Friday, February 10, 2006

visiongain intelligence: Network operators must become more savvy about customers

According to a new report from visiongain intelligence, as network "operators struggle to increase non-voice revenues and reduce churn, there is a clear need for the industry to re-define market segmentations." visiongain believes "an effective segmentation strategy can help attract new subscribers, boost brand loyalty and reduce churn, as well as increase data ARPU." The visiongain report said, "A well thought out segmentation strategy isn’t enough. What is the point in simply dividing up customers? You need to decide why you are doing this and what you are going to do with those customers."

Dr Jean-Pierre Aubertin said, "Operators will have to become more savvy in understanding their customers' lifestyles so as to market their products portfolio at the correct segment and be prepared to offer greater flexibility in the manner that services are packaged. Existing segmentation strategies based on factors such as affinity, behaviour, age, gender and demographics, have met with mixed success. Technology savvy customers know what they want and what they use. This presents mobile service providers and terminal vendors with new opportunities to re-think their market segmentation and introduce products and services that meet the needs of their customers. The providers need to take advantage of this opportunity."

Dr Aubertin concluded that:

Operators that develop communities, affinities and segments based around the needs of their target markets are going to be at an advantage over their competitors. They will also benefit if they are able to offer those users content tailored to their needs. This will require operators to open their portals. Users are refusing to use portals that charge them exorbitant fees just to browse. Operators that charge no fee or a very small fee for unlimited browsing and who adapt a retail strategy will increase their revenue significantly. However, the idea of a retail strategy is new to many operators, which would reduce them to the status of a bit pipe.