, ,

In a recent, brief interview, the new chief marketing officer of Vonage, Ted Gilvar, mentioned three separate times that his primary goal in taking over the role was to make sure that everyone knew that “Vonage means business.” But what exactly does that mean?

Vonage built a name for itself by providing voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) services to consumers. Rather than considering itself a phone company or a telecom firm though, Vonage regards itself as a communications provider. To support the provision of communications services, it relies on technology, including VoIP. But overall, its value proposition is that it enables users to communicate more readily.

Therefore, it believes that its path to growth is clearest in the business-to-business market. Vonage plans to take its consumer-oriented offer and transform it into a B2B proposition. But the transformation will not involve new product introductions or radical new services. As Gilvar explains, “We’re not launching a brand new product or set of products—it’s really a marketing launch to let everyone know that Vonage means business.” With this marketing launch, it hopes to introduce itself to business customers, as a reliable provider of communications services.

Businessman talking on the phoneOne of the methods it is using to make these introductions is acquisition. In the past couple of years, Vonage has purchased three other firms that already function in the B2B market: Simple Signal, which provides unified communications-as-a-service solutions to small businesses; Telesphere Networks, which offers similar solutions to larger companies; and Vocalocity, which offers cloud-based communication services. Along with these acquisitions, it plans an integrated marketing campaign, including a potential Super Bowl ad, to spread its introductions more widely among potential business customers. Through these moves, Vonage hopes to increase its B2B revenue by 40 percent.

Discussion Question:                                                                      

What other considerations does Vonage need to address to gain a foothold in B2B markets? 

SOURCE: Kate Maddox, “New CMO at Vonage Will Make ‘Aggressive’ B-to-B Push,” Advertising Age, April 28, 2015, http://www.adage.com