Sponsorship and the marketing mix
A Vodafone case study

Page 1: Introduction

Vodafone 9 Image 3Vodafone is the world’s largest mobile telecommunications community, employing over 65,000 staff and with over 130 million customers. The business operates in 26 countries worldwide. Vodafone is a public limited company with listings on the London and New York stock exchanges.

Global recognition of the Vodafone brand is growing as the company rolls out its identity into new markets. However, it retains local names and imagery in markets where this is essential to maintaining the trust of customers.

To help promote its image worldwide, Vodafone uses leading sports stars from high profile global sports, including David Beckham and Michael Schumacher. This Case Study concentrates on how such promotion can help to keep a leading brand at the forefront of public awareness.

The essentials of marketing

The world is a global market with few barriers, so Vodafone has to be highly visible as ‘the brand to buy’. Effective marketing is the key to this high visibility.

Marketing involves anticipating customers’ needs and finding the right product or service to meet those needs, thereby encouraging high sales levels. Vodafone goes further by looking to impress on its customers not merely what its products are i.e. features, but also what they can increasingly do i.e, benefits. This involves effective communication.

Vodafone 9 Diagram 1There is a slowdown in sales of mobile handsets, in some markets like the UK, as the mature part of the product lifecycle is reached. Customers are exposed to a barrage of different images and messages by mobile phone companies, as the competition gets tougher. Vodafone appeals to new customers and aims to keep its existing ones by emphasising the uniqueness of the brand. Vodafone’s aim is to grow its revenue and improve its profit margin by adding value to its products and services i.e. earning more from each product sold. The ‘Vodafone live!’ service enables customers to use picture messaging and to download polyphonic ring tones, colour games, images and information, through an icon-driven menu.

This service will soon be further enhanced by picture messaging libraries, video clips and video telephony (seeing the person you're calling) and improving download speeds. Another service is the Vodafone Mobile Connect Card, which enables customers to access their normal business applications on a laptop when out of the office. Such services add value to the product, and high profile effective promotion will help sell these services to existing and new customers.

Vodafone | Sponsorship and the marketing mix

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