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News

Settimo Piano embrace a new culture to launch LIBON

23/11/2022

Libon is a mobile application that enables users to call family and friends in over 150 countries worldwide. While the user needs a Libon account, pre-bought minutes and an internet connection to place the call, the person receiving the call can receive it as a classic GSM call on their landline or mobile phone. Calls are counted by the second and there are no hidden costs or charges, and no contract commitment is required.  This app is particularly attractive to people with relatives on the African continent where mobile networks are limited and the costs of calls are high.

In June 2022, Libon approached EFMP Italian partner, Settimo Piano to grow their brand presence in the Italian market targeting seasonal and foreign workers from sub-Saharan Africa living in Italy who would want to call their loved ones living abroad.

The field marketing campaign originally took place in cities with the highest concentration of Africans in Italy.  Settimo Piano implemented an unobtrusive campaign that included handing out flyers and educating customers about the Libon service and helping them to download the App to redeem the free minutes. Following the success of the initial campaign it has now extended across other cities in Italy.

As part of the campaign brief, Libon requested that the promoters be ideally French speaking and first-generation immigrants from sub–Saharan Africa.  

This proved to be extremely challenging on two fronts. Firstly the usual recruitment channels proved ineffective as they didn’t reach the right demographic and secondly many of the prospective promoters only spoke their own “Wolof” dialect which was useful in speaking to prospective customers but it made it extremely difficult for the Settimo Piano staff, who speak Italian, to effectively communicate with and train the promoters.  

“In order to overcome these barriers, Settimo Piano had to get creative”, said Agness Mancin, recruiter and project manager for Settimo Piano.  "We contacted the President of the Senegalese Association of Bergamo and he acted as an intermediary to get in touch with the Senegalese community present in Italy. By consolidating a relationship with the Senegalese president of that organisation, I stopped being "Agnese from Settimo Piano" and I became the Senegalese Association of Bergamo President's friend: this allowed me to gain the trust of the whole Senegalese community, and everyone wanted to start working for us, which was hugely satisfying! Due to this relationship, we were allowed to be present at a religious event that saw the participation of about 600 Senegalese compatriots which took place in Verdello on September 24th. Several Senegalese TV stations were present at this event and our promoters had a dedicated channek which enabled them to sponsor Libon. It was a tremendous success!"

This remarkable initiative by Settimo Piano is an ongoing project.

To overcome the language barriers in the promotion of this product, Settimo Piano trained a supervisor who is responsible for directly training the promoters and who monitors the activities in the field. He is responsible for helping the promoters to be fully prepared by teaching them how to communicate the benefits of Libon and by showing them how to download the app. The promoters, in turn, pass on the information to the target group.

This campaign has been so different in so many ways, it has challenged Settimo Piano to understand and work with a completely different culture. As an agency they have had to learn new ways of communicating and relating to their target audience.

It has been incredibly interesting for the team to learn about different customs and habits and to come to the realisation that with each person they encounter there is an opportunity to learn and discover something new. This campaign has truly opened their minds to think differently, and it has been a source of continuous learning for the business. The activity has given Settimo Piano so many wonderful memories and has pushed them, as a business, beyond their geographical boundaries. They are now ready and excited to open to new activities in every part of the world! They look forward to the next adventure.

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