n African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development - Developing lifelong customers in the mobile phone market : a South African case study

Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2042-1338
  • E-ISSN: 2042-1346
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This paper argues that, to survive in increasingly competitive mobile phone markets, mobile phone service providers should develop marketing strategies that not only address immediate marketing needs of short-term profitability, but also emphasise developing lifelong customers. Although this approach might negatively affect short-term profits, these, however, can be compensated in the long-run. In this paper, we posit that long-run marketing success is a function of how a service provider attracts and maintains customers over sustained periods. A sample of South African Generation Y mobile phone subscribers was studied with a view to identifying factors leading to lifelong patronage to a service provider. Contrary to past findings that suggest subscribers migrate permanently from one operator to a competitor, this study provides two new insights. Firstly, although subscriber migration across mobile networks was observed, it is not as widespread as earlier thought; and more importantly it is not permanent. Movement across networks on the part of subscribers is a strategy to enhance their satisfaction by complementing services from different operators. The findings of the paper mostly apply to African and other emerging markets.

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