In collaboration with Ovum, Adobe’s Industry Strategy Group surveyed 250 marketers from telecom companies—fixed-service providers, mobile-service operators, mobile virtual-network operators, and integrated fixed- and mobile-service providers—across EMEA and the U.S. to get the industry’s perspective on the challenges, opportunities, and digital-marketing priorities for the future.
The survey was conducted during November of 2015. Here are our favorite themes and findings. (Note: Adobe is CMO.com’s parent company.)
This new research revealed some fascinating information about this hypercompetitive and dynamic industry. Digital leaders in the telecom industry, it seems, are focusing on and investing in improving customer experiences as a means to improve their bottom lines and differentiate themselves in an increasingly crowded market.
Telecom companies were asked to rate the current and expected levels of competition, with 10 being the highest level and 1 the lowest. As the figure below shows, respondents reported that competition is currently within the mid to high levels, and 60% of respondents expect competition to rise to the highest range of 8-10 during 2016.
Revenue cannibalization from established and new OTT (over-the-top) players will continue to cause downward pressure on financial performance. This, in turn, fuels the need for telecom companies to constantly innovate with respect to their offerings and the operations that support the sale, delivery, and support of these services. However, given the current flat-to-declining performance of the overall telecom market, operational and cost efficiency have become core requirements of every transformation project. As a result, cost reduction is now an important component of internal business cases and a key motivation for investing in new technology.
Experience Is The New IP
Though cost reduction is imperative, telecoms are willing to invest in improving customer experiences as a means to offset competitive threats, and, ultimately, to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. When asked, “What is the most important strategic response your company is taking to counter competitive threats and rising expectations?” the majority of respondents (25%) indicated that investments in improving customer experience was of utmost importance.
Investments in improving the customer experience fall into three different departments within a telecom business:
- Networking: Networks are being monitored and maintained consistently.
- Customer Service: Customer care is administered quickly and precisely.
- Marketing: Products and services are targeted, providing a high level of accuracy to ensure customers receive relevant information and offers.
Improved digital experiences continue to rise in importance, as telecoms try to move much of the customer journey to digital. Being able to identify and target prospects, convert visits to sales, and upsell current customers has become the table stakes in this competitive market. Telecom digital leaders have made considerable progress here as well as with post-sales activities, such as self-service capabilities, which enable their customers to add new features (such as roaming), monitor data usage, and buy more data. Easy and convenient methods to perform simple tasks result in higher customer satisfaction and reduced cost to serve.
To read the complete white paper “Digital Marketing In The Telco Industry,” click here for the PDF.