Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Staying on Top of Your Game: Lessons From MTN

MTN is business savvy and that makes them stand out. They understand Nigerian business terrain better. At a time ECONET(now Airtel) was busy trying to build strong facilities in a few cities, MTN spread their tentacles to many towns. Their network service were not reliable, but Nigerians who were long waiting for GSM services rushed for their sim cards. Few years later, they reinforced their facilities in those towns after making quick money.

When MTN got the sole right to sponsor Who Wants to Be a Millionaire(Nigeria),they made sure you can only apply(text or call) to participate in the show, exclusively from an MTN line. It was not so when Vmobile alongside UBA and Orange Drugs(Delta Soap) were sponsors of the game show. Vmobile failed to realize the potentials of the show.

And a few years ago, when the newest entrant, Etisalat and later, Airtel, were crashing call tariff to win new customers, MTN stayed put. But suddenly, MTN came up with MTN super save and other packages giving even lesser call tariffs. They won back most of their subscribers.

Last night, I saw a brand new commercial from MTN advertising the recently activated number portability scheme. And who was on set? It was none other than Hafiz Oyetoro popularly known as Saka. The actor, well known for his comic roles in English and Yoruba home videos and sitcoms, not too long ago featured in several Etisalat adverts. Saka brought life to these adverts. His expression, "like my wife o" where he opted for an Etisalat package that gave a lot of freebies used by his wife in one of the adverts easily comes to mind.

This is another good business move by MTN who have been receiving a lot of backlash from subscribers, some of whom have advocated switching to other networks. It is likely that MTN offered Saka a better deal after his contract with Etisalat was not renewed. Or maybe his deal with Etisalat was just per advert. No doubt, Saka, is a lot richer, after this commercial.

While I commend the MTN boardroom for understanding Nigerian business terrain better and making smart business moves, I believe the best business move, they can make in the long term is to reinforce their facilities and improve their network.

But for now. I admire their insight, hindsight and foresight. No wonder, they are on top of their game.

Enjoy the advert video clip below. Saka don port! Saka don upgrade to MTN. See the effects they achieved with the lights. Saka's attire changed from green to yellow. An impressive advert and a smart media weapon by MTN. I love the 'kirikata' dance too!

Pictures, courtesy: Brandwork Nigeria, PilotAfrica.com

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