About two days ago, Airtel launched a Youth Data promotion. We were not party to the launch event or press release, just got wind of it through our Twitter Timeline. There was nothing new to write on, so we watched and waited. We then stumbled upon some comments made by the MD, Charity Lumpa. Not only did they make for interesting reading, so have a look at the post at ICT Africa which quotes the Times of Zambia.
The MD also said, “The company has also upgraded the billing system which will see it build on the numerous innovative services launched.” Furthermore, the article reads:
The Airtel ‘Go for it’ campaign is offering the youth an exciting, very affordable high-speed internet service which allows them to make video calls, have quick and easy access to social sites, email; download music quickly and even originate and participate in video blogs,” she said.
Ms Lumpa explained that Airtel has launched the campaign to motivate the youth to work towards achieving their dreams and using the world-class mobile internet platform as a means of generating revenue generating activities as emerging entrepreneurs.
After much promised system upgrades to the Airtel Zambia HSDPA+ (3.75G) network, on account of customer complaints and keeping up with the competition, we finally have been told upgrades have been completed. However, we have no indication of how much has gone into this and what we can expect as specific improvements in the service. A good ball-pack figure would do some good.
The not so public launch was publicized on their Twitter feed, so as to not steal the show from the mass market promo Zipezemo. This also comes fresh on the heels of a previous campaign where they offered free internet during the late hours.
From the MD’s statements, our Analysts say the youth promotion is not a panacea to the data woes we see on a daily basis online on Twitter or Facebook. Much has to be done in terms of aligning the Airtel brand to the Youth Segment by revisiting the branding and communications, products and services, pricing, and offers to get the market excited and raving in an almost trance-like or hype that fits with the youth of Zambia who are alive, energetic, and thriving in other areas of their lives except their internet experience. They are hungry for internet speeds, mobile connectivity and cool new tools (apps, web apps and devices) to make their life more social, affluent, and set for the next level: corporate life!
But what is more sad is that the MD has an almost zero digital footprint online before joining Airtel Zambia. How do you sell something that you shy from using? Or is the internet and social media used privately? Steve Jobs is turning in his grave. We know for a fact a lot of Airtel employees and alumni are active on social media. So we urge the MD to come to the party.
Image Credit: UKZambians