Marketing Audit Report on Marketing Philosophies and Stratgies of Etisalat


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Executive Summary 3
Introduction – Etisalat 4
Marketing Philosophy and Marketing Environment 5
Segmentation 6
Target Market 7
Positioning Strategy 8
Marketing Mix Strategy 9
Reflective Diary 11
Group meetings 12
New marketing concepts that we learn 12
Challenges and difficulties faced 12
Overall experience 13
Critical analysis 13
Journal name: A Review of Marketing Mix: 4Ps or More? By Chai lee Goi 13
Critical analysis for Etisalat for future 14
Bibliography 14

Executive Summary

In this report, we have discussed about Etisalat and its various marketing philosophies and strategies. We start with a concise introduction about Etisalat and its history. We also discuss about Etisalat’s and its current progress and status. Then we delve into Eitsalat’s marketing philosophies and strategies. Marketing philosophies suggest the approach the company takes in their marketing activities. The marketing environment of Etisalat gives us a brief idea about the environment Etisalat works which becomes a factor in the formation and approach of the marketing strategies of Etisalat.
We also discuss the segmentation criteria of Etisalat in which they discuss the manner in which Etisalat divides its customer segments and markets their services accordingly. We have also analyzed the target market group for the services of Etisalat. It provides us the traits of potential customers Etisalat can attract to gain more customers.
The next section is the positioning strategy of Etisalat which is a marketing process of forming an idea regarding how to project a service to the customers for generating more customers and maintaining the current customer base. The final segment indulges in the marketing mix that Etisalat implements in their marketing process. It includes their utilization of the four Ps of marketing and their implementation by Etisalat.

Introduction – Etisalat

The company Etisalat was founded in the UAE, nearly 40 years ago, on 5th October 1976, and became the pioneer of the modern telecommunication sector in the region. Etisalat is known for being one of the most leading telecommunication service providers in the entire Middle East. More than that, it is also known for being one of the greatest and largest companies among all the companies in the GCC countries.
The market value of Etisalat was recently valued at around AED 90 billion, making it the largest corporation in the telecommunication industry in the Middle East. Forming a rich history and reputation for being one of the most successful telecom operators by 2012, Etisalat has presence in more than 19 countries as of early 2014 and has become one of the major blue-chip organizations in the world. (Etisalat, 2014)
Etisalat recently reached the mark of 800 million subscribers and has brought major transformations in the form of introducing revolutionary changes through fiber-optic cable connections all over UAE and the recent 4G LTE venture. The gradual innovations that they have brought in the form of their products and services over the years have rendered them with the technological and technical expertise that is required to revolutionize the telecommunication industry. Etisalat has also earned a lot of respect in the world of business through their corporate social activities and their contributions to the education and health care industry in the UAE. (Etisalat, 2014)
Marketing Philosophy and Marketing Environment
Marketing philosophy is like the mission statement for the marketing department of the organization. In that regard, Etisalat’s marketing philosophy is to focus on the strategies relate to expansion. With the passing years, expansions have become one of the greatest strengths of Etisalat. Apart from this, the company puts special efforts into enhancing brand awareness of Etisalat and promoting the innovation that the company has pioneered in the telecom industry. The marketing environment of an organization would consist of all the factors that would directly or indirectly have any kind of effect on the organization’s ability to market the product.
Etisalat believes in making the best out of the internal and external environments that are available in the emerging markets around the world. In terms of environment, Etisalat now operates in 19 countries and faces different marketing environments. However, while considering UAE, Etisalat has an extremely favorable environment because of their long standing reputation, experience and technical expertise in the telecommunication industry. This has also helped the company in gaining a good amount of market share in countries like Saudi Arabia and Egypt. These strategies are important when it comes to determining which strategies can be good for the overall development of the organization as they help in forming five-year plans and goals for the company. (Etisalat, 2014)
Most of the strategies that Etisalat chooses are a part of their plan to expand to other countries and buy as much market share as possible in order to establish their operations around the world. Furthermore, there are six major pillars that are important for the strategic planning. Every strategy, even marketing strategy is based on these six pillars which are:
• Portfolio
• People & Culture
• One Company
• Operational Excellence
• Service Offering
• Customer Experience
The major aspect in this is that every strategy that is formulated on the basis of these six factors and is necessary. For instance, the way of communicating with the audience in the form of marketing would be on the basis of the culture and people, and service offering of the company. Any marketing strategy that would be applied by the company at any level would apply these pillars to form strategies. (Etisalat, 2014)
Segmentation is a process that every organization takes up as a strategy when it divides the population into groups of consumers who share the same preferences or needs. This strategy is completely dependent on the target market and can be used to determine further positioning strategies. Segmentation of consumer groups can actually be very much compared to differentiation of product lines when organizations deal in multiple products and strategies. Segmentations can be made in a lot of ways – Demographic, cultural, geographical, psychographic and behavioral. (QuickMBA, 2010)
Etisalat has always been a leader in terms of bringing innovation in the telecom products and services. In that manner of speaking, Etisalat has brought transformational changes and makes sure that all the recent developments in technology are provided to the customers. This quality is the core competency distinguishing Etisalat from other companies in a way and is what makes the company more successful among the tech-savvy. Usually, the telecom companies targets youth and middle-aged as the major target market for their products and services as they are the ones that use it the most. This is clearly a demographic segmentation based on the age of the customer.
The major segmentation of the customers in Etisalat is in the form of the youth. Another major segmentation is in the form of the business packs that are available by Etisalat. This segmentation is in the form of business executives who require certain features in their mobile phone and through internet which are different from the rest of the customer groups. Thus, Etisalat has come out with groups to manage these segmentations among the consumers in order to provide tailor-made services suiting different people’s requirements. This segmentation can be thus categorized as behavioral segmentation.
The development of marketing strategies totally depends on the market structure as figured by the managers of the organization. Segments need not just be consumer groups that are physically present and can be in the form of criteria set by the marketing managers to identify the most efficient ways and people to promote the products. There are a lot of ways in which statistical analyses could be applied to the segments to create the appropriate market segments to suit the marketing mixes. (Dickson & Ginter, 1987)

Target Market
A group of people have to be selected once the segmentations have been picked. In that process, no particular strategy is enough to cover all the segments and all the targets in a particular segment. Strategies for marketing a product can vary depending upon who is the target market. In the same context, a good targeting analysis also requires a well-structured and calculated targeting analysis. Most of the organizations today, divide the total consumers into various segments and devise a well-suited strategy that could be used to gain maximum profits.
Etisalat as a telecom company covers most of the segments in terms of age-groups, however, the major focus is on the youth segment and the professionals. Business plans are introduced and updated regularly to suit the needs of the consumers in this target segment. The approach taken by the company for targeting is the multi-segmented targeting as the company has to formulate strategies in such a way that both the target segments are covered. This does require heavy investments in terms of input costs by the management but aids effective strategic planning. (Etisalat, 2013)
Positioning Strategy

Positioning of a product mainly refers to how the benefits of using a certain product are projected to the customers. A positioning strategy relies on projecting many factors like changed pricing and improved qualities not through advertising or public relations but through positioning. A positioning strategy can be formulated on basis of many varied factors and a strategy can be formed or changed due to various reasons. In focus with Etisalat, it has been a successful company over the years. But due to the entry of a sole competitor du to break its monopoly, Etisalat formulated a positioning strategy based on a competitor. In this form of a positioning strategy, the competitor’s strategy sometime becomes the element of the strategy as a base to counter it. (Bhasin, 2014)

It can be noticed in the counter efforts at advertising undertaken by many firms.
But du after its entry did not get diminished and actually was able to generate a lot of customers as it started to offer better offers compared to its competitor Etisalat which was taking the benefit of the monopoly situation. This competition has been gradually degrading Etisalat’s revenues. This became a factor of concern due to the fact that UAE is where UAE has the biggest business setup but it has become its most vulnerable area of work due to the arrival of du in the market. It was noticed that Etisalat faced the biggest blow on its growth rate when in the third quarter of the year, Etisalat managed to attract 10,000 more customers while du managed to gain 159800 more customers by the end of the year. (George-Cosh, 2010)

Following this incident, Etisalat ended up having 63% of the mobile market while du gained 37% of the mobile market of UAE which a monumental achievement was considering that this was achieved in 5 years from its creation. In their recent annual report, Etisalat have suggested that they are planning to acquire 3G licenses in order to make their position strong and they signed an exclusive share purchase agreement with Vivendi due to their more than 50% stake in Maroc Telecom operational in morocco. They are also planning to acquire EPS accretive in order to fortify their position in West Africa. (George-Cosh, 2010)
There have been many technological changes which have been creating losses for Etisalat in the last few years and one of the reasons was the use of voice over internet protocol which is illegal in UAE but still under use. Due to the use of VoIP, Etisalat lost 10% of its revenues originating through international phone calls. As a countermeasure to this occurrence, Etisalat decided on providing more value added services along with its usual array of services as a strategy to increase revenue. (Etisalat, 2013)
As a strategy to recover their losses in their origin country, Etisalat has been investing in 17 other countries and setting up new markets to increase their global foothold. This has been a fairly successful attempt looking at the bigger picture as they have 94.7 billion customers outside their own country.
Their overall positioning strategy has changed over time due to factors like the entry of a rival company and the use of VoIP and they have come up with counter positioning strategies to tackle the problems and stay ahead of the curve. (George-Cosh, 2010)
Marketing Mix Strategy

The marketing mix strategy of an organization is the pillar of its progress and a compass for the company which directs the company to its progress through focusing on the principle elements of marketing which affect the sales and brand image of the company. Marketing is the element which is closest in interacting with the customers and making efforts to think how the customer thinks about the company and sets the brand image appropriately. (Goi, 2009)
Marketing Mix implements the four principle factors of marketing which aid in formulating its marketing strategy which are Product development, price, place and the promotion of the product. The biggest utility of the marketing mix is that it allows merging the elements into a mix that aids in forming a unified marketing strategy for the company.
The four Ps of the marketing strategy will begin with the product development element. The aim behind product development is that by prepping the product in some manner that appeals the customers, if the buyer gains an advantage in buying the product, customer loyalty can be achieved and more customers can bet attracted. Etisalat performs a thorough market research before introducing a new product keeping in mind the requirements of the customers. The introduction of value added services like specialized media content and enhanced mobile internet services as a positioning strategy can be considered to part of the marketing mix. (Rasheed, 2012)
The element of place is the next key factor in the marketing mix and Etisalat has channeled its resources into making the most of opening new distributions over the globe which is an integrated part of the marketing mix formula of Etisalat. Concentrating on the price factor, market skimming has been the part of Etisalat’s pricing maneuvers in which they keep elevated prices for unique services and they gradually decrease the price as time goes by to deal with the competetion. (Etisalat, 2013)
The final and the most significant part of the marketing mix is promotion which is the key influential factor in a marketing strategy. Etisalat on and average spends billions on advertizing of any new products and services that it introduces. Their promotional strategies include elements like providing lucrative offers for its new subscribers, global availability, wider coverage and the most sophisticated latest technology in the world and their 4G plans are in the pipeline for promotion and is are set to be one of its key elements for some time. (Rasheed, 2012)
Etisalat has some distinctive capabilities up its sleeve which is a prime factor of its success from time to time. One of the most unique capabilities it possesses without doubt is the immense experience over the years and now due to their global reach they have channeled their abilities and gained a wide arena of experience which can help them enter any global market. Another unique factor Etisalat possesses is the CSR programs that it possesses and the new plans that are executed are extremely helpful and have been acclaimed for being one of the best in UAE. (Etisalat, 2014)
Etisalat has earned credit rating of Aa3 from Moody’s and a solid rating of AA- on Standard and Poor’s which makes it one of the highest rated Telecom companies on basis of their Credit Rating which makes it other highest rated telecom companies in terms of their credit rating which constitutes as one of their most powerful distinctive qualities which has a global image.

Bhasin, H. (2014). Positioning Strategy. Retrieved November 2, 2014, from
Dickson, P., & Ginter, J. (1987). Market Segmentation, Product Differentiation and Marketing Strategy. Journal of Marketing , 1-10.
Etisalat. (2014). Company Profile. Retrieved November 1st, 2014, from
Etisalat. (2014). Company Profile. Retrieved November 1, 2014, from
Etisalat. (2013). Etisalat Group Strategy. Retrieved November 2, 2014, from
Etisalat. (2014). Investor Relations. Retrieved November 1st, 2014, from
George-Cosh, D. (2010, November 19). Competition forces change of strategy in Etisalat. Retrieved November 2, 2014, from
Goi, C. L. (2009). A Review of Marketing Mix: 4Ps or More? International Journal of Marketing Studies , 1-15.
QuickMBA. (2010). Market Segmentation. Retrieved November 1st, 2014, from
Rasheed, A. (2012, March 21). Etisalat on its 5-year strategy, 4G, and global ambition. Retrieved November 1, 2014, from

Reflective Diary
The project was divided into four parts, so that we can divide the work among the four team members and each one of us can concentrate on their own part. In this way justification to the project could be done and each one of us gets more time to concentrate on their part. We divided the project into the introduction part and marketing philosophy and marketing environment, segmentation, target market and positioning market and the last part was marketing mix strategy. This way we all started the project with our individual task. We all kept record about how much the research is done on the topic and we used to keep each other updated and well inform. We even helped each other when the group member faced difficulties.
Group meetings
We had five group meetings with the all the group members. We would gather at any group member’s home. We would show the progress done from our part in the project. We would bring the laptops with ourselves. After carefully listening and observing each and everyone’s report we would give suggestions if needed for the project to be better than it was at that time. The group member would then decide if the changes suggested by other members would be needed or discarded. If that particular group member who was explaining the part feels like the suggestion made by the other group members is necessary and would make the project better then would make it at that time itself. The meetings were mainly about the project and topic discussion.
New marketing concepts that we learn
Earlier we knew theoretically about the concepts of the marketing philosophy and marketing environment. We had the idea about how it worked and its application. But now we know when it is used, how it is used as we saw Emisalat doing its application. We also learn about segmentation part of the Emisalat Company. We also learned about the two strategies: Positioning strategy and the marketing mix strategy about the Emisalat. Our idea about the strategies is much broader then we had before starting the project
Challenges and difficulties faced
We had various difficulties while doing the projects. One of our team members who was doing the segmentation part met with an unfortunate accident. He had a fracture for one week. So this was great loss for us. Because of this he was unable to attend two or three group meetings. Because of this we had to assign his work to someone else. But the problem was we cannot give the task to someone who is outside the group because that would be unjust and unfair. So we thought now someone else from the group would have to do it. But another problem we faced while assigning that work to someone from us was, each three of us have already so many work and our research part and everything was pending. Now, we could divide the work of the fourth member. But then, if we divide the work of the fourth team member then we can’t justify the project because we cannot write about the same by ourselves and that would not maintain the quality of the project. So we decided that we could then finish our work as fast as we can and then we could do the part of our team member together. So we started to speed up our work and so we can start with the segmentation part. But, then our group member, who was fractured, joins us. He was ready to start the project. At first we refused, but later we agreed and allowed him to complete the part. The second difficulty that we faced was inadequate information about the topics. I was assigned with the introduction part of the Etisalat.. Etisalat is one of the most globally acclaimed companies. In United Arab Emirates it is one of the leading company and one of the most famous companies. Because of these reasons, there are plenty of information about the company and its objectives. I was the first one to complete the part of our individually assigned work. But the experience was not same for everybody. There was little information about the positioning strategy of the Etrisalat Company. The group member, who was assigned with this topic, did not have a much pleasant experience like I did. So it was a challenge for him to get the information about the positioning strategy of the company, and thus indirectly it was a challenge for all of us. We all joined together and started to help him. So the positioning strategy part consumed quite few days from us.
Overall experience
So overall we all had good experience. We came to know about Etisalat more than we knew few days before. We just saw the company as a telecommunication company like everyone else, but now we can proudly say that we learned many things from this project. We can also say that we know more about this company then most of the people right now. It was whole a group project and I was managing everyone. So I can say that my leadership skills really showed and improved. I came to know about my strengths and weaknesses. This way I can work on my weakness and can strengthen them so that I could be better then what I am right now.
Critical analysis
Journal name: A Review of Marketing Mix: 4Ps or More? By Chai lee Goi

Marketing mix strategy has ruled and dominated the market since long time. As the time passed, these marketing mix strategies were modified and converted to the four P’s as we know today. This four P’s are Products, Price, Place and Promotion. The main idea of this theory is that it’s just a artificial framework rather than being some kind of proper scientific theory. The tools or the method of this theory helps us to find and establish with the short term strategies and the long term strategies. The foremost reason why this marketing mix strategy is a huge hit is because it makes marketing strategy very easy going to handle. It also allows a management expert to keep marketing strategies away from other processes and activities. Nowadays this strategy is facing much criticism by the management experts. They have started adding new factors with the four traditional P’s as mentioned above. The new factors are personal selling, promotion, branding, physical handling, channels to distribute, advertisement, servicing, display, analysis, fact – finding and selling. This factors are said to be more efficient and the better then the four traditional P’s. As the time changes one can’t rely on the ancient marketing strategies. In this twenty first century, changes are observed each and every day. If one fails to change, then he will not succeed.
Critical analysis for Etisalat for future
Etisalat is a type of company that hugely depends on the ancient but evergreen marketing strategy – the four P’s. Etisalat should realize along with the Products, Price, Place, and promotion, progress and growth is only possible if he take account of the other factors also. We can accept that marketing mix strategy is huge hit in the past and it led many companies including the Etisalat itself to grow to these heights, Etisalat should realize that marketing strategies needs to be changing every now and then. This is because their customers will also change every now and then. So now among these customers if they use their previous strategies which have been used since years and years, then the customer will might be satisfy with it. In this modern age, along with the Production, Place, Product and price other factors like personal selling, promotion, branding, physical handling, channels to distribute, advertisement, servicing, display, analysis, fact – finding and selling are equally important and should not be ignored. I believe if this new strategy is hit for Etisalat for few years, then after that time they need to make a new strategy plans for them. This is because we need to change from time to time to progress.


Posted on

March 7, 2018

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