MOTOROLA'S SWINGING SUCCESS IN 2006 PAYS OFF IN 2007
An Interview with Mohamed Badran, Marketing Director MENAT, Mobile Devices, Motorola
May 21 - 27, 2007
Motorola, a leading player in the telecom sector has made major headway in the regional market with our Bluetooth accessories for greater mobility, music portability, and safety on the Middle East's roads and Motorola is the clear market leader in this segment across the region.
A final turning point was increasing its regional resources and hiring more marketing staff on the ground in our key MENATPAK countries to tailor and roll out the programs that best fit those specific markets, said Mohamed Badran, marketing Director MENAT, Mobile Devices in an interview with PAGE.
PAGE: What was the turning point for Motorola in 2006?
BADRAN: The MOTORAZR has been our heroic product since late 2005 and remains our most successful phone on the market today. I can confidently say that we began owning the design platform with this classic form factor and have continued to do so with new shapes like MOTOPEBL, MOTOSVLR and now MOTOKRZR receiving an overwhelming response in the regional market. At Motorola we don't just sell a handset based on functionality or price, we sell a lifestyle. People carry Motorola phones to reflect specific choices and their personal style. Whether it's the Gold MOTORAZR D+G ideal for the stylish diva or the MOTOQ gsm for the businessman or woman who works as hard as he/she plays, today Motorola offers something for everyone and it is this versatility that we're known for the world over. These days, we know that at least one in every five people is carrying a Motorola and our handsets have that 'recognizable at 500 feet' factor.
PAGE: What were Motorola's most successful marketing initiatives in 2006 for its mobile devices?
BADRAN: A 'do differently' approach to events and advertising plus streamlining our distribution strategy was among Motorola's major achievements last year.
We rolled out key product launches including the MOTOSLVR and gold MOTORAZR Dolce & Gabanna with a series of 'must go' events like SLVR City in Dubai and the private Elissa concert at the Mohammed Ali Palace in Cairo. Both these events were attended by the who's who of society and touted as the 'parties of the year'.
To boost access at every price segment, we also raised awareness about increasing mobile connectivity by driving our MOTOBUS through rural areas of Pakistan, for example.
Our advertising has been fresh and regionally-relevant, with GCC national models positioned with our line of new handsets in a 'heroic' and interesting way. We achieved a new level of depth and breadth of distribution strategy in the regional market from Saudi Arabia to Egypt to Pakistan, meaning that we are now getting the latest handsets and Bluetooth accessories into the hands of Middle East consumers at the same time that they're reaching other high-growth markets. People now know that when they're buying a Motorola handset or accessory in this region, they're buying on the latest and greatest.
PAGE: What was Motorola's regional market share in 2006?
BADRAN: While we don't break out our market share figures specifically, what we've seen in 2006 has really been a more comprehensive offering to the market -- more variety and choice for consumers with handsets and accessories at every price point. Motorola's approach is to own the design space with the unique form factor of our handsets, and to offer the features and diversity in functionality that regional residents really want.
We also tailor specific marketing campaigns to address those consumers at every price tier, and localize our efforts by market demand. This approach has resulted in: TV shoot and print campaigns in Turkey and Pakistan for entry-level handsets like MOTOFONE; MOTOSLVR for the mid-tier in GCC; MOTORAZR, MOTORIZR and MOTOKRZR in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
Motorola is talking to Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan and Turkey's residents in their own language, and creating specific campaigns of a scope that hasn't been done before in the region, like a SLVR City event that specifically reflected the architecture of Dubai, and a launch in Egypt that reflected the country's ancient traditions and connection with gold.
PAGE: How is this message getting out to the ME market?
BADRAN: In 2006, we took a 'do differently' approach to getting the phone much closer to consumers. Instead of a two-dimensional print ad and in-store approach, we've created major customer and partner events that were tailored for the regional market, created a force of MotoAgents to inform potential buyers at the retail level, and created a range of consistent in-mall and in-store deliverables that reflected that compelling Motorola look and feel. With our low-tier MOTOFONE, we were very creative in the message of the phone across in key markets like Pakistan, where educating our target audience was a key requirement. Activities like MOTODAKIA, where agents traveled on bikes in rural areas of the country going door to door, demonstrating key features of the phone to all those aspiring to purchase their first phone, were very well-received.
PAGE: And how has that approach increased your market position?
BADRAN: We've had exponential growth in our regional sales -- doubling our sales in 2005 , and more than tripling our sales in 2006. Currently about one out of every four to five people who bought a phone in 2006 in the MENATPAK market has a Motorola phone, and we've achieved a number one position in markets like Morocco.
We were invited to celebrate this success in 2006 in Rio de Janeiro last month, where the whole Moto team from the MENATPAK region shared the experience with other Motorola employees. In 2005 we were ranked number 4 against our competitors in the major markets of MENAT, but today we are at a clear number 2, and this is based on factual GFK Data.
PAGE: Are there different handsets that suit different markets in the Middle East?
BADRAN: Motorola's message is that we have a handset with the look, functionality, and price for every consumer in this region, and we've definitely seen some interesting sales trends in the MENATPAK countries.
In the UAE and several other GCC countries, the MOTORAZR is our biggest seller, while in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, the MOTOSLVR is one of the fastest-moving handsets. In Egypt, Morocco and other North African markets, our entry-level handsets like C117 are doing incredibly well, in part because of bundled deals that we have created with operators in those countries.
PAGE: What's on the cards for 2007?
BADRAN: We're bringing out some fantastic new form factors with the MOTOKRZR and our first 'rising' handset, the MOTORIZR. Motorola's portfolio is going to take another major leap forward, with Q for business users, style in the mid-tier with the W220, through to MOTOFONE at the sub-$35 level ñ we're bringing the design value right through the range.
We have a major opportunity across the region to build on the success of 2006 and increase our momentum ñ I think a real sign of a brand's eminence is when people come to you for product placement, and that's what we're seeing with Motorola's mobile devices.
Regional icons like Elissa, Youssra, and Karl Wolf have been spotted with Motorola handsets, we're in all kinds of music videos and photo shoots, and the MOTORAZR V3 is even now a Monopoly game piece! We're focusing on what the Middle East market wants, and delivering it in time and at the right pricing structure.
Design remains our key USP and in 2007, consumers in the region will see us inundate the market with handsets and accessories an 'ultimate mobile experience', not just a product. Say hello to mobile TV with the HSDPA-enabled MOTORIZR Z8, enhance your professional life with the MOTOQ, and enjoy a truly hands-free music experience with the Z6 and the S9 headphones. Even better, plug your phone into a JBL speaker and party on 'Moto' style.