Another finding is that two thirds of the operators surveyed currently do not have the ability to provide real-time contextual offers.
In this competitive market, the ability to unlock new revenues, build customer loyalty and increase profitability are the key goals for mobile operators around the world. Whilst operators continue to bring to market innovative data services to create new revenue streams, they may not be making the most of their customer base to generate more revenue through upsell.
Every time there is an opportunity to upsell, operators should be able to do so. This means having the capability to identify the real-time customer context to trigger the most relevant offer to be sent to the customer device in real-time; customers should then be able to purchase and activate the services instantly. In other words, operators need to be able to send real-time contextual offers to their customers. The context can be based on the subscriber activity, usage, application accessed, location and profile for example.
As an example, a subscriber trying to access Facebook with no data plan could automatically receive a one day data pass offer with unlimited access to Facebook. Another subscriber accessing a movie website such as Netflix could receive a high speed boost offer. A traveller could be targeted at the airport with a data roaming package offer. Without the capability to trigger real-time contextual offers, the revenue potential in these examples would be missed.
Real-time contextual offers enable operators not only to maximize upsell opportunities but also to maximize the chances of uptake by customers as they receive the most relevant offers at the most opportune time. On average, operators’ current uptake rate when upselling offers directly to the customer device is estimated at 8%. If operators had the ability to send real time contextual offers, they estimate that they could achieve an average offer uptake of 14%. This means operators can increase their uptake rate by 75% on average.
Moreover, they view real-time contextual offers as an effective way to target users with no data plan and motivate data package purchase. They estimate that it would help extend their mobile data user base by 12.8% on average.
Overall, operators project that data revenues would increase by 15% with real-time contextual offers. On a global scale, this means an additional $47 billion of mobile data revenues for operators to unlock, knowing that, according to ABI Research, mobile service revenue was $264 billion in the first quarter of 2014, with data contributing 31% with a forecast annual service revenue of $1.01 trillion for 2014.
With real-time contextual offers and the flexibility to “buy now” on their device with immediate service delivery, operators secures their revenue and keep customers happy. They expect this to increase customer loyalty and willingness to recommend their services (net promoter score or NPS). Operators estimate that churn would be reduced by 8.5% as a result. With this approach, they also project customer care and sales costs to be reduced by about 11%.
An effective upsell strategy based on real-time contextual offers requires more tailored offers to be created, launched and updated rapidly. In other words, the time to market, from offer definition to market launch, is important. However, most operators stated that the time to market was currently too long and operators were missing revenue opportunities. They expect to reduce the time to market by about half if they could create, launch and update offers from one central place. In order to more successfully meet and monetize the customer needs, operators also stated that it was also important for them to get real-time reporting of offer effectiveness to be able to continuously refine the offers.
Enabling real-time contextual offers can transform the relationship between operators and customers, with operators being able to pro-actively respond to the customer needs in real-time. This may well be one of the most effective strategies for operators to make the most of their customer base and maximize the customer lifetime value.
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