The theory of unlimited plans: The rampage for infinity is here
By : Nikhil Mittal
The Telecom industry is at a major cusp of change with telcos making unlimited offerings. In a bid to woo the customer, operators are aggressively pushing attractive data benefits coupled with, needless to say, unlimited voice and SMS!
This is a major leap towards customer retention and bringing in temporary customer delight. However, let us address the elephant in the room, is this sustainable? For how long will the customer be hooked to these baits?
Market – Don’t just upsell:
Clark Kent is hardly a tech-savvy person. He has little know-how of the latest technological trends. However, one fine day, he decides to do something that is atypical of him. In a ‘killer deal’, he buys a Smart HD Television simply because the deal was too good to be true. Despite owning a fantastic gadget, Clark went back to his normal routine where he rarely watched television. Why? No one suggested him good content!
Now, consider Bruce Wayne, who is a curious techie, up-to-date with the latest tech trends. His interest in buying an Xbox console also made him look and buy an HD television.
Though Clark and Bruce bought similar products, Bruce naturally sought more ‘value’ from the device. Clark, on the other hand, will either sell off his television with time or it will merely be a part of the furniture in his living room.
Let us apply this analogy in the present-day industry scenario. Operators peddle exorbitant, enormous benefits to their customers. In an almost warrior-like quest for customer acquisition and upselling, the operators are least bothered about creating a pertinent ‘value’ out of their offerings to the customers.
Create Value – Pledge towards prognostic marketing
“Marketing is not the art of finding clever ways to dispose of what you make. It is the art of creating genuine customer value.” ― Philip Kotler
The trend of upselling unlimited offers has clearly got the industry circles talking and the customers seeking this cosmic quantum of data. It has also been the chief booming leg of the telcos’ revenue in recent past. The phenomenon has truly fabricated an ecosystem that telcos have long desired of.
However, data utilisation is still at an alarmingly low – less than 50% for an average user. Over time, the unlimited benefit will cause fatigue for customers of low utilisation. This will also come at a toll of risk of revenue loss (or rather potential revenue loss). Hence, marketers need to enkindle ‘value’ out of their products rather than piggy-backing on mere upsell.
From data to actionable insights
In telecom industry, we have huge mounds of data at our disposal. A marketer has the privilege to exploit every possible customer etiquette with over 200 attributes / KPIs readily available. It is only a matter of channelising the data to sketch interesting actionable insights.
Ecosystem – Ideation to Action
With a plethora of OTT players in the market and booming video content (Netflix, Hotstar, Music Apps, YouTube etc.), the ecosystem is already prevailing. One needs to transcribe the alternatives (promotion, affiliation etc.) and react accordingly. The idea is to keep the customer engaged.
Data Utilisation – Key actionable insight in an endeavor to create value
With an influx of a huge quota of data in the market to experience, customers can be typically categorised as below:
- Dormant user who typically consumes <30% of the available data quota
- Unfazed user with data usage ranging from 30% to 60% of the quota
- Spirited user who enthusiastically consumes ~90% of the quota and restricting usage thereafter
- Ardent user constantly hankering for supplementary data while exceeding monthly limit (>90%)
- For customers with <60% usage of the quota, the need of the hour for the marketer is to promote content that would make such customers to optimally utilise their bouquet of benefits. These customers are predominantly:
- Dual SIM users
- Wi-Fi / Broadband users
- Users without a good network coverage at home / workplace
- For High users and extremely high users, a marketer needs to leverage the opportunity to upsell even higher packs or boosters and march towards revenue acceleration
Summing it all up
While we channelise our efforts towards retention and upsell, there is a lot to be desired in terms of creating value propositions. One needs to bridge the gap between the buyer’s needs and the final offering, elevating their journey as an engaged consumer and not just a mere customer.