How Can Product Managers Turn A Competitor’s Advantage Against Them?

How Can Product Managers Turn A Competitor's Advantage Against Them

As product managers we often need to relax and let our competitors create a winning marketing strategy. Because of limitations that could be resource-based, budget dependent, relating to our product development concept or just a lack of time-based, there isn’t anything which we could do in order to stop the way our competitors are doing. When their sales go up, we scold ourselves for being unable to develop a successful strategy to stop their actions. This isn’t enjoyable. In Sprint, the service for mobile phones Sprint this was occurring to Sprint. But, they then took the decision to do something extremely daring…

Sprint’s Bold Plan To Steal AT&T Wireless Customers

Here’s the issue the Sprint product managers were examining. In their rival AT&T Wireless, the parent company, AT&T, had just made an announcement and slapped US$49 billion to purchase satellite TV company DirectTV. Evidently, what the parent company wanted to do was make this acquisition to provide exclusive communication channels to thousands of DirectTV customers to persuade them into purchasing additional AT&T Wireless products.

Sprint has had financial difficulties in recent years. They definitely do not have billions of dollars to compete with AT&T. They’d like to convince the millions of DirectTV customers who are subscribers to DirectTV to buy Sprint Wireless products rather than AT&T wireless services. But what they really required was a method to attract the interest to DirectTV customers. This is the time when Sprint Product Managers got innovative.

What they chose to do was appeal directly to DirectTV clients directly. They developed an Sprint program in which they informed DirectTV customers that they would offer them one year of free wireless service in exchange for them to change to Sprint. Wow! This is something you could put on your resume for a product manager. It was clearly an attack directly at AT&T Wireless. One of the reasons AT&T was willing to spend such a high price to acquire DirectTV was the assumption that they could be capable of converting a large number of these TV subscribers to AT&T Wireless customers. The new Sprint program was clearly going to be a problem with AT&T Wireless.

Does Sprint’s plan Work?

There’s no doubt that Sprint’s product management team gets praise for their boldness. The other wireless companies were content to let AT&T to acquire DirectTV and then begin aggressively promoting AT&T Wireless services for DirectTV customers. But, being bold is only an aspect, but efficiency is the most important factor. Does the Spring strategy have any chance of succeeding?

As you would expect, AT&T is trying to ridicule at the Sprint program out of the water. They claim that this is an attempt to Sprint to increase its customer base and emphasize that the program comes with a variety of limitations. What Sprint offers is an unlimited plan that includes text and talk as well as up to 2G data per month, for free for a year. The plan does not come with the expense of smartphones. After the year has ended, Sprint says that it will begin to charge customers $50 per month. AT&T states that they believe in their service.

With aplomb, Sprint management has rescinded the time frame for which this program is available to about once a month. This means it means that DirectTV customers who are likely only beginning to receive information on marketing through AT&T Wireless will now be forced to take a decision in the near future. The main question to be what the financial impact this could result in for Sprint. If the program succeeds the company will be giving the opportunity to give away lots of free service for the year. But regardless of the number of DirectTV customers sign up to, they’ll make a splash and made people conscious of Sprint products.

What Does This All Mean for What Does This Mean For

One thing that product managers do not like to observe is when their rivals gain advantages. In the case of wireless provider Sprint which is one of their most powerful rivals, AT&T Wireless’ parent company had just bought the DirectTV satellite television service , as well as its millions of subscribers. The Sprint management team knew they had to do something however, the most important problem was how to do?

What they chose to do was make an unassuming move. This is exactly what the job description of our product manager instructs us to take. They came up with an offer to DirectTV customers. They offered them a deal should they decide to change their wireless provider to Sprint and Sprint would provide them with unlimited wireless for the entire year. It included unlimited texting, phone calls as well as 2G of data per month. In the second year after the subscription, customers would be required to begin paying $50/month.

Sprint’s plans are very daring. The other wireless companies were merely sitting back and let AT&T to introduce its services to DirectTV customers. However, the Sprint product managers were able to shake the process. The time limit for their service will mean that DirectTV customers will need to take a quick decision to take advantage from the Sprint offer. It means AT&T Wireless has precious little time to make an offer to counter. We’ll need to check out how this turns out.

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