Marketing is going through a revolution when it comes to digitalization. And it can be a daunting tasks to understand what is happening and how Telcos should react to it. From 1:1 marketing, digital capabilities, marketing tech stacks, agile ways of working and GDPR, here we are trying to sort out what is happening and what it means for Telcos. We will also cover what hot emerging trends we see in this exciting new field and how Telcos should embrace these possibilities to maximize customer satisfaction, engagement and insights.
You don’t control your sales cycle, the customer does
Traditionally, marketing was simple. A Telco’s sales cycle typically started when a customer was exposed to a marketing message from the Telco in some form, most likely through a big and expensive TV commercial. That time is long gone. The sales cycle today starts much earlier. And the customer is doing most of the work. This has become a challenge for the more traditional channels of marketing. Telcos do not only need new technologies and tools to reach the consumer in that early stage but it also radically changes how to organize and set up a marketing and sales function. And it poses a recruitment and talent challenge, because you need to find top talent to drive this new way of working. It is a revolution in micro steps, where new channels and tech solutions are added all the time that will enhance the customer experience, if done right. We have seen many Telcos experiment with chat bots for customer interaction and conversational commerce solutions might be the next big shift. In this new jungle of new opportunities to impact customers, Telcos need to carefully define how they want to meet the customer and what capabilities they need to put in place to get there.
Know your customers in an automated and intelligent way
A good marketer knows that if you can match a customer’s need in a timely manner you have an easy sell. Knowing your customer is key. In the good old days we solved this with broad customer segmentation. Today you can track customer behavior and preferences on a micro segment or even individual level. And this is where the true art of digital marketing comes into play, how to monitor and build insights out of your customer data. How well can you follow you customers behaviors and needs. And how well can you cater for this need with smart recommendations and actions. In real-time. How updated is your marketing tech stack, do you have the tools and services you need in order to excel?
The need for an updated marketing tech stack
This put the focus on one of the major questions we hear that Telcos are struggling with in the marketing area, how to update their marketing tech stack and which path to choose, from a “best of breed” strategy to relying on one of the major digital marketing platforms as a core. This is an important first endeavor Telcos must address, but this is only the very first step on the journey.
Connect sales, marketing and product together with agile teams
As customers do more and more of the sales efforts themselves, the lines between marketing and sales functions have blurred. Marketing and sales have traditionally been two separate silos with quite clearly set boundaries. That is no more the case. Instead companies need to operate integrated between these functions. And a good what to do that is by adapting cross functional agile teams. We have seen Telcos achieve great results in a very short time span through implementing cross functional agile teams in marketing. Agile teams are great for driving short terms campaigns that can really provide tangible results. Often focused on a sub-segment of the market, the agile team is defining the target group, producing the campaign, tweaking the campaign if needed while it is running and evaluates the results, all in real time. If a campaign doesn’t deliver the promised results it is easy to change and adapt along the way. You can start small, fail fast but also succeed fast.
But don’t forget the basics
It is easy to be overwhelmed by all the new possibilities smart marketing technology can bring, but don’t forget the basics. Yes, technology and emerging marketing tech stacks have given marketers even more power and abundance of choice. But it can never replace a good marketer. Because the technology is brutal in showing what works or not. The importance of having a great differentiated brand along with clear value propositions and a clear channel strategy are imperatives to succeed in this golden digital age of marketing.
So while marketing has never been as integrated and data driven as it is right now, it has also never been as important to set a clear strategic direction for your marketing activities. And constantly reevaluate what tools, techniques, skills and agile teams are needed to take you closer to your goals and aspirations. It all starts with a good marketing strategy.
Make sure not to forget consumer integrity!
Keeping the integrity of customer data has become the focal point of the GDPR legislation that is now being widely implemented in the EU. And in other markets there is also a lot of focus on customer privacy legislations. Making sure that your marketing activities and campaigns, everything from data collection to analysis and recommendations, are compliant with the consumer integrity legislation is an important activity as failure to meet these requirements can be a very costly experience for companies, both from direct fines but also from declining customer trust. In the end, keeping customer integrity as a high priority is something that is beneficial for both consumers and companies as it builds trust. And trust is what great brands are built upon.
Capgemini has broad experience in helping Telcos worldwide excel on their digital marketing journeys, from defining a winning marketing strategy, setting up and improving technology platforms, building customer insights and recommendations, improving marketing efficiency and operations, and setting up and running agile teams to create truly engaging customer experiences.