The telecoms industry is just about as competitive as it gets. In the US, for instance, it’s thought that telcos lose $65 million per month through customer churn. It’s therefore little wonder that the average telco in a mature market spends 15-20% of service revenues on acquisition and retention (that compares to the just 15% of revenue spent on infrastructure). Telecom marketing is an important part of this mix. If a telco’s marketing strategy is right, they stand to both reduce churn within their own business and win dissatisfied customers from others’.
The chief marketing challenge facing telcos today will be familiar to many other consumer-facing businesses: how to deliver relevant, personal digital experiences that add true value to the lives of customers. Tied to this is the need for telcos to be able to easily offer new experiences and thereby increase the number and value of contacts with customers.
Achieving these goals has never been more difficult. Consumers are more empowered than ever, and increasingly expect to engage with brands over multiple channels and digital platforms. They are also more informed than in the past, and more than happy to broadcast bad experiences over social media.
Telecom marketing strategies must therefore begin and end with an understanding of the customer’s needs and the customer journey. As KPMG’s Global Head of Telecoms & Media puts it: “Telcos are at a strategic crossroads and success in the new reality requires putting consumers at the heart of their value propositions.”
One way telcos can achieve this goal is to leverage a powerful asset that is currently under-utilised: their first-party intelligence on customers. By activating that intelligence and using it to inform marketing efforts, telcos will be able to create rich experiences that perfectly meet the needs and preferences of individual customers.
What’s changed to allow the use of first-party intelligence in this way is the emergence of privacy-first approaches to marketing. In the past, campaigns that sought to reach specific audiences at scale, and/or include content for specific audiences to engage with, required the use of third-party cookies and Mobile Advertising IDs (MAIDs) – an intrusive approach that paid little respect to customers’ privacy.
With third-party cookies and MAIDs deprecating, privacy-centric alternatives are emerging, including the two IDs offered on Novatiq’s Fusion Platform: the Zenith ID and the Hyper ID. This approach is unique in that it has the telco’s own network at its centre. Here’s how it works:
In essence, the Fusion platform enables telcos to stitch together the interactions of their users across both devices and platforms. As a result, they can build a complete, 360°view of their users. Once that view has been created, Novatiq then enables telcos to leverage this deeper understanding of their customers for cross-sell and up-sell opportunities, and to ensure that they deliver compelling services that drive retention.
The approach also means that telcos can save money that would otherwise be wasted. The Fusion platform provides telcos with an immediate view of which users are existing customers. These users can then be passed over with regard to acquisition campaigns, saving budget that can be better spent elsewhere. The ID approach enabled by Novatiq thereby optimises marketing programmes and ensures that telcos get the biggest bang for their buck.
The end result of this innovative approach to telecom marketing is a range of benefits for the telco and for the customer. Telcos benefit from a reduced churn rate through a better understanding of the customer journey. They are also able to improve the performance and lower the cost of campaigns for customer acquisition, loyalty, cross-sell, and up-sell. For example, one telco experienced a 50% uptick in ROI and an 82% increase in click-through rates though better audience insights enabled by Novatiq. Finally, telcos will be able to benefit by improving their affiliate programmes, overlaying IDs and intelligence to extend the opportunities available to affiliates.
Equally important are the benefits to customers. Telco-verified IDs enable seamless experiences that perfectly meet the needs of customers without intruding on their privacy. Marketing becomes part of the cherished brand and helps ensure that customers remain with the telco for longer.
With an industry as competitive as telecoms, any differentiator can make a difference. The emergence of privacy-first approaches to marketing is a significant one. Telcos that embrace the approach first stand to get ahead in the race to offer winning customer experiences.