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WorldSpace all set for comeback, parks up Rs 13-cr ad budget

31-March-2004
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WorldSpace all set for comeback, parks up Rs 13-cr ad budget

After a lull period of close to two years, WorldSpace is back with a brand new positioning, marketing strategy and ad campaign. With these measures in place along with a comfortable Rs 13-crore ad budget, the satellite radio company is soon be whistling some happy tunes.

Despite the bang with which it entered the Indian market, WorldSpace, through its subsequent communications, was unable to sustain the buzz. According to Sanjay Ramakrishnan, Head – Marketing, WorldSpace, this was mainly because of the infrequent and confusing messages that was sent out by the company in the years following the launch. In a bid to change all this, the company has reworked its strategy and is all set to make an impact – for the second time round. “Our previous communications were confusing and as a result, our audience was unclear about what WorldSpace signified. Our new marketing strategy has been designed to tackle this and a number of other challenges that existed,” he said. Besides shifting audience attention from the receiver box to the benefits of satellite radio, the company is also at work to build a strong retail presence, offer better customer care services and put installation snags to rest.

But the most obvious shift in its strategy is demystification of the concept of satellite radio. While WorldSpace earlier went around as ‘WorldSpace Satellite Digital Audio Services Company’, it has now trimmed the name to an easy ‘WorldSpace Satellite Radio’. Said Ramakrishnan: “People used to look at us as a company which is very high into technology. This was a positioning they could not relate to. Now on, we would call ourselves only WorldSpace Satellite Radio. We are harping on the concept of satellite radio saying that this is the next version of a regular radio. People will be able to relate to this quite easily”. This approach is clearly seen in its latest communication, which delivers the brand message using a number of emotional contexts.

Another visible change in its communication strategy is the method in which the company is going about launching its latest campaigns. Starting in Bangalore, it ran a month-long teaser campaign for its retail store calling it, “The world’s largest music store”. The campaign created quite a buzz with its retail stores, going by the same name, generating a significant footfall. According to Ramakrishnan, the objective behind setting up exclusive WorldSpace stores was more to create experience centres than build a retail chain. “Our product is such that experiencing it creates more conversions than any amount of advertising. The main factor for us is to sell the concept of satellite radio to our audience as once they say yes to it, they will automatically say yes to us as we don’t have any competitors,” he shared.

Backed with a budget of Rs 13 crore for this year, WorldSpace has flagged off ‘Round 1’ of a long series of campaigns. In direct contrast to the way its launch campaign was handled, the company is now approaching different markets in a phased manner. Already on in Bangalore, the campaign would move to Chennai in May after which it would proceed to Hyderabad. According to Ramakrishnan, Mumbai and Delhi would be covered by July, 2004. “We have earmarked eight cities which we want to cover in a systematic manner. We will use a combination of print, outdoors and radio wherever it is available. We will also be engaged in a number of below the line activities – something we haven’t done so far. We will look at a nationwide TVC once all these areas are covered,” he said.

Currently offering 31 channels with a vast mix of music genres and news, WorldSpace has built a subscriber base of around 56,000. With all its renewal strategies in place, it is hoping to boost this figure to 1,50,000 subscribers over the next year.

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