Clever & cost-ef­fec­tive mar­ket­ing..

How bud­get smart­phone brands are rul­ing the low-cost mar­ket­ing game

DQ Channels - - Channel pulse - Au­thored by URVESH GOEL CEO, Sy­ber­place

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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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