According to Mobile Today, Phones 4u have stepped up the game in the bid to target students and are offering deals such as offering £100 of free music on any price plan.
Which is fantastic except there are not doing a very good job advertising it to us. In fact this year all the networks and retailers have generally been pretty rubbish at trying to get student customers. I attend Salford University which is located within about 8 miles of another 2 universities in Manchester. Manchester has one of the largest student populations in the country. I have seen nothing, well pretty much nothing from anyone. Are these companies stupid? Students around the country are sitting with about £1000 (I know it may not sound that much however for a student it is) in their bank account in the form of their student loan. I am not saying that students should be ripped off at all, but you would of thought the mobile industry would have thought about having a presence at freshers fair across the country?
In the last two years there was one network that got advertising to students during freshers week correct and they were Dot Mobile, OK they are in administration but they worked on wholesale, just reselling Vodafone airtime at a discounted price. I think they survived as long as they did because of being linked with the NUS.
This year I was looking forward to seeing who would be there in Dot’s place linked up with the NUS and heavily marketing their services, I thought 3 (pushing mobile broadband) and Blyk would be there. I was VERY wrong. Orange was there and I ran over to their stand (yes I am that sad), and I asked what offers they had and the free stuff they had. The reply I got was that the tariffs were the same as I could get in the Orange shop and I could enter to win a blow up orange animal.
I stood there shocked, your kidding me right a blow up orange animal?
Nope I am being 100% serious they had one to give away if I gave them my email address. No special discount if you signed up on the day, no sample handsets real or fake to be seen on their stall. Nothing, except their booklet for this month. No hard sell, in fact they did not even ask me if I had a phone at all or If i wanted a new phone. No mention of Orange Wednesday’s nothing.
I can sum this post up in pretty much one word FAIL.
If you are reading this and work for one of the network operators you really need to do much better at reaching your target audience, you need to use tools like facebook and prize giveaways and get freshers stall stands to sell your products. If you act quickly some freshers week are this week and next week but you failed miserably at getting any customers from the 20,000 students Salford has.
Standby for more posts about freshers week from Dan Pullen, who will be telling us what has been happening at his university, hopefully he will have a better expierance then me.