Customer Centricity

The digital marketing opportunity for telcos

Consumers want digital experiences to be tailored to them. 63% for example expect brands to use their purchase history to provide them with personalized experiences, and 89% of US marketers reported that personalization on their websites or apps resulted in increased revenues.

89% of marketers agree that understanding user journeys across channels and devices is critical to marketing success. It is no surprise telcos are investing heavily in creating a 360 degree view of their customers, advanced customer analytics (big data), omni-channel and real time campaign management.

However, there are two big challenges:

  1. How can telcos activate their rich customer data and insights for marketing purposes?
  2. How can customers be digitally reached? While 78% of customers are online everyday telcos typically only reach 0-1% digitally on a daily basis.

And these challenges are getting bigger as:

  1. Users are seemingly annoyed by intrusive digital advertising and many go as far as to use ad-blockers and
  2. Regulation, especially in Europe with the upcoming general data privacy regulation (GDPR) and even more so the proposed ePrivacy regulation, is picking up on this trend to enforce user wishes.

As a result, the current ad tech world of third party cookies and cookie syncing, a model which has been the foundation of digital advertising, is getting close to its end of life.

The concept of a customer data platform (CDP) combing the historically separated worlds of CRM/big Data and online identifier-based data Management Platforms (DMP) offer an opportunity to address these challenges. As Marc Pritchard, P&G´s Chief Brand Officer formulated the future of digital is “mass one-to-one marketing”, and that P&G is now working with partners to utilize unique consumer ID data and target consumers precisely when they’re ready to buy with personalized advertising.

From my point of view this is a formidable task and there are no simple solutions. But telcos that take a first party customer data strategy combined with an omnichannel enterprise customer permissions management are leading the pack utilizing the two big advantages telcos have:

  1. The possibility of network identification
  2. The availability of contractual, usage, behavioral and customer location data

It cannot be reiterated too often that the whole thought process needs to start with understanding what the customer problem is you are helping to solve rather than how to increase permissions and identifications. If there is no clear answer to this question a first party data strategy will not work. Staying relevant and helpful to your users is what counts and permissions, interactions and rich first party data will be the result.

Based on a clear value exchange with customers consistently executed across channels, six levers can be applied to increase also digital customer identification:

In my experience all those activities should be based on a model that describes the different identification and permission stages and guides the interactions with the user.

Executing a first party data strategy and creating a digitally engaged customer base takes time and effort but the rewards are high as well: more loyal customers and advocates, increased customer lifetime value and a fantastic basis to extend your business model to create platforms and marketplaces as part of your digital transformation journey.

In summary I see successful telecommunication providers strategically building a customer data platform (CDP) with

  1. A data privacy compliant permission management based on a clear customer value exchange to leverage customer data and insights for marketing purposes.
  2. A first party data strategy to utilize network and login identification as a basis for a personalized customer experience and dialogue.


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    About The Author

    COO - Teavaro

    Dirk is COO & Co-Founder of Teavaro a company offering a cloud based customer data platform. He specialized in strategic and operative consulting of how to build and utilize customer data as a strategic asset in a privacy compliant way under the upcoming European Privacy regulation (GDPR). Dirk has over 25 years of international leadership experience across different industries. He worked as Director Data Monetization for SAS Institute in EMEA and Asia/Pacific helping companies to create value from customer data. Previous to SAS he worked twelve years in senior positions at Deutsche Telekom Group as IT Director T-Mobile UK, IT Director T-Mobile Germany and SVP Solutions & Enabler for the Group. Before that he was CIO of the Paulaner Brewery Group and Managing Director of their logistics company. He started his career at Gemini Consulting advising clients in sales, marketing and IT.

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