Reliance Jio is one of the most talked-about companies at present. Despite the global economic slowdown due to the COVID 19 pandemic, Jio has only grown, attracting investors from far and beyond.
Do you know that Jio, the four-year-old subsidiary of RIL, saved Reliance in the quarter ending March’20, by posting a profit that, together with the Reliance retail’s profit, nullified the huge losses in the petrochemical division, owing to the low oil prices? Jio has grown from being just a startup subsidiary of reliance on having its own identity.
What’s the secret behind such growth and success in just 4 years of operation? Other than the backing from Reliance, of course, we say, it’s their marketing that helped them scale so fast.
Jio entered into a congested and tightly fought marketplace, dominated by experienced telecom majors such as Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, and many smaller companies. Today, the smaller telecom companies had to shut shop, Vodafone-Idea had to merge and are still looking vulnerable while Airtel is struggling to give a fight, as Jio rakes in subscribers each month and is about to become a debt-free company very soon. It is the world’s fastest-growing telecom company.
How did a new entry give major telecom companies a run for their money?
Understanding that providing quality calls at low rates at the beginning was difficult, Jio focussed their marketing on promoting data, offering free voice calls.
Data used to be very precious. People were very wary of their internet usage lest they crossed the monthly 2 GB threshold, on average. Jio came out all guns blazing in this arena, giving unlimited data with free calls at very low prices.
There’s no better branding than the word “Free.”
Everyone loves freebies and that was also one of the reasons Jio got in so many subscribers in the first place. The huge discounts and offers Jio gave out helped them bite into their competitor’s market share.
Availability in Rural Areas!
Jio also made its availability felt in the rural areas, which haven’t been a major target for the telecom majors until then. While the industry focussed on the urban population, Jio explored the unexplored. The pricing also fits in aptly, providing free calls and cheap but quality data to the people in rural India.
This signifies two things that Jio worked on that their competitors’ neglected, for years: The target audience and product shaping. It ventured out to provide a better quality of data at cheap prices to Rural India and utilized the potential market over there. It also stayed away from promoting calls and focus on data as the main product.
From such a marketing perspective it is no surprise to see Jio’s growth. With such fast growth comes a higher valuation.
The road after the freebies:
Freebies were of course offered to gain market share. Though Reliance has monetary assets, spending on freebies isn’t a permanent solution for any company. At some point, the charges have to be raised, margins have to be calculated.
The Indians crowd though, is known to be loyal to discounts and offers. Be it in the case of Amazon vs Flipkart or Uber vs Ola, it can be clearly observed that only discounts attract most of the Indian crowd.
Thus, it was predicted by many an analyst, that Jio’s growth was temporary and would slow down once the rates increased.
But Jio didn’t stop there. When Alloy analyzed Jio’s marketing, we saw a holistic approach. At every stage of the promotions, the product was modified to bring in more subscribers.
Though the freebies got them initial traction, they built upon that by providing content and other goods and services through online payments, etc, to acquire more organic customers. By organic, we mean customers who didn’t come through the freebies.
They modified the product, improved its quality, added more features to it which got them more subscribers – an approach that’s key to their immense and consistent success.
Their Average Revenue per User, ie, the amount a telecom company makes per user, has also gradually increased over time, asserting that the company is on the right path.
With the much-touted expansion into e-commerce, after a deal with Facebook, Jio is now all scale new heights. It shows that Jio’s ambitions weren’t limited to data and telecom sector, but were much beyond, venturing out to e-commerce, technology and more.
Mukesh Ambani has gradually transformed Reliance Industries into a technology company, from a B2B company to a B2C company.
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