Sergio Alvarez is a performance marketing expert, digital attribution leader, and CEO and founder of AI Media Group.
Marketing in the telecommunications industry should be relatively easy, from my perspective. After all, the nature of the space lends itself to a deeper collection of customer data than many others. But there’s a fine line between successfully leveraging this data to create a targeted marketing strategy that works and throwing it either way, hoping one of the nets comes back with a catch. As a founder of a marketing attribution platform, I believe that holistic attribution can provide the clarity you need to navigate this line.
Telecommunications: a data goldmine
Doing business in the telecommunications industry provides you with data about customers that is not always readily available in other industries. For example, geographic data, which customers often need to provide during the telecom sales process, can be very useful in marketing in this area.
With this wealth and variety of data available, it can be easy for telecom marketers to assume their work is done for them, and it’s not uncommon to see poorly stratified marketing plans despite the sheer amount of information available. A common reason for this is a distorted view of the data due to unreliable attribution methods.
Segment the data
A key to using telecommunications marketing data effectively is to ensure that the approach to existing customers is segmented relative to how new customers are approached. Each of these groups needs different incentives to complete their customer journey, and a one-size-fits-all approach will be fruitless.
A new customer may not be ready to buy, while an existing customer is about to upgrade or is looking for an additional service. Those two journeys are very different and require different approaches. For example, you can attract new customers with a 25% discount on their first purchase and reward existing customers with an exclusive loyalty program.
At the same time, the data you’ve collected can be used to create a personalized campaign to target new customers based on what you’ve learned from your existing customers’ progress down the funnel.
A uniquely competitive industry
The telecommunications space is uniquely competitive and this will undoubtedly influence marketing campaigns. Companies in this industry have access to the same amount of data about the market and potential customers. One of the most important factors that sets you apart from your competitors is how you track and use the available data.
Another unique challenge in the telecom sector is infrastructure. Those who can build and offer the necessary products first and best are likely to stay ahead. How you use your data can help you determine what products your customers want next, and if you gather and collect this information correctly, you have the opportunity to always be one step ahead of your competitors in this regard.
Upsells are another aspect of the telecom market that should never be ignored. With visibility into a customer’s full range of interests – if you’ve managed that data correctly – you have the opportunity to sell customers a bundle they may have looked into by adding a small discount or an added feature.
Get started with holistic attribution
In the telecom sector, opportunities can be seized and challenges overcome through holistic attribution. Data is just data until viewed through the right lens.
To embark on a holistic attribution approach in the telecom industry, companies must first map out the customer journey across all touchpoints. This includes identifying the different stages customers go through, such as researching products, comparing plans, and signing up for services. Companies can then collect data on customer behavior at every stage and across all touchpoints to gain insight into the overall customer experience.
Once the customer journey is mapped out, telecom companies need to establish a common language for measuring attribution across the organization. This includes defining key metrics that align with business objectives, such as customer acquisition, retention, and lifetime value. It is important to ensure that all teams and stakeholders use the same metrics to avoid silos and ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals.
A common misstep telcos can make is to rely too much on last-click attribution models, which measure the last point of contact a customer interacts with before making a purchase. This approach does not consider the impact of other touchpoints on the customer journey. For example, a customer may have seen a TV ad, received an email promotion, and then Googled the brand before finally converting. Let’s say you attribute the conversion only to the last touchpoint (such as the Google search). In that case, you may be missing important insights into the impact of the other touchpoints (such as the TV ad and email promotion) on the customer’s decision to convert.
To avoid these missteps, telecom companies should adopt a more comprehensive approach that considers all touchpoints throughout the customer journey and considers the impact of each touchpoint on the overall customer experience. This may mean implementing more sophisticated attribution models that properly value each touchpoint, regardless of where it falls in the customer journey.
The takeaway meals
By measuring and assessing the data from different channels separately, you will undoubtedly come to the wrong conclusions about where your sales are really coming from. As a result, you can use the wrong levers in your marketing budget and then get completely confused when it all comes crashing down. Relying solely on the analytics of each individual marketing channel or campaign will reveal only part of the story.
Marketers in the telecommunications industry have a unique advantage in the mass of detailed data available to them simply as a result of the information they request from customers in the sales process. But really, this perk means nothing if not played correctly. Viewing data as a big picture rather than the sum of its parts is key to capitalizing on the unique opportunities and interesting challenges that arise in this competitive space.