Maximum Satisfaction for Subscribers Leads to Rapid and Sustained Growth for MegaFon
MegaFon Ural is part of the MegaFon group. One of the leading mobile phone carriers in Russia, MegaFon was founded in May 2002, and now has about 37 million subscribers.
Part of MegaFon’s mega-success is its consumer-first focus, based on its declared goal of maximum satisfaction for its subscribers and the principle of information transparency.
MegaFon makes use of advanced technologies to provide both individual and corporate subscribers with new possibilities for communication.
MegaFon works with Incore, which puts relations between mobile operators and content providers into efficient technological business patterns, providing mobile users with customized and innovative value-added services (VAS).
Incore supplies clients with a full range of services for the integration of mobile operators and content providers in the Russian VAS market, including Content Provider Access, Content Management and Aggregation. Incore plays an important role in the shaping of ringback tone marketing policy: branding, communication plan and more.
The Need: To Propel the New Ringback Tone Service to Substantial Success
Having undertaken careful market research, MegaFon decided to launch ringback tone service. The carrier appreciated that ringback tone service has enormous potential — a key question was how to realize and maximize that potential.
Ringback tones, they correctly understood, could become a great success if introduced and promoted properly, otherwise the service might win only mediocre penetration and usage.
MegaFon and Incore identified a need: to launch and promote the new ringback tone service in a way that would propel it to massive success.
The Challenge: To Apply Best Practices from Around the World to Gain Competitive Advantage by Rapidly Attaining Critical Mass
It is not necessarily a daunting challenge to merely launch a new service. Operators do so all the time. However, frequently, new services perform as underachievers.
The challenge taken up by MegaFon and Incore was not just to offer a new service, but to present and position it effectively. In order to launch and promote their new ringback tone service in a way that would make it one of the most successful launches of the product on record, it was necessary to assess and benefit from the collected expertise and experience of others.
Ringback tones have a viral aspect that can be leveraged for great revenue potential. However, realizing this potential requires attaining a critical mass of users to trigger and generate the viral marketing effect. Megafon Ural and Incore sought the most effective marketing technique to facilitate the rapid achievement of critical mass.
The Solution: Comverse Fun Dial Ringback Tone Solution and Marketing Expertise
MegaFon and Incore chose Comverse Fun Dial Ringback Tone Solution for its superior architecture, marketing expertise and know-how.
Why Selected: Technical Excellence and Beyond
MegaFon and Incore determined that from a technical standpoint, Comverse Fun Dial was the best solution on the market for them, with a globally proven robust end-to-end operating environment, rich feature set, real-time statistics, reports, billing, consumer behavior analysis and more.
The technical excellence of the solution was only part of the reason that MegaFon and Incore selected Comverse. MegaFon was also interested in gaining Comverse as a solution partner, which benefited MegaFon with a treasury of shared knowledge and marketing support. With more than 55 Fun Dial customers around the world, by far the world leader, Comverse had amassed a considerable amount of knowledge regarding what makes the ringback tone service a success.
Comverse marketing recommendations draw from and are supported by numerous case studies and extensive marketing research. MegaFon and Incore were able to utilize this information to help make the decisions that they felt would be most relevant and effective in their market.
The Results: Exemplary Launch, Remarkable Results
Megafon Ural launched the service in March 2007 with a free trial offering, allowing users to register to the service with no monthly charge for the two first months. This was promoted in mass-media channels such as billboards and radio, as well as in non-mass media channels such as SMS campaigns. This free trial massive promotion significantly increased service awareness and as a result, service reached a high penetration of 8% within only two months after launch.
By mid-2007 the service was already deemed a great success. Megafon Ural was motivated to further increase service penetration and revenues, expand the critical mass of users, and increase service awareness among new subscribers. As a result, in September 2007 Incore and Megafon successfully implemented a marketing technique known as Gradual Activation, recommended by Comverse marketing experts.
Gradual Activation is an effective marketing technique in which every new subscriber joining Megafon Ural’s network is automatically activated to the Pri:)Call service (the local brand name for Fun Dial) with a default tune for free for one month. This is reinforced and promoted mainly through USSD and in Megafon’s many points of sale.
This marketing activity significantly increased service awareness, penetration and user satisfaction!
Gradual Activation has proven an immediate success:
- The subscriber base increased by 115% during the first three months of the initiative
- 50% of the activated users retain the service after the end of the free trial period, significantly increasing Megafon revenues from monthly fees
In the words of Incore CMO Mr. Dmitriy Luchkin, “The service is a resounding success. Ringback tones have really resonated with our customers, who enjoy fun, music, variety and the ability to express themselves. Gradual Activation of new users is a fantastic way to continuously increase service penetration and revenues while attaining and maintaining high customer satisfaction.”
As a result of the substantial increase in Fun Dial penetration and revenues in Ural, Megafon and Incore are planning to implement the Gradual Activation technique in other Megafon regions as well.
Example of an Incore Pri:) call promotion: