Friday, June 6, 2008

Verizon and Alltel

Chalk this one up to one of my gleams of light that I'll have to take from a stranger. I'd thought several weeks ago writing a post about the regional mobile operators in the United States and how they might be a better model for the Ukrainian operators (at least the smaller ones) than the Big 4, because the regionals had to work harder for customers and therefore were doing more innovative things.

Well, the article Is Verizon Buying ALLTEL For Its Assets or For Its Culture of Innovation? tells me that others also recognize the spirit of innovation in these regional operators. In one of my consulting projects, I used alltel Wireless' "My Circle" campaign as a great example of an integrated marketing campaign that included online advertising. Alltel was the first mobile operators in the U.S. I'd seen who tried to create an elaborate viral campaign. Although the storyline and execution wasn't the greatest, it garnered Alltel national attention and respect as an innovative brand.

I also hold up Verizon Wireless' marketing as a great example of a brand that understood what was important customers (network quality), delivering on that brand promise (making sure their network quality was the best), and creating an extremely effective communication campaign to drive the message home ("Can you hear me now?").

For Ukrainian mobile operators, Verizon provides an excellent case study in the benefits of "blocking and tackling" marketing - knowing what is most important to customers, making sure your product best meets their needs, and communicating this message in a clear and focused way. And they can learn a lot from Alltel about innovation.