Wireless Carriers Not Doing Enough To Segment The Market

A recent research report concludes that the US mobile carriers are not doing enough to attract the Central European immigrant market segment. The report indicates that this segment represents a $1.3B slice of wireless revenues. The suggestions are that a segment-specific marketing plan catering to this group could include foreign-language customer service, and reduced-rate long distance calling to the countries of origin. Now, while we agree completely with the report, we wonder why the report’s conclusions are limited to the ‘new American’ segment. The US carriers have been extremely lax in segmenting the market at all (with the notable exception of Nextel for enterprise). The carriers have focused on marketing to the mass, growth, and little else (damn the torpedoes, the customer service, and the QoS!) Now, however, with US penetration rates approaching (what some people think is) saturation, the US carriers are finally turning to segments such as the cherished enterprise and youth. However, just because segmenting the market now has carrier appeal, doesn’t mean they’re going to be any good at it. I have a lot more faith in an MVNO’s ability to attack a given segment than the big boys (ex: Virgin, Boost).

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