LONDON: To grow their brand, UK mobile providers need to look beyond the small group of consumers actively seeking to move networks and address the widespread inertia that prevents most ever looking outside their existing relationships, two industry figures argue.

Writing in the January issue of Admap, Emily Scovell and Steve Ray, Client Director and Planning Partner respectively at Mindshare UK, note that 51% of mobile users have stayed with their current network provider for at least three years, while 54% of have never even explored another network's offers to consider switching.

Loyalty techniques are more likely to retain than recruit and are not eminently ownable by networks, they observe, while the current proliferation of data offers are only a short-term market solution.

But eliminating pain points such as the confiscation of unused data that consumers have already paid for gives brands a stronger reason to communicate positively with consumers about why switching networks could be beneficial.

“The role of media is elevated from a simplistic ‘build fame’ and ‘convert’ to one where it can demonstrate the value a network provides,” the authors say.

They offer three principles for achieving marketing effectiveness in the telco category, starting with a focus on the real value a network provides.

“It’s not roaming, it’s freedom. It’s not zero-rated data, it’s watching Netflix on your own terms,” they suggest. “Look for ways to invigorate audience relevancy.”

Secondly, mobile network providers need to leverage all they know about their customers, due to both the transactional relationship and the passive data-sharing from all their mobile usage, to find ways to benefit them at unexpected moments.

“Recognising the cultural zeitgeist and knowing where you have permission or authority to take part can provide disproportionately high impact,” they advise.

Finally, with the wealth of data available, it is vital to focus on what is relevant, such as identifying customers coming to the end of their device life cycle and promoting SIM-only services to those with no device plan.

“Consider data that is tangential to the telco vertical too,” say Scovell and Ray.

“When looking at roaming for example, using data that indicates likelihood to travel in the next few months, historic airport location check-ins, or recent travel-related purchases, can allow connection with people who may not be as far through the purchase decision journey but where the message may resonate.”

Sourced from Admap