Clever & cost-effective marketing..
How budget smartphone brands are ruling the low-cost marketing game
How budget smartphone brands are ruling the lowcost marketing game
What do you do when you enter into a new market that is dominated by billion-dollar giants with cult fans in every part of the world? How do you begin to get customers to know about your brand when every premium advertising channel is not just way beyond your budget but is also being ruled by the leaders of the industry? To most new and fledgling entrants of any such market, chances of making it big will not only seem slim but next to impossible. There is, however, one breed of innovators that has proved that dominance comes not with years, dollars or backing but with creativity and some really clever marketing techniques. And here we are talking of budget smartphone makers who have taken the Indian industry by storm!
Brands selling low-cost, specification-packed, glitzy looking net-enabled handsets have altered the paradigm of not just the smartphone market of the country but of the game of marketing itself. While earlier a top corporate honcho would cringe at the thought of being seen with anything less than an Apple or a flagship Samsung device, today it’s become cool to be seen with a blazing fast OnePlus Two or a power-packed Nexus smartphone.
So how exactly have these relatively smaller players managed to crack the market in such a way that their products have become the most coveted in an industry that was hitherto hegemonized by a few big names.
TAKING THE ONLINE ROUTE
It’s true that a Xiaomi, a Lenovo, a Le or a Huawei don’t have the marketing budgets that their giant competitors can boast of. Yet, they have managed to create enough excitement around the processors, operating software, cameras and apps they offer to make everyone so gung-ho about them! First and foremost, these shrewd players have fully tapped into the power of the online medium. By selling their products only virtually, they have saved tremendously on showroom costs typically associated with physical retail.
HEY LOOK! ANOTHER FLASH SALE!
Next and most importantly, many of them have embraced the route of flash sales building up excitement around the supposed exclusivity of their phones. The logic is simple: You tell someone that there is something exceptional out there but they can’t have it very easily and that’s when they’ll want it the most! Budget smartphone makers have taken exemplary advantage of this basic human tendency and spun it around in their favour in the most legendary of ways. Marketing gurus have named this tactic as “hunger marketing” and it has worked like pure magic for the manufacturers of budget smartphones.
WHEN ONLINE PLAYERS BECOME ADVOCATES
The high reach and popularity of their online selling partners have acted as the perfect prelaunch marketing platforms hyping up the product before it’s even hit the market. The online marketplace invites its regular customers who may have come to the site to browse through other phones to check out something unsurpassed that is coming to them soon. With one prominent banner, it tells them to pre-book a device that offers a 5.5-inch IPS capacitive touchscreen, a 1.7 GHz processor, Android 5.1 Lollipop, internal memory of 16 GB, a 2GB RAM, a 13MP main camera, a 5MP front-snapper with an over 3,000mAh battery, all under `10k! The mere spelling out of what all the phone sports and one’s favourite online retailer advising them to grab it pronto have often proved to be the only marketing strategies that some of these brands have needed.
TAPPING THE CLOUT OF SOCIAL & ONLINE MEDIA
Once the phone is launched, interesting but low-cost engagements via social and online media have been the go-to strategy for these players. Associations with bloggers, fan meets, virtual meet-ups, contests on Facebook, giveaways, YouTube videos, widespread reviews by Vloggers are some of the other tactics that have been rampantly employed by the budget smartphone brands to make their products and their stellar qualities stand out. Many have cut the clutter by creating cool videos that emphasise the differentiating aspects of their devices and used social channels like YouTube, Instagram and Twitter to get them to their target markets.
The tech-obsessed customers and the early adopters of smart technology that these brands target not only begin to love the specs that some of these devices boast of but find even the marketing strategies very appealing. The brands become something the customers identify with. They come across as young, cool, value-for-money and truly exceptional in terms of performance and looks.
The discerning, smart Indian consumer is always sniffing out value buys that aren’t just competitively priced but are also in synchrony with their idea of being ahead of the curve. And by being slick, tech savvy and truly innovative in their ways of creating excitement in the market, these brands have won over the space and the hearts and rupees of their target customers in the most applaud-worthy of ways!
Smart Indian consumer is always sniffing out value buys that aren’t just competitively priced but are also in synchrony with their idea of being ahead of the curve