Improving digital engagement
Creating stickiness for your brand
Many Communication Service Providers (CSPs) today have created digital brands to attract and serve market segments who prefer self-service subscription management and customer care. That has made engagement easier, but it hasn’t really added significant daily value to the consumer’s life. To do that, there has to be an understanding of and alignment with their lifestyle. Once you find what is valuable to them on a daily basis, you can develop partnerships and exclusive offers that make your brand significantly more attractive.
Engagement issues for CSPs
CSPs are having difficulty attracting next gen users with a relevant brand image, offers, and an exceptional digital engagement experience. Outdated commercial models that are not aligned with customer needs and business requirements can also make it extremely difficult to target offerings per market segment (e.g. gamers).
Then there is the issue of legacy technology stacks and business operations limiting the ability to react quickly to market changes and customer needs. Being slow to market with newer offers, pricing, promotions and bundling impacts revenues if windows of opportunity are missed. And then there is the cost equation to consider. CAPEX and OPEX continue to increase, mainly driven by investment in 5G infrastructure. This is causing further margin erosion and difficulty in maintaining their cost base.
Driving better engagement with digitally savvy audiences
The problem for most CSPs is they don’t exactly know where to start to solve these issues. Changing that customer paradigm and moving beyond one-and-done transactional interactions with customers requires a more strategic approach that includes highly personalized and regular engagements. And the customer experience that comes along with it absolutely needs to be top notch.
The number one cause of customer churn is poor experience. With acquisition costs running around $350 USD and churn of just 2% costing as much as $65M per month, the cost of dissatisfied customers is incredibly high. So how do you create something that not only provides a customer experience on par with what consumers are experiencing in other sectors, but also give them something that is sticky enough to make it hard for them to leave?
The answer for many is digitally branding an offering that encompasses a modern view of consumer preferences.
What is a Digital Brand?
Digital branding is a brand management technique that uses a combination of internet branding and digital marketing to develop a brand over a range of digital venues, including internet-based relationships, device-based applications or media content.
CSPs started creating digital brands to grow revenues by targeting different consumer segments and developing new brand positions. More than 250 of them were launched in 2020. Often the goal has been to create an experience that appeals to a younger audience of digital natives who prefer to do everything via digital channels – they don’t want to call a helpdesk or go into a store. They choose to use self-service as much as possible and expect that experience to be easy. With consumer habits changing over the last year, this model now actually applies to a larger array of customers.
Digital Brand challenges
Given the staggering investment in 5G, CSPs must look at ways to maximize their revenues and think beyond charging for connectivity and standard service offerings. If they are to stay in the game and offset the massive 5G price tag, CSPs cannot continue to offer “me too” services or maintain a “business as usual” mindset. Instead, they must look deeper into how they can maximize subscriber revenues, monetize new business models, and create new revenue streams to move their business forward.
One of the biggest challenges faced by digital brands in the telecom space is living up to expectations raised by other industries. In a digital world, consumers expect some level of personalization when it comes to their purchases, but CSPs don’t typically offer things that compel the subscriber to interact with them on a regular basis other than as a connection point.
Requirements to elevate engagement
In order to change the relationship with the consumer – to become more than a pipe – there are a few requirements.
- Understanding the target audience – how well do you really know and understand the truly digital consumer?
- New value creation – what matters to them beyond what the competition offers?
- Hyper personalization – how can you personalize the digital experiences that are part of their daily lives?
- Consumer ecosystem – with whom should you build strategic partnerships to create new value?
- Innovative business models – how can you identify and execute on potential new revenue streams?
- Hyper targeted communication – what new, innovative ways can you communicate with stickiness?
Targeting and relevance
What’s important to the modern consumer is how well they are understood. Hyper-targeted segmentation is key to this. Understanding that you are serving people who are fitness fanatics or music lovers and combining that with all the information you have about them – location, device, proclivities, behaviour, demographics – means you can partner with brands that bring what they want to the table and you can create offers that are much more relevant to them in their daily lives.
Segmenting your subscriber base into microsegments with this information and creating offers with partners will bring big rewards if done well. For example, offering young families discounts on diapers or parenting tips exclusively from sources they trust, you will be able to generate regular engagement.
Competing at a different level
Partnering with a broader ecosystem of brands to offer discounts and premium exclusive content with revenue sharing commercial models allows you to compete in an entirely different way. You can create relevant value for your customers and build that sticky branding that everyone wants.
Leveraging AI to tune the offers subscribers receive and ensure that it’s both pertinent and timely is also part of what makes this approach just what consumers are looking for. The expectation of those recommendations comes today from multiple verticals, and your ability to do the same puts you on a different competitive level.