Marketing Strategies and Market Performance of M-Sente a Mobile Money Product of Uganda Telecom Ltd
Waiswa, Bob Eustace
Settumba, John Paul
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Purpose- Intrigued by the poor market performance of M-Sente product of Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL), this study examined the relationship between marketing strategies and the market performance of M-Sente, a mobile money product of Uganda Telecom Limited. Specifically, study: examined the relationship between pricing and market performance of M-Sente; examined the relationship between promotion and market performance of M-Sente; and, examined the relationship between place and market performance of M-Sente. Design/methodology- The study adopted a cross section study design and both quantitative and qualitative approaches. In total, a sample of 120 respondents was chosen and included members of the marketing team, Sales team, dealers (Central), sub dealers (Central) and M-Sente outlets (Central). Data was collected by means of questionnaires and interviews, and analysis of quantitative data was done using descriptive and inferential statistics. Findings – This paper revealed that UTL’s prices were lower than the competition, though customers did not feel they were getting value for money. This explains why UTL’s market share continues to decline despite their competitive prices. The study findings revealed that there is a positive relationship between marketing strategies and market performance of M-Sente mobile money product of UTL. Further, it was noted that pricing had a positive correlation with market performance (r=0.444**; p<.001); promotion had a positive significant relationship with market performance (r=.171*; p<.001); and place was positively correlated with market performance in UTL, though not significantly (r=.366; p>.001).The findings of this paper show that the price of M-Sente products was found to be low although the number of customers kept on declining. This is contrary to the law of demand that postulates that the lower the price the higher the demand. Results showed that M-Sente had a small number of retail outlets distributed all over Kampala. It was not featuring significantly in the rural areas, because most people in the rural areas have no bank accounts and largely rely on mobile money transactions. This means that even if a customer wanted to use M-Sente, they had to travel far in search of an M-Sente outlet. There is revelation that customers would rather use the competitors’ mobile money services (more widely spread out in every town and more accessible). The promotional strategies through advertising had proved to be very costly to UTL, yet the results from them were so minimal, contributing to significant losses. Thus, UTL needs to explore other less costly means of sales promotion, such as handing out samples of its products, having promotional products branded with its logo, or other gifts at key locations. One of the major drawbacks for UTL’s M-Sente services was the limited accessibility. Therefore, the company should carry out thorough planning on the location of the mobile money outlets. The results (findings) of this research can’t be generalized. Implications- Pricing is one of the marketing strategies that UTL is using to improve its market performance, by charging rates lower than the rest of the telecom companies, though this has not resulted into better market performance. UTL has engaged in a number of promotions for example sales promotion, advertising promotion and on line promotions, in an effort to inform, persuade and influence people when making a decision to buy. However, the fewer outlets in the city centre seemed to be countering the efforts through promotion. This calls for better planning on the location of the mobile money outlets within and outside Kampala. In addition, the outlets need to be strategically located in places where it is easy to outwit competitors given the marketing strategies employed.