The Art of Marketing in Telecommunications
We often hear the famous saying “the only thing constant is change”. Well, in Telecommunications, this statement is a bit off the mark. In this sector, change isn’t constant, but exponential. How then, do you efficiently gather sufficient knowledge and data to come up with a good plan to sell your services or products?
Chase Ergen, a telecom entrepreneur, explains that the challenge lies in the ability to adapt to the audience, rather than to the technology. Marketing techniques will vary depending on the sector. The main segmentation to consider will be the separation of Consumer and Business. “Use the technology to sell yourself instead of trying to sell the technology”, said Chase Ergen.
In the consumer market, the primary focus is to sell “packages” or “bundles”. Triple play, the process of selling telephone, video and internet services in a single scheme, has become common ground and safeguards companies’ market share from being acquired by competing low-cost providers or cable tv providers. Great attention is paid to activation and engagement through interactive platforms such as live helpdesks and social media.
But as Chase Ergen warns, selling telecom products or services in the B2B arena is a different ball game altogether. Indeed, the demanding, yet extremely lucrative business environment requires that telecom companies play a far greater advisory role, rather than just being a friendly, approachable brand. A range of consultative techniques may be adopted to support clients and help them identify the most fitting solutions in a rapidly changing tech landscape. Educating clients on the pertinence of your solutions will be an efficient way to generate long-term loyalty.
As different as they may be, consumer and B2B segments do share increasingly central marketing features. In today’s uber-connected world, engaging consumers has become a real challenge for all marketers. Recent studies on online advertising and heat maps measuring the visual attractiveness of banners and sponsored results suggest that these solutions will not accomplish the strategic goals of marketers. There is, however, what seems to be a unanimously accepted approach, which consists in employing the latest technologies (as suggested by Chase Ergen) to reach out to consumers in a multi-platform manner allowing companies to establish a global brand awareness footprint, engage new costumers and increase loyalty. In today’s tech and media environment, content has become the uncontested kind.
Delivering smart, engaging content which is adapted to the target segment and demographic is at the core of today’s most efficient marketing campaigns. However there are important nuances, as explained by Chase Ergen who notes that “telecom companies need to keep in mind that not everyone is receptive to the same type of content… there needs to be a clever plan in place to divide and understand the audiences, then cater to their specific preferences”.
Basically, with the audience at the core of the strategy, companies need to decide it they will be pushing editorial, video, or other content. They also need to identify the most efficient way to reach the targeted audience. For instance, in the US, 78% of teenagers own a mobile and a 2013 Pew report suggests that 1 in 4 teens use their mobile devices as the primary tool to access the web. Marketing teams therefore need to develop mobile friendly content that is easy to share and has potential for virality. This key information can be leveraged even further. You now know how to reach the targeted teens, but you also know that data connection is more important to them than phone functionalities. This represents an additional marketing insight as it will allow you to devise your offer and plans based on this information (ie. Focus on attractive schemes that offer great value on data connections).
In B2B, the thought process will be very similar, but the nature of the content to push obviously needs to be less entertaining and more informative. What do businesses need to know about telecoms in order to enhance productivity and remain cost-effective? Find the answer to this question and give it to them through the appropriate channels (newsletters, blogposts, research, conventions).
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