The global telecommunications industry has around 800+ service providers spread over 6 continents, out of which 80 rakes in over 1 Billion USD each annually[1]. Each country has dozens of regional service providers, making it one of the most competitive industries in the world.

In such a market, it becomes imperative for telecommunication enterprises to establish a strong connection with their customers in order to drive acquisition and retention goals. To increase brand awareness, organisations spend heavily on marketing and advertising through traditional channels and platforms. However, this doesn’t necessarily lead to an increase in sales.

With the explosion in media and technology, telecommunication companies are now faced with the challenge of interacting with customers through various modes and platforms. Either via email, Social Media, SMS, postal, voice calls or video-chat, the industry has been shoved into an era of cross-functional marketing and outreach. Every touchpoint comes with its own set of exclusive customer-oriented datasets. If utilised intelligently, this data can be used to create targeted campaigns and services for customers.

In today’s world, customers tend to side with brands and services that offer stellar customer experiences. In a global case study by Wunderman Thompson, it was observed that 76% of individuals choose to purchase from brands that demonstrate awareness and concern about its customers [2].

Retention of existing customers is also a pressing need. An Accenture study shows that more than 80% of organisations spend less than 30% of their total marketing budget on customer retention and engagement based initiatives [3]. It has also been observed that the total cost of acquiring a new customer is 5x more than the total cost of retaining existing ones. Hence, holding onto existing customers becomes a profitable exercise.

So, what can a Customer Data Platform (CDP) do in this context?

A CDP provides the ability to create a consolidated view of each and every customer. Telecommunication service providers are able to flesh out the requirements, concerns and motivations of each of its subscribers in a nuanced manner, at a level of detail that was not possible through traditional ways of managing data.

Here are 4 different ways through which telecommunication enterprises are leveraging CDPs.

  1. User Monetization through content data

Marketing experts have become familiar with the concept of targeted content marketing over the last couple of decades. Experts have highlighted the fact that since the overall consumption of digital content has increased exponentially over time, the way people now consume content has changed as well. Up until the year 2000, an average human lost interest in 12 seconds. Today, marketing content and visuals need to be able to grab a customer’s attention in just 8 seconds. [4] Most Telecommunication companies offer the quintessential services that are similar and familiar to the average subscriber. Therefore, to stand out from competitors, these companies need to realise that the term ‘average subscriber’ doesn’t exist anymore and that each subscriber comes with their own unique preferences. Hence, specific content is targeted to each and every subscriber.

Telecommunications giant Telefonica had partnered with multiple retailers and fashion brands to provide subscribers with customized offers and deals. Yet, it was difficult to measure the ROI. Hence, in 2017, they purchased the geolocation data startup Statiq. Statiq had the ability to process billions of location data signals, which allowed Telefonica to monitor the places visited by subscribers and track if or not the subscriber visited a store after seeing a targeted advertisement.  [5]

  1. Capturing of cross-selling/up-selling opportunities

Telecommunication companies possess a multitude of avenues to either upsell existing products or cross-sell their services. CDPs harness crucial insights about the customer from their location data, network data, Social Media data, browsing actions, Registration Information (BSS) and other such interactions. These insights are then used to create opportunities to either upsell existing products or cross-sell with the help of affiliate partners.

Imagine a customer, who is using a 4G handset, is searching for 5G devices on various online sites or eCommerce portals. A CDP is able to successfully marry the data associated with the device at hand and the risen demand, and subsequently trigger a response that offers a 5G device that comes bundled with 5G services.

  1. Hyper-Personalization

Most telecommunication enterprises either store customer data in individual silos or disconnected data storage systems. The absence of a unified data software system makes it difficult to consider diverse datasets in order to produce critical insight. This has also been a leading cause of friction between telecommunication companies and subscribers.

CDPs enable telecom companies to merge data from different interactions, taking into account metrics related to brand affinity, campaign uptake and multichannel adoption rates. This provides them with the ability to create hyper-personalised outreach initiatives for better impact. It was observed that emails with personalized content led to a 20% direct increase in sales. [6]

  1. AI-assisted campaign discovery

One of the many roadblocks on the journey towards creating a campaign is discovering what works and what doesn’t. Timing is everything. With the arrival of the digital age, the total volume of content consumption through various channels has increased 10x, making it imperative for telecommunication service providers to create marketing campaigns for subscribers in real-time. This could be using a relevant piece of news, media or trending content to help sell better.

On a similar note, FMCG giant Unilever was able to harness the power of AI to create slogans and ad-jingles based on what they believed to be the most frequently consumed content: movie songs. Their AI-platform was able to isolate as many as 50 songs that referenced the idea of ‘eating ice-cream for breakfast’, which helped them produce noteworthy slogans, campaigns and jingles for their ice-cream vertical, Ben & Jerry’s.[7]

These are just a few of the many applications of intelligent CDPs.

Cadenz, an intelligent CDP, uses Artificial Intelligence to equip telecommunication service providers with all the necessary data and insights to create a 360-degree view of every single customer.

Built by TheDataTeam, Cadenz understands customer behaviours and purchase patterns to give intelligent recommendations for business excellence. A leading telecommunication company in the ASEAN market managed to track over 500+ behaviour based attributes of over 90 million customers, thereby simplifying their customer retention endeavours.

About the Author:

Nikhil Menon is a B2B Content Developer, who currently works for TheDataTeam in Bengaluru. Specializing in topics surrounding AI, Machine Learning, Blockchain (LBT) and Innovative Tech, Nikhil has worked with Fortune 500s, SMEs and Government bodies. As a speaker who has addressed professionals and students, In his free time, you’ll find him watching historical documentaries.

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