Vodafone Italia has launched a new promotion that gives selected customers unlimited calls, data and SMS for one week at a cost of €1.00 (US $1.14), according to a report. The offer, called Tutto Illimitato (“All Unlimited”), is being sent via SMS to certain customers. Once activated, subscribers have seven days to enjoy the benefits of the plan before it is automatically deactivated, at no additional cost. Unlike similar previous promotions, there are no daily data caps.
There is something intriguing about this promotional offer, which may stand to shed some light on consumer psychology. The operator says that it will award a very rich bonus—a full week of truly (we will assume this is true, although many “unlimited” offers in various markets have turned out to have hidden limits) unlimited service at nominal cost in all three basic service areas—to essentially random subscribers. Presumably the number of recipients will be quite small.
Therefore we wonder exactly what the aim of the promotion is, and how it could bring benefits to the operator. For one thing, the prospect of all that free data descending on one by surprise could create a certain level of excitement among Vodafone customers, and that anticipation, perhaps akin to winning a lottery, could boost loyalty and brand enthusiasm. Since no one really expects to win, failure to win will not really disappoint anyone.
Most of those who do receive the promotion will, no doubt, go ahead and consume uncharacteristically large amounts of data and other services. That could lead to a heightened appreciation of what such mega-doses can accomplish in terms of using certain applications. The ultimate result could be that those individuals will then continue to use, if not such large amounts, then at least larger amounts than they formerly used. Furthermore, they may tell their friends and family about the new things they could accomplish using mobile devices, and that could have the ripple effect of encouraging them to use more data themselves. In addition, it is certainly conceivable that the Tutto Illimitato promotion could boost acquisition by luring subscribers from other operators, who would join Vodafone in the hope of being a lucky recipient of the bonus.
On the other hand, the random and quantitatively small scope of the promotion could cause it to have very little impact indeed on either retention, acquisition or revenue. Even in that case, though, the cost to the operator would be negligible.