Data Analytics & AI

Telcos better source of data insights than Google, say digital marketers

A new study finds that 67 percent of brands consider telecoms operators to be a better original source of data insights than Google, Apple and Samsung.

Despite this 48 percent of the companies surveyed said they are not aware of operators’ ability to even offer these insights, suggesting that many operators have been slow to market to monetize these core assets.

The research was carried out by Ovum for Synchronoss Technologies. 300 senior decision-makers at brands from the US, UK and France were surveyed in sectors including automotive, financial services, FMCG, hospitality and restaurants, media and entertainment, retail, and travel/transportation

The report, Brand perceptions of data insights in digital advertising – and the role of operators,  explores the value and potential for global brands of the contextual customer data operators have at their disposal. It argues there is a lucrative, relatively untapped opportunity for operators to monetize customer data insights through commercial brand partnerships.

Ted Woodbery, VP Comms & Media Marketing at Synchronoss, says, “We’ve known for years that operators are sitting on a goldmine of contextual customer data. Studies have estimated the market to be worth potentially billions of dollars. But no one’s looked at this from the brand’s perspective – and it’s good news for telcos. More than two thirds of brands surveyed value it above everything but social network data. Of those brands that weren’t previously aware that telco data existed, 92 percent are willing to explore commercial partnerships with operators once elucidated.”

Challenging the established order

Google (59 percent) and Facebook (52 percent) remain the dominant brand partners for data insights and digital advertising. Operators are also very much in the frame too. Just over a quarter (26 percent) of brands currently partner directly with telcos that specialize in digital advertising.

Despite the existing established order, less than a quarter of brands (22 percent) said they are completely satisfied with the depth and quality of customer data insights currently provided from any of their partners.

For companies that know about and are using telco data assets, the most compelling aspect is its value as a whole rather than constituent parts (real-time location, billing and network intelligence), followed by its depth and breadth. This, say the researchers, suggests that marketers have a good overall perception of telco data that can enable telcos to differentiate themselves in the data economy.

Reaping the rewards

Most executives expect their firm’s total annual digital advertising budgets to increase over the next two years. More than a fifth (21 percent) of respondents expect that total annual advertising spend will increase by more than 25 percent in the next two years, while 4 percent are looking at increases of more than 50 percent.

Marketers are willing to pay a premium for capabilities that enable better targeting. Six out of ten respondents said they would pay more for data insights and analytics that support enhanced targeting.

Woodbery says, “These findings offer significant encouragement to telecom operators, especially as global digital advertising revenues from brands are set to soar. The ability to capitalize on this revenue is driving the global digital transformation of the operator community. Operators must arm their data with analytics and tagging if it is to lead to better digital experiences, sharper engagement and better monetization. It’s interesting that brands place operators above digital service companies like Google as a source for data insights. What perhaps is more encouraging is that operators also have the potential to emulate the social networks that are revered as the best overall source of insight, by investments in chat bots and A2P (application to person) messaging platforms. These enable operators to create messaging communities of their own, capable of extracting even higher metrics than those being delivered by the likes of Facebook today.”

Read this article for our practical tips for operators on monetizing customers’ data.



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Prior to joining the Forum, she wrote for a range of technology clients. Sarah is most interested in the stories and people behind the technology.

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