The world’s leading wireless network operators and communications service providers possess a vast abundance of ever-multiplying customer data—and they’re now hardwired to turn this under-performing asset base into a new form of “data currency” that can create customer value, generate new revenue streams and be used for competitive advantage.
A new report from the CMO Council reveals almost half of telco senior marketers surveyed report they are still working to improve the quality, timeliness, depth and reliability of customer data in their organization. Only 29 percent rate their effectiveness as very high or consistently good, in comparison to 22 percent who see it as inconsistent or not very good.
The research offers timely insights into customer interactions, revealing how transactions, locational information, pricing and profitability are among the top most valued areas of intelligence for customer value creation.
According to marketers surveyed for the new report, Customer Value Creation from Live Data Interpretation, the top five contributors to customer value creation are:
- Efficient and accessible customer care and quick problem resolution (57 percent)
- Consistent, predictable experience across all channels of engagement (54 percent)
- Operational excellence, reliability, uptime and quality of service (48 percent)
- Simplified customer journey to subscribe and use services (46 percent)
- Personalization of content, plans, and support programs (28 percent)
Surprisingly, telco marketers ranked the following three areas as less important for customer value creation:
- Transition from 4G to 5G platforms and other network innovations (11 percent)
- More choice, flexibility, convenience and less onerous terms of service (7 percent)
- Recognition and reward for customer loyalty, longevity and overall lifetime value (4 percent)
Are marketers currently extracting value from this data?
Less than 10 percent of telco marketers say their organization is highly effective at using historical data to better understand customer needs and revenue growth opportunities. Only 20 percent report they are consistently good. The majority of respondents believe they are getting better. However, a disappointing 28 percent say they are inconsistent in the use of historical data, have problems with extracting data from silos or are just poor at using it effectively.
When comparing the use of historical data to real-time insights, survey participants believe access to timely customer journey and lifecycle analytics would be the best way for them to deliver more relevant and valued products, services and experiences. Among the top six types of real-time data most desired by telco marketers are:
- Customer journey/lifecycle analytics (61 percent)
- Multi-channel engagement (48 percent)
- Purchases and transactions (37 percent)
- Automated smart interaction, such as chatbots, digital avatars, adaptive learning, AI (33 percent)
- Location and mobility (28 percent)
- Pricing and profitability (28 percent)
However, survey participants noted that the primary obstacles to generating greater customer value from live data utilization were based on a myriad of perceived deficiencies. These include lack of resources/talent, dated infrastructures, digital transformation delays, change-resistant mindset, knowledge of advanced technology and the lack of data integration and unification across the enterprise.
“Surprisingly, tracking customer value creation as a critical contributor to business fundamentals and performance indicator has yet to be widely adopted in the telco sector. Fully 60 percent of telco marketers state they have yet to undertake studies that correlate customer value creation to business performance,” said Donovan Neale-May, CMO Council executive director, in a news release.
“Looking to counter competitive threats and inroads, telco marketers are now embracing a wide range of new strategies to deliver both customer value and incremental margin or revenue,” Neale-May added. Among those topping the list are better use of data and insight, more advanced customer engagement technology, infrastructure upgrades, and quicker response to evolving digital business service and lifestyle needs.
In executing on their strategies, telco marketers ranked the top 10 new products, programs, experiences, partnerships or services that exemplify how they are furthering customer value:
- Security and threat protection
- Cloud services
- Implementation of 5G services
- Subscription-based content
- Remote monitoring and management (IoT)
- Music on-demand
- Digital wallet/payments
- Predictive maintenance
- Bundled services (quad play)
Customer value creation from data interpretation
To address this much-needed area of global knowledge transfer, the CMO Council is working to define a model and roadmap for how chief marketers can generate greater customer value, affinity and revenue growth through live data interpretation in the telco sector. This is aimed at developing a more intimate understanding of subscribers’ digital lives, unmet needs, and willingness to pay for more personalized and relevant service offerings.
The global CMO Council survey of 150 chief marketing executives at leading communication service providers, mobile network operators and digital media companies was undertaken in the second half of 2018. Some 34 percent of those surveyed represented operators and carriers headquartered in Europe, 25 percent in North America, 23 percent in Asia-Pacific, nine percent in Middle East/Africa and nine percent in Latin America. Over 50 percent of marketers surveyed hold positions at companies with over $1 billion in revenue and 31 percent are at companies with annual revenue of between $50 million and $1 billion. Most organizations represented focus on both B2B and B2C markets (56 percent hybrid), while another 40 percent are B2B-oriented, and just five percent centered on consumer markets.