Juan Jose De La Torre, VP of Strategy & Corporate Development and Meghali Sharma, Competitive Intelligence Analyst at Intigral return to the MEF Minute to explore digital content adoption and the crucial role analytics have in making smart business decisions.
Our previous blog debated the evolution of digital mobile content in the region and factors motivating its growth. These factors have enabled a visible shift from traditional mobile value added services to data oriented services; however, there still exists a clear disconnect in the type of content and applications which consumers use and demand against what is being developed and supplied by aggregators and mobile operators.
This supply and demand gap for mobile content and applications arises from the absence of data analytics, on both content aggregators’ and operators’ part. Compared to a few years ago a lot of companies have either become aware of analytics or have started to use and implement it. That’s good news as it enables absolute visibility of both content consumption and data usage, as well helping to differentiate and micro-segment products and services easily, thus addressing some key concerns in the digital content industry. However, most ecosystem players lack the basic processes, frameworks and technical infrastructures required to capture and manipulate customer data.
This blog explores the challenges faced by ecosystem players in promoting the adoption of digital services as well as benefits which can be achieved through analytics.
Exploring Challenges for the Adoption of Digital Services
Operators hold vast and only resources of customer-behavior data, comprising of essentially everything that passes through their pipes. These assets are considerably larger than those of handset manufacturers, retailers or even content providers. However, lack of an integrated view of this data, an inability to produce a unified customer profile and a lack of the ability to harness, predict and act on the data more quickly challenges operators to develop and deliver digital services that will help them differentiate their brands and maintain revenue growth.
VAS providers, on the other hand (many of which are at the end of traditional VAS business lifecycle) are troubled with business decline without visibility on consumer data and adoption patterns for digital services. Lack of discernability on consumer preferences, customer profiles, understanding of applications that will work and that won’t makes it difficult for VAS providers to develop strategies and provide innovative content services and applications.
Furthermore, end-users are over-whelmed with the amount of content and applications available to them, making it difficult for operators and services providers to engage new customers. It is common knowledge that customers are more likely to pay for the content that matches their requirements and preferences. Therefore, customising offerings based on consumers’ consumption and usage becomes important and underlines the need for analytics as a requisite.
Succeeding through Analytics: Differentiated Services, Focus on Customer “Experience” and “Value” Management
Currently, most telecom operators use basic systems to analyse VAS subscriber behavior, with more emphasis on overall analysis. Scope of such systems is mostly limited to ad-hoc reports and analysis. To unleash the full potential of VAS, operators need to walk the extra mile – adopt next-generation analytics and employ unconventional data sources to study subscriber behaviour. Mobile operators should have a well-defined analytics roadmap and their strategic plan should include ways to monetise information assets by leveraging the power of analytics.
Differentiation based on digital services and proper margin management of digital services will offer operators and VAS providers the ability to get ahead of the depressed revenue curve and realise cost advantages as the sector grows. This will alleviate the pressure on margins which will further help in development of the digital content ecosystem in the next few years.
Moreover, customer behavior and usage pattern analysis not just enables better business decisions, greater operational performance and customer loyalty, but also forms the basis of Customer Experience Management (CEM), a practice through which operators can strategically organise their service offerings as well as up-sell new products and services to improve customer satisfaction while at same time drive new revenues sources. Operators who can execute this well would realise benefits in terms of stabilising or increasing ARPUs, lowering customer churn and improving their market positioning vis-à-vis competition.
Analytics also helps focus on high-net-worth-individual (HNWI). For example, a group of customers may have been regarded as low-value because they would have made only small purchases. But what if they have regularly made these small purchases for the past several years? Such deep understanding of who the best customers are, why, enables operators and VAS providers alike to further tailor their offerings to meet individual demands. This also opens up the possibility of cross-subsidizing services to capitalize upon new and niche customer segments.
Next Steps: Developing a Business Case Based on Analytics
- Construct a well-defined analytics roadmap: this will provide the vision, governance and KPIs that will allow operators and VAS providers to identify gaps in digital content adoption
- Understand customers, transform customer experience: using analytics for micro-segmentation and customer profiling will enable VAS providers and operators to improve acquisition, enhance usage and increase customer retention. Accordingly, focused campaigns can be used to up-sell/ cross-sell services.
- Build on Analytics, Identify Supply-Demand Gaps and Perform Predictive Analytics: Operators can use analytics to form effective partnerships with application developers and aggregators to expand and diversify their product portfolios as well as monetise on content supply-demand gap. This will result in a stronger mobile VAS ecosystem and boost uptake of mobile content.
Juan Jose De La Torre Chamy is VP of Strategy, Technology & Operations and Meghali Sharma is a Competitive Intelligence Analyst at Intigral.
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