Vonage Canada Gets Creative

This isn't a big story, but it came across my radar the other day. Vonage Canada has partnered with BelAir Travel with a promotion deal. Basically, if you book a winter travel package with BelAir Travel before November 30, you get 3 months of Vonage service for free. The offer is bundled in with another Scratch and Save promotion, so it takes some digging to find, although you can't miss the Vonage banner ads on their home page.

The offer is a bit like the way long distance plans used to be bundled with all kinds of things, but putting the marketing angle aside, the fit does make sense. People who travel need to call home, so why not do it with Vonage? Makes sense to me.

The bigger picture really is the challenge Vonage Canada faces in not being able to use the more accessible online channels that its parent relies on so extensively in the U.S. As such, they must be more creative in getting their message out, and ultimately this means more locally-based marketing - such as BelAir Travel. For more on this, you may want to listen to my recent podcast with Joe Parent of Vonage Canada.

It's interesting that you can't miss this offer on BelAir's website, but it's nowhere to be seen on Vonage Canada's site. Maybe it just takes some time to get posted there or to their corporate press room. That said, there is a press release there for another Vonage announcement from Friday - and yet another promotional deal. This one is with HP/Compaq, where you get a special rate on Vonage service with a new PC purchase. It's another form of bundling, and yet again, Vonage is trying to find new routes to market any way it can. Is it just me, but with all the bad karma going on at HP right now, one wonders if the timing of this just isn't right.

Quick coda with a Canadian twist - let' not confuse BelAir Travel with BelAir Networks, who announced a healthy round of funding yesterday. That's a great vote of confidence for the muni WiFi market, and another feather in Canada's hi tech cap.

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