Strategies for selling content
For insight into how service providers can leverage content to boost revenue, Telecom Asia asked four telecom executives for their input on the opportunities and challenges for collaborating with the other players in the digital ecosystem, playing the role of service broker and capitalizing on the demand for personalized customer experiences.
In interviews with Tolaga Research, Stratecast, CSL and CSG, a key theme emerged that telcos need to recognize the age-old business model of selling just technology no longer works. The digital content revolution requires a new way of thinking about business that allows telcos to deal with the disruptive organizational changes they face and use customer data in ways that gain their trust and attention.
Phil Marshall, chief research officer at Tolaga Research, says the shiftfrom being product centric to being consumer centric is necessary to respond to the rapidly expanding demands of consumers. With a product-centric approach service providers remain too focused on service innovation, as opposed to leveraging the innovations of other ecosystem players. "In the extreme case this results in 'walled gardens' which have stifled market development and fueled disruptive innovations from new entrant players such as Apple and Google."
Karl Whitelock, director of OSS/BSS strategy at Stratecast, notes that the technology sales model that supported the global industry so well for the past 110 years can no longer provide profitable returns. "This stems from advances in network technologies, especially mobile technology, device evolution, changing regulations, the blending of communications capabilities with other industries such as computing IT, the rise of mobile applications, customer preferences tied to entertainment (music and video) and the continued use of social media in ways that continue to expand."
CSL CEO Joseph O'Konek says more customers are looking for bespoke mobile services that cater to their personal lifestyle. "Everyone’s mobile service needs are different and an increased focus on customer centricity will provide customers with a positive experience, which has become more important than the device or product itself."
He says being consumer-centric involves choosing the right content and ensuring it works smoothly, designing a simple and easy to understand pricing strategy, and enabling customers to get their preferred content in their preferred mode and means. "A consumer-centric focus means service providers can increase the stickiness of their service. This in turn increases loyalty toward the brand and makes consumers less price-sensitive, which increases the profit for the operator."
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