market Research in MTC Touch
Marketing research in MTC Touch is triggered either by identifying a problem or an opportunity.
MTC Touch utilizes two sources for marketing research activities, Internal marketing department or consultancy research Agents depending on the identified issue. Outsourced activities fall under the research agency responsibility with MTC Touch being a support.
Case Study 1: Mobile market penetration is low (53%)
MTC Touch in collaboration with Lebanese ministry of telecommunications (MoT) which is the owner of the telecom sector in Lebanon noticed that the market penetration is as low as 53 % end of 2008; they triggered a marketing research to address the problem and identify possible solutions (TRA, n.d.).
Mobile market penetration is low at 53%, while neighboring countries are enjoying 100+% mobile penetrations
The research aimed at understanding the behaviors of customers, the market structure, challenges and drivers. The research covered different categories such as mobile, internet and data. The main purpose was to shed light on issues such as penetration, usage habits, improvements and needs.
Research was conducted by a consultancy market research firm which included surveys in face to face meetings and interviews fashion, with residential customers, corporate customers in a way to cover representative quotas for age, gender and socio-economic classes and different business sectors covering all Lebanese counties, also concluded interviews with providers covering topics like: objectives, plans, service offerings and regulatory implications.
The data collected showed that 47% of the target group is non-mobile users and the reasons were either they don’t need a mobile, evident among old people (55-64), or because of expensive call rates. Other issues were highlighted such as the short validity of prepaid cards, Very low awareness of value added services and calling rates among customers.
As for areas of improvement the results came as follows, 89% of respondents were willing for reduction in costs whilst 43% for better service (TRA, n.d.).
Main problem was related to product, price, promotion and customer satisfaction.
Recommendations and Actions:
Focusing on the research finding and recommendations, MoT in collaboration with MTC Touch decided to undertake a 40% discount on all calls in offpeak hours, introduced new prepaid cards at new rates and different validity time where cost of ownership is 55% cheaper and new packages are 27% cheaper than active packages, new recharge vouchers at different validity time, new SIM cards and codes, New postpaid cards at new rates up to 36% discount on local calls and 20% on local sms, discounted rates on international sms and calls up to 20%.Introduce new friends & family plans at a 40% discount for two selected numbers.
Apart from above recommendations, the research mentioned several service improvements and customer satisfaction recommendations. Things like permitting subscribers to recharge during validity period, Provide extensive training to employees, Point of Sale (PoS) and customer care centers to support new offerings, Enhance distribution agreements to expedite promotion of new offerings and launch marketing campaign to raise customers awareness for all new products.
Post execution results as of December 2011; shared by MoT and MTC Touch, showed tremendous success, a 28% increase in mobile penetration, increase in revenues as reported by ministry of telecommunication and increase in customer satisfaction, mtc touch maintained its leadership position at 59% market share.
The case study illustrates marketing research approach with MTC Touch and how it influence decisions related to marketing mix for new offerings.
The study shows that the problem was related to Product, Price and promotion in specific, communication and awareness.
The research started by defining the problem and then selecting best approach to tackle it and prepare the right mix. It gives evidence that a well designed market research addressing root cause of the problem will achieve splendid results; it shows how the segmentation of the problem helped to tackle it in different ways.
Market Research Improvement
The technology evolution and the globalization of markets introduced firms to new markets and new ways of conducting market research, information being available and in reach of customers urges the management to the need of hearing consumers, better understand their needs, ambitions and behaviors, thus marketing research became the mean to link management and consumers (Malhotra & Peterson, 2001).
Technology enhanced the effectiveness and efficiency of market research and led to increase dependency on it, The availability of huge data warehousing enhanced it through computer assisted techniques, The availability of industry and government research reports made it much easier to acquire information, The ability to save huge number of transactions increased the accuracy and The availability of internet and its nature being available to everyone and the amount of information reachable made execution faster, easier and at lower costs. (Malhotra & Peterson, 2001)
To improve its Market research and marketing mix, MTC Touch should be more active in the social media domain, as social sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are available to everyone, MTC Touch should listen to what customers say, understand their needs and behaviors and perceive feedback on its new products.
MTC Touch should be more involved in analytical analysis methods, as Data often lends itself to statistical analyses to extract as much information as possible (Emblemsvåg, 2005). The huge amount of data they possess including customers’ usage records, network trends and customer behaviors, the amount of tools they have to monitor customer experience and network performance, All this can play an important role in engaging customers passively in their market research, can help them understand the effect of all factors on the marketing mix and measure its efficiency to help model new marketing mix. They can use such data to find patterns, behaviors and correlations and use such correlations to optimize the marketing mix.
The post The Mtc Touch Mission Marketing Essay appeared first on mynursinghomeworks.