BSNL is one of India’s leading telecommunications firms, with prominent funding from the government of India. Founded in 2000, it made the name for itself in the telecom industry as a regional player. BSNL provides its customers with a range of telecommunication and internet services. As the Telecom market felt pressure from an increasing number of competitors, even BSNL, a government-held company, had to embrace the digital marketing revolution and be a part of the paradigm shift in marketing.
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In this case study, we discuss the marketing strategy, competitors analysis, digital presence, SWOT analysis, and also some scrutinized pain points. In its marketing mix, advancements in all the sectors like the Product, price, place, promotions, etc have been carried out.
So let us begin with learning more about BSNL.
About the company
BSNL was established in the year 2000 as a successor to DOT and since its inception, it has been delivering telecommunication services to the nation.
BSNL is one of the largest telecom service providers in India which provides a quality network across India, especially in rural areas. Its focus has always been on reaching out to a wider audience especially in rural areas which are still not connected with the urban areas.
BSNL, with its improving infrastructure, supports 20 million mobile and computer telecommunications customers across rural areas. With its current focus on enhancing internet penetration, it has garnered great customer satisfaction. It also has a unique feature of no roaming service throughout the country.
Let us now turn our attention to BSNL’s marketing mix.
BSNL’s Marketing Mix
BSNL is a massive public sector organisation with a lot of resource on its beck and call. For such a massive organisation, the management organisational tool of “marketing mix” is necessary to gauge the organisation’s position holistically.
Following are the 4Ps of BSNL’s marketing mix:
Products and Services
BSNL, being the leading telecom company, has strong backing from the Government of India. It provides its customers with a range of telecommunication and internet services. Some of the products are:
- Bharat Fiber
- IP Services
- Wing services
BSNL is focusing on enhancing its internet service by increasing its range and giving its users greater bandwidth. This will help BSNL with its premium offerings to ensure customer loyalty. It aims to keep up with the growing technology to sustain itself in the market and satisfy the needs of its customers.
The key goal of the BSNL product strategy is to keep up with the increasing hardware technology that is continually evolving with innovation to retain and fulfil the needs of its customers. BSNL needs to continue improving its services.
BSNL, being state-owned, ensures if every section of the society could avail its telecom system. So, the prices of BSNL are low and quite reasonable. The usage charges to tariff and cost incurred during installation are some important factors to ponder upon while making the pricing policy. Some highlights for the same are,
- Usage ranges are set up to decide the rate to be charged
- The price of the BSNL service differs with client use
- Users with a higher usage range, are offered discounts or special deals to lure them and reduce their cost. Special timings are allotted to them when the calls cost less
- Consumers are offered lifetime cards which helps them maintain their future revenue flows
‘Value for Pricing’ can help BSNL fix its pricing policy. It will help in the penetration of the market, increases brand value, promotes brand loyalty, and also increases focus on customer services.
BSNL has the distinct benefit of being the principal supplier of telecommunications services in the country and the oldest. It has established networks in all parts of the country and upgrading them time and again to bridge the communication gap between the remote rural areas and urban areas. Highlights of its place and distribution strategies are:
- The massive and complex network spread throughout the country
- Built a channel management team to increase the service capacity and network coverage
- In remote locations, it has been able to establish telecommunication services and facilities
- Also formed partnerships with only a few networks and IT companies to boost its network – Cisco, Ericson, Compaq, and HP
- Established nationwide call centres for providing solutions to the consumers
BSNL primarily uses the old-school techniques of marketing. Having loyal consumers on board, their promotion is quite bounded. With an increase in competition in the telecom industry, they tried to revamp their company by taking various steps. Some of them are:
- New logo
- Came up with their slogan for brand visibility, “Connecting India, Faster”
- New promos on social media
- New schemes were adopted. Some of them are,
- Machines for depositing cheques
- Easy payment services
- All-time available service centres
- Actors and Sportsperson like Mary Kom, Priety Zinta, and Deepika Padukone are associated with BSNL as brand ambassadors
BSNL has to work more on its promotional strategy and develop as per the trends to sustain in the market.
After understanding the marketing mix of BSNL, having a decent amount of knowledge about your competitors is a must!
BSNL’s Competitors Analysis
While BSNL may have lost a lot of ground, with newer technology coming in, it still has the chance to bounce back. In 5G, for example, it will play a major role in providing connected services for not only individuals but also computers.
BSNL has the distinct benefit of being the principal supplier of telecommunications services in the country and the oldest. Therefore, BSNL has the highest market share of fixed-line operators.
With nearly three million users, the Internet has become one of the most significant communication platforms.
Let’s see where BSNL stands when compared to other telecommunication giants in “Fastest Broadband Internet Speed Analysis- 2019”
According to the image above, Jio Fibre provides the fastest broadband. Whereas, BSNL is in the 14th reposition of this chart, being trailed by only one other service provider, TATA Communications.
BSNL needs to take some urgent effective measures to drag itself up the leaderboard. It needs to analyze its internal factors to get back up on the leaderboard. Let’s take a deeper dive into the company with a SWOT analysis.
BSNL SWOT Analysis
Understanding the internal factors of the company will help you influence your ability to take advantage of an opportunity. Let’s dive into it.
- Backed by government
- Extensive infrastructure in remote areas
- PAN India reach
- Vast experience
- Strategic alliances with IT and hardware companies
- More than 65% market share in rural India market
- Excellent network coverage across India
- More than 90 million people are subscribed to BSNL
- Huge optical-fibre infrastructure
- Decreasing market share
- Unable to retain customers
- Poor service image and innovation
- Unproductive rural assets
- Not able to optimize network capabilities
- Poor working culture of government institutions
- Limited brand visibility and low brand loyalty
- Massive and tough competition
- Government regulatory framework
- Mobile number portability
- Expensive network roll-out
- Low-income subscribers
- Lack of electricity in rural areas
- Privatization of BSNL
- Strategic partnership with smartphone companies
- Partnering with other telecoms
- Customer retention
- Improving upon intangible capabilities (skill, motivation, knowledge & ageing workforce)
BSNL suffers from the uncompetitiveness of its business model. Backed by the government, the organisation tends to make socially driven business decisions rather than profit motive driven solutions. According to our SWOT analysis, the organisation needs to heavily restructure itself and cut down its massive workforce and invest in better technology to keep up with the pace of the competition.
Another aspect of a business is its marketing strategy. Let us take a deeper look into BSNl’s marketing efforts.
BSNL’s Marketing Strategy
BSNL uses different outlets for ads, such as TV, print, online, hoardings, etc. BSNL promotes in a very limited way, with plenty of loyal customers. But it has recently begun promotion with the emergence of so many rivals in the telecom industry by coming up with new logos, catchy slogans such as connecting India, new and distinct brand names for BSNL’s various services.
With the upcoming digital age, a few promotions have also begun on various social media platforms. It promotes its innovative programs, schemes, and discount deals, both on social media platforms and through conventional banner offers at various retail outlets, newspapers, etc.
Other recent collaborations by BSNL:
- BSNL and YuppTV to launch a single subscription
- BSNL and Ciena sign an MoU to prepare for 5G in India
- Eros Now partners with BSNL to offer unlimited movies and digital originals
- BSNL partners with Call2Action Communication India to launch mobile advertising platforms
BSNL fulfils its corporate social responsibilities too. After the massive floods in Kerala, BSNL extended its support by offering free BSNL to BSNL voice calls and free 20 minutes calls from BSNL to other networks for the next seven days.
Digital is the new name and the market is dynamic. The companies must set the trends and adapt to the new ones. let‘s dive into the digital world of BSNL.
BSNL’s Digital Marketing Presence
Digital presence is as important as a marketing strategy. In today’s time, each one of us is hooked up with different social media and to be active on each platform is a must.
ID: Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited
No. of followers: 46,332
On Instagram and Facebook,
- Promotes their services which are provided in their plans such as eros now subscriptions
- Interaction through festive posts
- Tips and tricks provided to avoid internet threats
- Contests following the Meet & Greet are held
- Posts are in Hindi also, to target a larger consumer base.
- Engagement with their followers is nearly equal to zero as there are no such activities or campaigns carried out on either of their social media platforms.
BSNL has been on Twitter for a long time now. The interaction they produce is not even near to the mark.
- @BSNLCorporate: This account is managed by a small Digital Media Consulting company, Golden Phoenix which came into existence in 2010
- Golden Phoenix themselves don’t tweet. Their Twitter handle includes automatic updates from their Facebook wall and has barely 8 followers
- They retweet the news articles which are about them
- Their tweets are the same as the posts on Instagram and Facebook
The world is moving rapidly. Having a powerful digital presence will help BSNL to put itself out to the general masses and thereby, build trust.
After understanding BSNL and it’s marketing efforts from multiple angles, let us now look at a summary of all the issues faced by the organisation, according to our research. Focusing on these pointers could help the firm, switch gears and drive on the right track.
- Besides an assured job, there are no rewards and recognition for the workforce which is not motivating people to work at their maximum capability
- Lacks the new, young, and energetic workforce
- The monopoly attitude of BSNL is not changing even with such a high level of competition
- BSNL lacks in the physical processes which need to be very easy and accessible from any region where services are available
- They should focus on Value Added Services, building a strong distribution chain
- Differential treatment to premium/corporate customers
- Unsatisfactory marketing strategies
- Lousy Digital Presence
- Inadequate investments
- It is losing customers and quality
- Declining market share
Being one of the oldest company in the telecom industry, BSNL has faced numerous challenges during its journey. Yet, it is one of the most trusted brands in the country, especially in its rural market strongholds. They are adapting to new trends and executing new schemes for consumers to sustain.
BSNL is currently focused on improving its telecommunications network to reach a wider audience, especially in rural areas that are not yet linked to urban areas. Major competitors of BSNL are Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, Reliance Jio, etc. BSNL stands out among these rivals as it is the only service provider looking forward to or making efforts to bridge the gap between rural-urban areas with the help of telecommunications and internet facilities.
On the other hand, marketing methods and campaigns carried out by BSNL are nowhere near to any profits seen by customers due to heavy competition and poor marketing strategies. While talking about digital marketing, the social media presence of BSNL is nearly equal to null. They have not taken much effort to market their services and products so that it reaches the audience.
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