GrameenPhone | The Right Fit

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Stephen Hawking said, “There should be no boundaries to human endeavor. However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at.” This quote encompasses Grameenphone’s vow to connect people to what matters most to them and facilitate it to “make things possible”. Their current brand narrative #chaileishombhob derives from this belief and the telecommunication giant is working relentlessly to make things possible with their widest 4G network, products and digital services and social initiatives.

Navigating the New Normal

In order to make things possible amidst this global crisis when life and living both have been drastically altered, Grameenphone has partnered with several public and private organizations, as no single entity can overcome such an unforeseen situation alone. With a strong belief that “together it is possible”, their joint initiatives with a2i, ICT Division, WHO, UNICEF, UNDP, BRAC, Bangladesh Scouts, Google Maps, Open Streets Maps, and many more have given them the opportunity to initiate several ventures such as ‘Bangladesh Challenge’ and ‘Daakche Amar Desh’ (My Nation Calls).

The coronavirus crisis has been taking its toll on people who survive on daily wages and those who are living in extreme poverty. Millions of them have lost their livelihoods. To stand beside these people, with BRAC’s support, they have launched the ‘Daakche Amar Desh’ initiative. Under this initiative, Grameenphone has contributed BDT 15 crore to BRAC’s emergency food assistance fund, which has been used to help 100,000 affected families across the country. Each family had received BDT 1500 for two weeks’ essential food supplies. They have also urged others to join this cause. Several organizations had responded to reduce the sufferings of the most affected people during the time of need.

However we face a lengthy battle against the pandemic, which has shifted our lifestyle towards a more digital, more remote and technology dependent one, which we are calling the ‘New Normal’. Grameenphone recognizes this shift and they understand that there is higher dependency on their network and internet at the moment. So as part of their ‘Chailei Shombhob’ campaign which promotes the use of technology to find new ways to thrive and progress lives. They have been developing myGP as the ultimate digital solution for customers offering a majority of their services to avail at ease from anywhere. Their teams have been putting consistent effort to innovate new services and improve customer journeys to make it more simple for customers. During the pandemic they have ensured home delivery of SIM services following safety guidelines while a good portion of their physical retail was closed. In myGP they have been offering additional value in data packs, higher limit for emergency balance, data purchase on loan along with being the intelligent personal assistant to manage the telco account and at the same time bringing in flexibility to recharge friends and family. In myGP they have also partnered with A2i, bidyananda foundation, sajeda foundation, corona.gov.bd to facilitate awareness and participation of customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. On top of this, to deliver their products at the safety and comfort of customers’ homes, they have partnered with a number of eCommerce and Online platforms to provide lucrative discounts and offers to valued Star Customers.

We believe that from this adversity we will see the rise of a more agile and tech oriented generation. And Grameenphone vows to extend their support in this journey all the way through.

Maintain Core Communication

The core idea regarding PR strategies should be, not only for the telecom industry but also for the business sector as a whole, is to keep the stakeholders informed on the signs of progress. This is applicable during this time of pandemic now more than ever. Grameenphone has continuously imparted unity and connectivity messages, coming forward to help the community with what matters to them most. At Grameenphone they believe communication is a vital tool to change society, and it is proven. If you see all of the revolution or social change, it happened because of proper communication. And so in Grameenphone, they are putting their efforts to communicate products and services and the inspiration for social change. For example, a mobile phone with a package is not just calling or browsing the internet; it’s an agent of change if utilized in that way. Grameenphone’s communication always drives at that inspiration so that people can change their lives for good.

The Campaign #ChaileiShombhob

The grit and gumption of people to persevere despite great odds and great challenges during this pandemic is at the heart of the campaign #ChaleiShombhob. Bangladeshi citizens have proven that they are resolute and innovative in tackling the hardships posed by the pandemic. Grameenphone’s role is to put this tool of possibility, that is high speed internet and connectivity in everyone’s hands, and people are using it to change their lifestyle and progressing in amazing ways. Even in their recent campaigns for the brand and new internet products, it’s all about the new normal life being led by people around us. For example their most recent campaign showed the story of how students arrange a digital farewell for their beloved teacher’s retirement, and these things are happening around us everyday. New examples are being made, new possibilities explored. That is the spirit of the campaign.

#AmiBangladesh – The Country We Envision

Grameenphone believes in taking challenges head on and believes that with the power of technology and analytics, anything is possible. ‘Ami Bangladesh’ campaign stemmed from their belief that in each one of us are tiny pieces and representations of Bangladesh, and if we act like the Bangladesh we want to see, the country as a whole will progress towards it.

Grameenphone launched the ‘Ami Bangladesh’ campaign last year to inspire a brighter tomorrow’s civic sense and responsibilities. Through this campaign, they wanted to inspire everyone to fulfill their duties towards society. In this campaign, four video stories were created and through those people were welcomed to share how they are doing the same with the hashtag of #AmiBangladesh.

The response to this movement was overwhelming. Active participation was awe-inspiring. The engagement on social media garnered 11.5 million reaches and over 956,000 engagements. More than 6.1 million video views and 14,000 shares with the glowing feedback delivered on the objective of reminding people of their responsibilities to this country.

Tech-Driven Societal Progress

COVID-19 has been the new Chief Digital Officer of World pushing us to think digitally and beyond conventional ways. This change is in the air for the telecom sector too. While it may be too soon to carve all of the changes into granite, it does seem as though the industry is headed towards the beginning of a new era. It has been years since the telecom industry and the government has been trying to boost digitalization across the nation and we see COVID-19 pandemic has moved the digital transformation ball further down the field for businesses and other organizations. Those who had already started working on their digital transformations have begun to notice a positive change compared to those still relying on traditional ways of work. By using cloud-based applications i.e. MS Teams and online inventories for mobile ordering and mobile pickups, digitized companies quickly adapted to contactless services. What’s more important at this moment is to remain truly focused to emerging customer journeys and provide an experience that would enable better experience.

Additionally, even if the COVID-19 restrictions were relaxed or the pandemic ends, how many people do you think will return entirely back to the office or physical classroom? According to World Wide Technology, a new hybrid-working environment will emerge soon. Consequently, it will increase the penetration of digitalization across the globe. Besides providing network connectivity and business solutions to end customers, COVID-19 has created an opportunity for service providers to shift their attention to offering better home-based solutions and applications. Grameenphone has already started working on it, and they have already begun to provide robust home solutions to their customers to unfold possibilities through technology driving societal progress.

Partner in Connectivity

With the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic, lives worldwide are adapting to significant alternates in behavioral changes to cope with the new normal. And to do so, the internet emerged as a blessing in disguise, that didn’t only help us to make this shift easier but also unfolded many possibilities that we didn’t anticipate will happen. Hence, we have witnessed the mass adaptation of the internet. With people around the world going online more than ever, global internet usage has increased steadily. Grameenphone has always been an innovation-centric company that designs products and services by assessing its valuable customer’s needs. As the connectivity partner to digital Bangladesh, they have been diligently working to connect people to what matters most. To facilitate their customers navigating through the new normal, they have discovered numerous simplified solutions that align with their vision to empower societies.

As social media plays a vital role in our day-to-day lives, Grameenphone is always updating their official social media platforms’ latest products and services to keep customers well informed and to serve them better.

Innovate & Create to Relate to Consumers

Since COVID-19, our country has become increasingly connected, social, and the usage of mobile devices has risen, especially smartphones, to carry out a large number of activities.

To accommodate the new era, we need to adopt from the ‘classical’ to the innovative marketing approaches. Businesses can adopt technologies that can significantly improve communication quality, such as the usage of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to more effectively segment their customers, digitizing customer journeys into apps to create more personalized connections and use the power of analytics and data to rightly contextualize products / services.

Companies can then produce personalized contents based on the customer analytics. This makes the content more relevant and increases the reputation that the user has of a company or brand, which is perceived as more exciting and attentive to their needs. Contents today are everything when it comes to marketing. Creating exciting contents that communicates the purpose and characteristics of the brand is key to establish a meaningful relationship with the customers.
Another trend can be of influencer marketing. A decrease in the number of people watching TV increases influencer marketing, thus affirming that word-of-mouth is a highly efficient kind of marketing in this digital age.

Finally, it is important at this time and age to not only promote products or offers, but to find ways to make real positive change in the consumers lives. Digital platforms are highly powerful tools to engage and interact with audiences and industries need to use them to create a positive and beneficial environment for consumers. It’s not an easy task, but to reiterate the story of Grameenphone’s brand, if you want it’s possible – Chailei shombhob!

The author is the Chief Marketing Officer at Grameenphone.

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