For all the challenges the telecommunications industry faces connecting with its consumers, they may have information of great assistance to other marketers looking to find their way in the omni-channel.
New research from the Chief Marketing Officer Council finds that many brands are interested in partnering with telecommunications companies to unlock consumer data to help their marketing programs. In a survey of more than 250 telecom and non-telecom marketers, nearly half of them see a potential leadership role for communications companies to provide a framework for omni-channel engagement.
“As marketers are delving further and further into the real-time experience with customers, they’re missing a piece of data that’s just beyond their fingertips, and much of that data is with telecommunications companies,” Liz Miller, senior vice president, programs and operations at the CMO Council, tells Marketing Daily.
Much of the data telcos could provide marketers doesn’t extend into personal information. Rather, bulk information about mobile usage and routines could positively affect marketing programs, Miller says.
As an example, Miller cited a program in Kuala Lumpur in which KFC partnered with a telecom on a mobile couponing program. When same-day coupons sent out at lunch-time were going unused, the two companies looked at mobile traffic information to discover many workers didn’t leave their businesses for lunch, and were opting to bring food from home. Changing the time to send out the mobile coupons (to the day before when workers were planning on making lunches) yielded better results.
“It wasn’t delving into personal identification data, it was just using analytics of mobile data and usage — which is what [telecoms] do to ensure service — and apply those to what a brand needs, and you get a new strategy,” Miller says.
Yet, many of the telecom companies are less than confident of their own skills and systems. More than half (56%) of telecom industry marketers believe non-telecom companies are outperforming their sector in delivering an omni-channel experience. And just 4% of subscriber-reliant telecom companies believe they are giving customers consistent, personalized and contextually relevant experiences across marketing channels with the information at their disposal.
“There’s a sense of, ‘We don’t feel we’re doing it right,'” Miller says. “There’s a consistent history of resistance to change within the telecom industry.”
Yet there’s reason to be confident in the future. The CMO Council’s research shows more than half of telecoms have partnered with non-telecom brands on marketing and promotional campaigns, and nearly 70% of the participants in those efforts reported positive and productive relationships and good outcomes.
“The big question I would pose to brands is, ‘How are you going to use [the data]?’” Miller says. “Are you going to use it as true omnichannel folder or is it going to be done once on the campaign level?”