Thought Leadership Experts - Telecom Digital Marketing: New Subscriber Acquisition
Unfortunately, no additional insights from experts or thought leaders in the telecom digital marketing space surrounding digital advertising to acquire new subscribers were available in the public domain. Below is an overview of the information that was available.
Insights from Rob Beswick of Virgin Mobile, KSA
- Being the first mobile virtual network operator to launch in KSA, Virgin Mobile challenged itself to offer "next-generation mobile services" and a "fully re-defined customer experience."
- The company's market entry strategy was innovative and included digital advertising and social engagement. It promoted a number-booking service through digital advertising and social media whereby new customers could register online to choose the numbers they preferred and pick up their SIM card at a retail outlet, thus using a click-and-collect model.
- The outcomes were remarkable as 71% of bookings came from digital advertising (Google advertising) at 60% of the digital budget. The cost per lead through Google Search was 80% lower and the return on investment was 35 times higher. Also, 30% of the customers who booked a number online went to a store to collect a SIM.
Insights from Pandora's Enhanced Digital Advertising Strategy
- Pandora experienced strong growth of its premium subscriber base and ARPU through acquisition in the space of innovative digital advertising.
- Various digital partnerships along with enhanced digital marketing techniques helped Pandora lower its subscriber acquisition costs and retain old subscribers as well.
- Considering digital audio advertising technology is one of the fastest-growing formats of digital advertising, Pandora tapped the right note with the planned acquisition of AdsWizz, a digital audio ad tech company. This rendered Pandora with improvised advertising capabilities enabling it to expand its addressable market and acquire new subscribers.
Insights from Altice, USA
- Altice USA, with a recent spin-off from Altis N.V., adopted a targeted, multi-screen platform, thereby combining TV and digital advertising all into a single purchase.
- The company thus focused on enhanced audience targeting that was "supported by rich, privacy-compliant household data sets with an automated self-serve model for advertisers." Further campaign management was "supported by robust analytics and attribution."
- As per McKinsey, all telcos may achieve quick "benefits from structured, digital marketing-and-sales approach regardless of their digital maturity, though companies that advance their digital customer engagement will experience the biggest upside." As an instance, "a global telco in the process of transforming its marketing and sales through the combination of digital, analytics and agile methods," was able to increase its digital sales in under a year with its first pilot in a mature market.
- The head of Global Marketing and Communications at Datamatics pointed out that digital innovation in sales and marketing is a continuous process ranging from omnichannel marketing to automation tools. He considers digital to be his main pillar of the entire marketing plan since the customer is going digital today.
- The digital age has further brought in smarter players who spend a fraction of the traditional media spend on online channels to maintain customer-centricity. Many new-age telco retailers have already done away with retail points of presence and enhanced their online entity and digital self-service models to engage new subscribers.
- Stan Tan, digital marketing manager at Selby’s, advises digital advertising efforts to be focused on how one can solve the target audience’s problem with the product or service apart from providing solutions that are 10 times better and faster rather than the expected 2 times.
- Ally Gruber, a digital marketing associate at The Powerline Group, emphasizes that advertised content should be relatable, engaging, and shareable to draw in potential customers and keep current customers coming back for more. Camilla, founder of Influence With Content, has similar thoughts on focusing the marketing on the needs of the target audience.
Our research showed that credible content was scarce and that there was a lack of pertinent sources specific to the topic. The approach was initially focused on assessing the digital marketing landscape within the telecom industry, specifically digital advertising resulting in new customer acquisition or subscriber growth. No readily available information could be found that included all parameters in a single insight. Thus, cases were found where either the insight was a strategic step taken by the organization and did not involve any thought leadership, or did not focus specifically on new customer acquisition though it may have come from an expert in the field. Similarly, some examples of insights were found that fulfilled most parameters, however, either the geographical focus was outside of the U.S. or the examples could not spell out success in a quantitatively or qualitatively. Furthermore, no paid research or surveys were available on the topic.
As an initial approach, we assessed the digital marketing landscape within the telecom space. We searched for relevant data from market research reports generally published by sites like Nielsen, Ipsos, Kantar, and others. However, these sites only provided information related to digital advertising agencies or digital marketing as an umbrella concept with no focus on the other related parameters. The approach was further widened and focused on leading telecom-related thought leadership articles like those provided by Gimmemojo, Phoenix Career or even companies like IBM or Accenture. The idea was to gather insights from pre-published content as provided by these leaders in the market, though nothing relevant could be deduced.
Next, we assessed new paradigms, trends, and strategies on topics like digital marketing that are frequently discussed in industry research reports, white papers, study reports and articles published by globally reputed consultancies such as PWC, Deloitte, McKinsey, and others. These reports often publish direct quotes from industry experts to validate the claims or findings of the report. Although consultancies such as McKinsey published reports on digital marketing, new marketing strategies in the telecom sector, and other related topics, there were hardly any reports providing insights from thought leaders/experts in the telecom digital marketing space surrounding digital advertising to acquire new subscribers. As understood during the research, the non-availability of information was due to the specificity of the query which involved several aspects together. The experts’ comments often covered the broader domain of one of the topics, i.e. either digital marketing or telecom or customer acquisition.
The next approach was focused on identifying the top telecom players in the market and individually looking for thought leadership contributions. For this, we identified the market leaders such as AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, T-Mobile, Sprint, wherein for each, we searched for specific leadership insights. We looked into the companies' annual reports to deduce success stories based on digital advertising investments, news or press information featuring leader's interviews, company presentations depicting marketing and advertising insights, all of which, however, did not spell any success. We went a step ahead in search of specific marketing strategies adopted by these players to look for success hints but these were not evident.
As the last approach, we searched through some leading forums and Telecom Associations, assuming we could identify issues or challenges that may have been discussed by industry leaders on the topic. For this, we scanned through sites like Telecom World, Telecom Source, U.S. Telecom, Library of Congress, and other sources wherein we observed that most of the marketing-related discussion was focused around customer retention strategies. Thus, no relevant information on the topic could be gathered that would have satisfactorily answered the question keeping all the parameters in view.