Closer to action

Written by Anushree Bhattacharyya | Updated: May 13 2014, 11:54am hrs
IPLIdea launches mobile fan page as IPL returns to India
THE return of the seventh edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) to India has set the battleground not just for the eight IPL teams but also the various brands that are riding on the tourney to capture the imagination of the Indian consumer. The latest brand to take this opportunity to woo the cricket fan is Idea Cellular. The telecom service provider which is also one of the principal sponsors of the Delhi franchise, Delhi Daredevils, has launched a value-added service (VAS), that is, a mobile fan page called, Idea Delhi Daredevils, Fans Page for its consumers.

IPL is a great platform which allows a brand to forge a long-term association with consumers. Also, with the non-voice business which includes data and value-added services being an important part of the overall business pie, launching such services gives an opportunity to be closer to our consumers, especially in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR), said Sashi Shankar, chief marketing officer, Idea Cellular. The telecom service provider claims to have 135 million users across the country and 5.5 million users in Delhi.

As for the Delhi based franchise, this is the first time that it has taken a serious plunge in the virtual world and therefore it claims that it will concentrate on creating the right kind of buzz. This is our first serious tryst with digital so the aim will be to create as much noise as possible through social media as well as through creation of content, said Hemant Dua, CEO, Delhi Daredevils.

Launched especially for Idea subscribers, the fan page can be downloaded by dialing a toll free short code, 530301, upon which a customer will receive the WAP link for the fan page. Based on the pay per use model, subscribers can download content such as videos for R5, apart from wallpapers, photos and ringtones for R2, each. IThe operator has also kept some content for free download for its subscribers. Refusing to divulge the revenue share pattern it has with the Delhi based franchise, Shankar said that the non-voice business currently contributes 16-17% of the overall revenue earned by Idea Cellular. Of this, VAS accounts for 7% of the revenue. While the launch of this initiative will not have a huge impact on the revenue we generate from VAS services, it will allow us to penetrate deeper in smaller cities and towns such as tier 2 and 3 cities, which is a big market for such services, added Shankar.

What makes this marketing ploy different is that Idea preferred to launch a WAP link instead of a mobile application. In smaller markets many people still use GSM or the CDMA handsets apart from using the 2G data connection for their smartphones. So we thought of launching a mass product which could be easily accessed by our users, said Shankar.

Moreover, the company which plans to continue the services on the fan page throughout the year, feels that the real challenge lies ahead. While keeping the fan page alive during the tourney is very easy as one gets easy access to players, the job will get difficult after the IPL ends. One way we plan to keep the ball rolling is create enough content during this period when the IPL matches are being played and release the content later, said Shankar.

In order to promote its services the company has released a digital campaign on its official social network pages. Additionally it plans to use

radio going forward. According to Shankar, the company plans to launch a few outdoor activations as well. We will be using all mediums except television, he said.