AT&T

Rich Tehrani : Communications and Technology Blog - Tehrani.com
Rich Tehrani
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AT&T

This past week was pretty busy with communications news and announcements. For example, AT&T made a number of headlines by providing large-scale videoconferencing in China among other accomplishments. The communications giant seems to be on fire now that SBC and the old AT&T have become the new and much larger AT&T. AT&T's international growth potential is one of the reasons in my opinion the company decided to stick with the internationally recognized AT&T brand instead of SBC.

I am still a bit mystified at the company's branding campaign. I think the ads themselves are great but I would imagine there isn't a much better-known brand than AT&T already. Might it make more sense to spend this money to go head on with Vonage?

I believe in branding a great deal. I have seen companies with no brand name make one for themselves through strategically placed ads. A smart marketer can take a company from 0 to 60 in no time flat. One wonders why CallVantage which has virtually no brand recognition hasn't been turned into the world's telephone service by AT&T.

I would think that for about $300 million CallVantage could lock up so many international countries, Vonage and others wouldn't know what hit them. AT&T will spend much more than this on branding themselves by the way.

I am sure the AT&T execs know what they are doing, I just get curious about such things. Still, time may be limited for CallVantage. The service seems to be a hit with the few customers that use it and the old and new AT&T seem to have their reasons for keeping it secret.

In the mean time Vonage is marketing like I have never seen before. Every marketing department in the world should learn from this company.

I am certainly not saying that Vonage is profitable or marketing in away where they are generating black ink. I don't have the inside track on the company's financials. What I do know is that their ads are pure genius and they are leaving little mindshare for others.

Still, I wonder what the other competitors are waiting for. There are so many companies who want to be the Vonage of tomorrow who seem to be waiting to market. What are these companies waiting for? I can't understand it. If you aren't marketing your VoIP service on all cylinders today when will you start?

If AT&T does become serious about being number one in VoIP, do you think that will be a better time to start your marketing campaign? If you manage the marketing department of a VoIP service provider today and you aren't attacking the market now, when will you?



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