[NEW RESEARCH] What Telco CMOs and CIOs/CTOs Are Thinking About in 2014

Posted: March 26th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on [NEW RESEARCH] What Telco CMOs and CIOs/CTOs Are Thinking About in 2014

At Mobile World Congress 2014, one theme was prominent above all others: disruption. New kinds of mobile devices, social media, Big Data, virtualisation, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Over-the-Top (OTT) providers were central to nearly every product, service or discussion.

By now, it’s obvious to telcos that business models need to change and new strategies have to be implemented, but it’s difficult to know where to begin. That’s why Comptel conducted research with Vanson Bourne: to identify the barriers, strategies and attitudes facing telco CMOs and CIOs/CTOs as they look into 2014 and beyond.

Customer Experience: The Top Priority

Our research found that telco executives almost unanimously (80 percent) agreed that customer experience should be a goal of every employee in the organisation. While that goal may be established, executives are planning a number of different ways to get there. When asked about strategic priorities for 2014:

  • 60 percent are hoping to understand gaps in the service delivery process
  • 56 percent want to improve network performance
  • 52 percent are focused on developing new products
  • 48 percent want to understand customer experience on a granular level

The Big Data Behind Big Decisions

The intelligent use of data seems to be integral to telcos’ strategies this year. Predictive analytics, OSS/BSS consolidation and other initiatives can help streamline processes and modernise infrastructure; our research showed that executives are working hard to see these through.

While we found that integration, coordination and analytics are on the horizon, there still needs to be a fundamental shift in the way that different departments communicate – while 72 percent of CMOs want to understand gaps in service delivery, 68 percent of CIOs/CTOs said that they want to improve their networks.

These are the focuses we would traditionally expect from these organisations. Until executives agree on the mutual importance of each other’s responsibility, customer-centric initiatives are likely to remain at a standstill.

So how are communications service providers planning to overcome those barriers? And what will be possible if customer-relevant insights are shared between two traditionally separate organisations?

Check out our infographic, and download our eBook below to find out more!

Click to zoom.


Want to learn more about telco in 2014? Download our new eBook, “What Telco CMOs and CTOs/CIOs Are Thinking in 2014.”

In this eBook, we share exclusive, global executive research that highlights:

– Executive strategies for 2014

– Barriers to integration

– Technology priorities

– Attitudes toward data & planning

Download


Using Predictive Analytics to Put a Spin on Old Marketing Campaigns

Posted: June 19th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights, Telecom Trends | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Using Predictive Analytics to Put a Spin on Old Marketing Campaigns

Three years ago, I was writing my first blog post about how I had received a package from Formula One racer Kimi Räikkönen, the coolest guy in the universe. In Finland, as part of our school traditions, every first grader gets his or her first mobile phone at the age of seven. That is when our award-winning school system begins to educate our offspring in order to meet OECD and Pisa test requirements. The battle for these new mobile subscriptions is fierce, with communications service providers (CSPs) offering a wide range of options to parents and their kids.

This week, the same package arrived for the next class of first-graders – only this time, Angry Birds had replaced Mr. Räikkönen as the mascot. Finnish mobile operator DNA Finland sent a prepaid SIM card to every Finnish mom (including me) who had a child that was born in 2006 and entering the first grade. Three years ago, I thought that this campaign was extremely clever. Now, though, I’m wondering if DNA Finland could have learned something during the past three years. Sure, the mascot may have changed, but the campaign is largely the same. With new tools like predictive analytics available to CSPs, it seems like the marketing could become much more sophisticated.

DNA Finland knows that I am not their customer and the same applies to other household members. As Comptel’s recent global consumer study showed, having friends and family members who were using the same operator was the third most important factor (41%) for consumers when choosing a CSP. Does DNA Finland know that I didn’t choose them three years ago? Could this campaign have been better customised for mothers who aren’t already DNA Finland’s customers?

I have been waiting for Elisa’s counter offer and I’m wondering if they are using analytics to discover that I am extremely likely to bring them new business by August. After all,  our family already has a wide selection of Elisa’s offerings – four mobile subscriptions and one broadband (ADSL) connection. One mobile subscription is for the enterprise customer segment, our broadband connection is in the corporate segment and the rest of our SIM cards are under the consumer customer brand Saunalahti.

I can’t help but wonder if all that information is scattered across various silos and systems. That could make it difficult to apply analytics to all that data and leverage it for new marketing campaigns. Ulla Koivukoski, Comptel’s senior vice president of the analytics business unit, recently wrote  about the distinct silos in CSPs and how business units aren’t always looking to solve the same problems. Customer Experience is the issue that bridges the divide between all the competing business interests. And, while receiving an Angry Birds-themed package is nice, I would have remembered something that was personalised a lot more.

With current targeting methods marketers typically end up either with target groups that are too defined and small – it does not make sense to campaign or the campaign scope is too generic and therefore likelihood of inaccuracy increases, as the case in the angry birds campaign. Comptel Social Links can change the mind-set in marketing by combining the marketers’ expertise of selected target group with machine learning letting the algorithms find the customers most similar to the obvious customers. Predictive modelling results will be available for the marketing team instantly, resulting in more accurate hit rates for campaigns, higher customer satisfaction and finding optimal users for the product or service marketed.

CSPs want to make sure that customer service is as good as possible. If you’ve delivered a great customer experience, your efforts are turned into new business opportunities. The first step, though, is to find out just how to use the data you already have to deliver that customer experience. Maybe the next group of first graders will get packages that are a little more customised.


Passionate about Adding Value

Posted: May 17th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights, Telecom Trends | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Passionate about Adding Value

A good month ago I changed my position from heading Marketing and Communications to leading the newly established Analytics Business Unit in Comptel. Since then, I have had six customer meetings in the Middle East Africa and Asia Pacific regions in addition to the kick-off workshop with the new team and one week of holiday. To sum up, I could state that my past six weeks have not been boring.

Ulla Koivukoski and her new Analytics Business Unit at kick-off

Some of my friends and my dear daughter have asked about the constant source of energy to go for something unknown or new. Advanced analytics is still taking its baby steps in the telecommunications industry. One friend was teasing that wouldn’t it be nicer just to focus on gardening and fishing instead of running constantly into new challenges. The answer to the latter question is naturally yes, but when one has the passion for something else, why not to go for it as long as the inspiration and motivation is there? And the former question? I simply love my job and my colleagues from whom I learn everyday something, if nothing more, about myself.

What keeps me going then?

Think back to one of those moments when you succeeded in making somebody really happy and were appreciated for it? How did you feel? I’m sure you felt good. It’s the same with my job. Those of you who have been in the technology business know that it’s not always bed of roses when delivering complex solutions. However, when you have delivered the solution and see the satisfied smile on the customer’s face, you can feel good as well. You might not be as emotional in this sense as I am, but it’s maybe worth reminding that customer satisfaction and customer profitability have a strong correlation.

During the trips to the regions, it was my great pleasure to meet one of our customers whose marketing team was very happy with the results which we had delivered together with them. I also met some communications service providers (CSP) who don’t yet have our analytics, but who got nearly as excited as I about the business opportunities we could bring to them. To be fair, I must admit that I also visited a customer site, where we are still in the building phase and are a bit learning the environment and way of working. However, I was really delighted to experience the spirit of collaboration “to build the success for both parties”, as the customer stated.

How do I know whether we are adding value?

The hot topic of the entire ICT world is Big Data. There is a lot of hype around it and some scepticism, whether the CSPs can ever really monetise it. In telecommunications, the tendency has been to invest in large systems and then start building something valuable on top of it. The market is changing faster than it used to, and maybe there is a need for more dynamic and ready thought-out solutions to address specific business issues? This is the way how we think we can help derive value from Big Data. We have been working on specific business cases that are based on some of the real results from our projects. Naturally we have applied them in fashion that protects our customer’s anonymity but are still very enthusiastic about the opportunity, for example, to help CSPs prevent churn to both stop wasting their marketing OPEX and get more revenue per customer. One exciting opportunity is related to new technology launches such as LTE, but there are many more.

This week has been another inspirational week for me

Although I did not have time to participate in the Management World 2013 in Nice, I can remotely celebrate the announcements which we have posted at the event. Naturally the greatest pleasure was the Pipeline Innovation Award of the Customer Experience Management for Comptel Social Links. The other news, such as the innovations intent with a cloud computing leader, Salesforce.com and collaboration with Tech Mahindra Limited show that we as a company have succeeded to encourage our people to come up with non-traditional ways of delivering customer value and to understand the importance of partnerships.

The first weeks with the Analytics Business Unit have been hectic and I don’t expect anything less from the future, but there is so much positive momentum and customer interaction that it keeps me and the team going.


Breaking the Language Barrier Between CMOs and CIOs

Posted: May 1st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Telecom Trends | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments »

Traditionally, the telecommunications industry has been separated by a common language: the language of business. CIOs and CTOs, along with their respective teams, have been controlling networks and performance optimisation, while CMOs usually focus on business growth objectives like sales, churn and retention.

What this means is that CIOs’ and CTOs’ performance is evaluated by different metrics than CMOs, so they are concerned about different things. When I attended Mobile World Congress 2013, I witnessed this firsthand. In one corner, communications service provider (CSP) CIOs and CTOs were discussing the impact of cloud, M2M and LTE on their networks. Meanwhile, CMOs and CEOs talked about consumer devices, apps and the latest movements in the market.

The hurdle CSP executives face now is that, to take advantage of the latest innovations and meet their respective objectives, they have to work closer together than ever before.

Painting the Big Picture

Within most CSPs, there are distinct silos. Teams from different organisations rarely talk about the same issues and aren’t often looking to solve the same problems. However, one issue that bridges this divide is customer experience. CSPs want to make sure that customer service is as good as possible. If you’ve delivered a great customer experience, your efforts are praised…no matter what team you’re on.

This is where CIOs, CTOs and CMOs have to discover common ground. As networks expand and markets change, CMOs are going to have to learn more about network optimisation, and CIOs and CTOs will have to start thinking about analytics, marketing and service personlisation. Thanks to technologically complex innovations like predictive analytics, marketing and technology are now inextricably linked.

I believe that every team can acknowledge that one of their top priorities is creating a seamless process that allows the business to define and maximise a customer’s lifetime value. By shifting the focus from network or business metrics to customer experience metrics, CSPs can change the dialogue between silos.

A Holistic Experience

In the telco industry, the future of networks is marketing and the future of marketing is networks. When a customer is using data across a network, CMOs now need to know how the data is being used. This allows for real-time, targeted marketing campaigns aligned with customer usage trends.

These kinds of findings would be impossible without the help of the CTO and CIO, as they track the performance and behaviours across a network. Likewise, advanced, automated marketing campaigns are going to impact networks in new ways.

By uniting silos with the common goal of creating a better customer experience, teams can finally break the language barrier and work toward shared objectives. This shift won’t just help revolutionise things for customers, it could help revolutionise things for CSPs, too.

Comptel will be at Management World 2013 in Nice, France from 14 -16 May. Stop by if you’re there and we can talk more about the future of CSP marketing!