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Reference no. ESMT-505-0032-1
Prize winner
Published by:
ESMT European School of Management and Technology (2005)
19 August 2008
7 pages
Data source:
Field research
This case was published as part of the ECCHO collection of free cases (visit for more information on the collection). This case can be downloaded by educators as a clean pdf by viewing the on-line inspection copy below. Access is unlimited and you may print as many copies as you wish for use with your students. Standard pricing applies for any copies ordered from The Case Centre. This item is part of a free case collection. For terms & conditions go to
This is the first of a two-case series, which explores Smart Telecommunication Inc's innovative approach to serving low-income customers in the Philippines. The case introduces a framework for developing strategies to serve low-income customers in developing countries - the 4As. This framework is an adaptation of the classic 4Ps of marketing that are likely to have been covered early in any marketing course. Case (A) provides an overview of the mobile phone market in the Philippines as of early 2003, as well as demographic and socio-economic information. According to analysts, the mobile phone market in the country is heading towards saturation due to the fact that the majority of the population is unable to afford mobile services. It is estimated that in a best-case scenario, 35% of the population will be using a mobile phone by 2008. The Chief Executive Officer of Smart, Napoleon L Nazareno asks if it might be profitable to serve the massive but still untapped pool of low-income consumers, or whether his company should focus on pursuing market development opportunities to increase revenues from existing customers. The (B) case demonstrates how Smart was able to implement a highly innovative marketing strategy to serve low-income customers. At the heart of this marketing approach was Smart Load, a mobile proposition involving sachet-based pricing (similar to that seen in the fast moving consumer goods world), a revolutionary over-the-air mobile reloading technology, and a decentralised distribution approach. Through the implementation of this strategy, analysts revised their estimates of market penetration from a maximum 35% of the population, to upwards of 70% by 2008. The case study is intended for undergraduate or MBA marketing programmes, or can also be used as part of a core business strategy programme to discuss issues related to strategic innovation in developing markets. The case has also been used as a case on strategic innovation in the mobile telecommunications industry as part of a customised executive education programme for senior managers from a mobile phone company. This case was published as part of our collection of free cases (visit for more information on the collection).
Prizes won:
2006 - EFMD Case Writing Competition - special category winner
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