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 www.marketing91.com: http://www.marketing91.com/positioning-strategies/
Etisalat. (2014). Company Profile. Retrieved November 1, 2014, from www.etisalat.ae: http://www.etisalat.ae/en/aboutus/etisalatcorporation/corporation/profile/company-profile.jsp
Etisalat. (2013). Etisalat Group Strategy. Retrieved November 2, 2014, from http://o2network.net/clients/etisalat/annualreport/egs.html: http://o2network.net/clients/etisalat/annualreport/egs.html
George-Cosh, D. (2010, November 19). Competition forces change of strategy in Etisalat. Retrieved November 2, 2014, from www.thenational.ae: http://www.thenational.ae/business/telecoms/competition-forces-change-of-strategy-in-etisalat
Goi, C. L. (2009). A Review of Marketing Mix: 4Ps or More? International Journal of Marketing Studies , 1-15.
Rasheed, A. (2012, March 21). Etisalat on its 5-year strategy, 4G, and global ambition. Retrieved November 1, 2014, from gulfnews.com: http://gulfnews.com/business/telecoms/etisalat-on-its-5-year-strategy-4g-and-global-ambition-1.997578