Guerilla sales in migrant markets

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A kind of ghetto area covering four or five blocks in central Rotterdam, Holland, is home to around 30,000 migrants from Cape Verde, the Atlantic island republic off western Africa.

For the past 18 months it has been one of the key focuses in a guerilla marketing campaign by new international prepay SIM provider IDT Mobile; a spin off of calling card operator IDT Europe and a sub-division of multinational holding company IDT Corporation – a $2 billion (£1bn) business listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

IDT Mobile’s team engaged directly with the Cape Verdian community in Rotterdam; it sponsored a local football team and some dance events, went on local Portuguese-language radio and television, visited community centres and involved prominent community members.

Face-to-face in lots of cases, IDT Mobile told them, sign up to our prepay service and get cheap calling rates to local numbers and family members back home.

It claims its rifle-shot marketing activity works better than more traditional, more expensive advertising forms in niche market sectors and explains, ultimately, it is offering migrant communities a budget way of communicating with loved ones.

Now, the UK has become the latest front for its brand campaign, with Polish, Pakistani and Filipino community events in big urban centres being targeted now.

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