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03-07-2014

Event Based Marketing for the Telecommunications Industry

What is Event Based Marketing?

Event Based Marketing (EBM) that frequently is also referred to as Event Driven Marketing (EDM) or Trigger Based Marketing, is the discipline within marketing where commercial and communication activities are based upon these relevant and identified changes in a customer’s individual needs. It tends to identify key events in the customer’s life-cycle and trigger the most appropriate actions at the right time.

But how could we define the term Event in the given context? Generally speaking an Event is defined as a status change in an individual’s circumstances at a given moment. Events increase the knowledge, understanding and information about an individual and enable marketers to make improved, more informed decisions in real time. In general, they can be historical or immediate, one-at-a-time, or in correlated occurrences.

Analyzing events in aggregate reveals patterns that are equally meaningful and were previously invisible to the naked eye. It is true that it has never been more promising or challenging at the same time to pay attention to events. Technology around Event Based Marketing unlocks the potential of such a concept and allows the industries to benefit from it.

EBM & Telecommunications Industry Challenges

This text aims to introduce EBM in the context of Telecommunications industry and define the activity flow to be used during its implementation. The telecommunications industry is a fast growing, evolving, converging, changing landscape. Nowadays, due to the dynamic nature of telecommunications operators their marketing activities are facing significant challenges which, among others, are the followings:

  • Churn rates are increasing;

  • Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) is continuously decreasing;

  • Sift through the massive customer data becomes a challenge;

  • Customers say “no” to marketing;

  • Inability to measure Marketing Return Of Investment (MROI);

  • Choice of the most appropriate communication channel to each customer.

The specific challenges of the telecommunications environment outlined above, require a sophisticated approach to campaign management. Particularly, the campaign management approach must be based on processing efficiently, in real time or near real time, the large volumes of data generated in order to trigger appropriate marketing actions. This can be achieved via an efficient EBM implementation.

EBM Activity Flow

Within the Telco industry, an EBM architecture can be used in various contexts such as Ecommerce and Cellular service consumption, on-line advertisement, location based services, self-service, SaaS deployments, auditing and fraud detection. All of these contexts share a core set of practical requirements:

  • Ability to monitor the customer behavior;

  • Ability to decide in real time;

  • Ability to execute in a timely fashion;

  • Ability to report on the execution outcomes.

Based on the above list, the high level activities of EBM are depicted in Event Based Marketing high level activities view.

Event Based Marketing high level activities view

Event Based Marketing high level activities view

As shown in the former view, one of the major activities of the EBM implementation flow is the definition of event triggers. Event triggers monitor & capture incoming data and if certain conditions are met, they fire actions. The available types of triggers in the given context are:

  • Transactional triggers: based on a customer’s action;

  • Recurring triggers: based on an individual’s details and personal profile;

  • Behavioral triggers: such as a cross-sell or up-sell based on a customer’s activity;

  • Threshold triggers: where a customer’s actions reach a threshold.

The second major activity defined in the EBM flow is the data segmentation phase. Telecommunications companies have a unique advantage in the modern marketplace. They are controlling the communications infrastructure; therefore, they have more data than any other industry on where their customers are, how they interact, and how they transact business. Segmentation phase is using various “intelligent” techniques and algorithms on the collection of vast data sources in order to classify customers by value, behavior, life-cycle, migration etc. Advanced use of segmentation allows each customer to be part of a micro-segment aiming a more precise targeting, with knowledge of what the retention and value drivers are for each customer.

The third activity running in parallel with the trigger definition and the segmentation is defining the marketing campaign context. Subsequently, the triggers, the needed segments and the marketing campaign context are associated usually by graphical means offered to marketers and a simulation is performed. The outcome of the simulation is validated. Simulation validation occurs to evaluate the success of the campaign. Next, the actual campaign is operationalized by performing the actual launch, monitoring and optimization.

Conclusion

Event based marketing has an important role in driving customer communication and business life-cycle in a modern telecommunications organization. The timely and relevant nature of these communication means that performance is normally better than the traditionally targeted marketing communications. Delivering Event Based Marketing has an impact on the technology and processes supporting marketing and other functions. Leveraging the pros of EBM requires telcos to transform a 19th-century business model into one that meets today’s demand for real-time business and consumer insight. This needs to be addressed if the final solution is to deliver business benefits.

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