Alltel aims for broader consumer base
Alltel Wireless has expanded its My Circle offering and launched a fully integrated campaign in an effort to gain new customers and increase satisfaction of existing users.
The campaign promotes 5-person and 20-person variations on Alltel's standard 10-person unlimited calling plan, My Circle. The campaign, by Campbell-Ewald and marketing firm GMR, includes retail, a Web presence, PR, mass media advertising and direct mail. Direct mail pieces and other creative will all be branded with the Alltel spokesperson, Chad the sales guy, but the prominence of the new offer may change depending on whether the mail is intended for customer acquisition or retention.
“The wireless industry, as a whole, is at a mature level within the business curve, so what we're really all about at this point is getting awareness, consideration and people to walk into our stores,” said Lucie Pathmann, director of marketing and communications at Alltel. “We try to find ways to get consumers' consideration, so when they are in the market to switch providers — for example, if their contract is up — we are there.”
The new plans were offered partly in response to customer feedback. In focus groups and in one-on-one interactions, some Alltel users indicated that the My Circle 10 plan — offered to those with a monthly plan of $59.99 or more — not meet their needs. The new five-number offer is available to less-expensive plans. The company has set up a page on its Web site. Users can change or upgrade their plans at any time, and they can type in their 5, 10 or 20 My Circle numbers online to be automatically transferred to their phones.
Alltel will use data on consumers' preferences in future marketing efforts.
“Our brand is centered around being a customer advocate and doing what's right for them,” Pathmann elaborated. “We heard some customers could not benefit because they didn't need all those minutes or were on a higher rate plan but needed more numbers, so we added these other options.”