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Sponsorship and the marketing mix
Introduction
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Vodafone 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.

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.

Place ◗ ◗ ◗ ◗
Vodafone UK operates over 300 of its own stores. It also sells through independent retailers e.g. Carphone Warehouse. Customers are able to see and handle products they are considering buying. People are on hand to ensure customers’ needs are matched with the right product and to explain the different options available.

Price ◗ ◗ ◗ ◗
Vodafone wants to make its services accessible to as many people as possible: from the young, through apprentices and high powered business executives, to the more mature users. It offers various pricing structures to suit different customer groups. Monthly price plans are available as well as prepay options. Phone users can top up their phone on line. Vodafone UK gives NECTAR reward points for every £1 spent on calls, text messages, picture messages and ring tones.

Vodafone’s marketing mix
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The essentials of marketing
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A longer term marketing strategy is underpinned by careful planning and a successful marketing mix. The marketing mix is a combination of many features that can be represented by the four Ps. ◗ product - features and benefits of a good or service ◗ place - where the good or service can be bought ◗ price - the cost of a good or service ◗ promotion - how customers are made aware of a good or service.

Promotion
Vodafone works with icons such as David Beckham to communicate its brand values. Above the line

Aims Best known brand Growth through high volume sales, and acquisitions

Means Satisfying customer needs through adding value to products

Key measurements Average revenue per user



Advertising on TV, on billboards, in magazines and in other media outlets reaches large audiences and spreads the brand image and the message very effectively. This is known as above the line promotion.

Below the line


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. There is a...
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