With the cost-of-living crisis continuing and the UK now in a recession, industries have to acclimatise to shifting market trends and consumer behaviour to maintain revenue and hit sales targets.

The telecommunications industry is susceptible to consumers’ different priorities in times of economic hardship - many consumers will stick with the handset they already have or shop around for a cheaper deal elsewhere, even if the monthly pay package offers less data or perks.

The compound effect of the Covid-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis means that companies don’t have a base set of data about their consumers to work from in 2023 - it’s a unique situation. Marketers must be smarter about how they target customers and understand what they want.

Our research on consumer Christmas spending is a good indicator of how it is challenging to know how individuals will budget even during an economic downturn. While many understandably indicated they would be cutting back, 12% said they planned to spend more on gifts. For marketers at telcos, it would be about figuring out who that 12% is and pushing new products to them – while at the same time not irritating other consumers who can’t afford to pay anymore.

At the beginning of 2022, YouGov Research found that one in 10 global consumers intended to spend more on telecom services (10%), while the share of those who planned to spend less was almost double (20%). A year on and these percentages will have changed again, as our Christmas research indicates, so understanding at a point in time how to identify which people fit into which groups is crucial. Segmenting consumers into large groups based on generalised factors will not allow marketing teams to understand the market drivers of individuals on a mass scale – something that many operators are realising.

Those investing in advanced analytics and organising their large datasets can achieve personalised marketing on a mass scale, ensuring they can quickly react to changing consumer habits and market the right products and offers to the right customers - when it suits them best.

Snowflake is ‘data central’

With cloud analytics and AI holds the power to unlock insights into consumer behaviour, telcos must be able to handle the huge amounts of data they produce.

That’s why SAS has partnered with Snowflake, a single platform that powers the data cloud.

Our partnership stems from SAS’s desire to support marketers, providing the means for a customer data platform that doesn’t require constant, time-consuming and costly IT projects to move data around.

Snowflake is SAS’ federated data storage partner, enabling telcos to be empowered, not restricted when marketing to different audiences. In the platform, data stores can easily be built and can connect directly to SAS 360 without the hassle of transferring data.

Our partnership could not come at a more pivotal time. With marketing budgets expected to feel the squeeze as companies try to cut costs in 2023, marketers will have to prove an actual return on investment to their businesses and facilitate more effective marketing to convince customers to buy.

We’ve already seen EE adapt their messaging and language to the context of the cost of living crisis in their winter advert, understanding that many consumers will not be able to buy the latest handset. Instead, EE offers its customers an annual check-up on their devices. This is an excellent example of how a telco can adapt to meet the current needs of customers while finding potential new avenues of revenue.

Standing out from the competition

Predicting the top telecom trends of 2023, Forbes forecasted that artificial intelligence would make one of the most significant impacts as AI tech becomes more sophisticated and the challenges facing telecom operators become more complex. Data is at the centre of all of this.

As an AI leader, SAS is uniquely positioned to support telco operators’ marketing needs. While others may run the same python code in a black box expecting different outcomes, SAS’s specialised software allows marketers to adapt and tune analytics in line with market drivers and needs.

With markets across the globe being unstable for the foreseeable future, value has been lost in traditional modeling techniques that rely entirely on data to be consistent. Understanding individuals’ needs through advanced, real-time data and then acting upon insights with personalised offers is a solution that no telco marketeer can afford to ignore.

Knowledge is key

On January 19th, SAS will host an exclusive webinar to discuss telco operators' challenges in marketing to consumers this year.

Hear from experts, including Mike Turner, Principal Business Advisor, Customer Intelligence at SAS UK & Ireland, Fawad A Qureshi, Industry Field CTO at Snowflake and Artur Szymanski, Principal Business Solution Manager for Telco at SAS, as they address some of the significant data challenges in the sector, including how to scale to meet the needs of individual customers, how to face upcoming challenges in the current market situation, and how to stay ahead of the game.

Learn how SAS can offer an extensive range of capabilities through AI and cloud analytics to meet these needs in an accessible and sustainable way. Discover how SAS’s market-leading analytics platform can be applied to automatically generated Analytical Base Tables (ABTs) stored in Snowflake.

Finally, learn about the extensive range of connection options available to you as the marketer, enabling you to leverage the investments you have already made in other platforms and technologies will allow you to enhance your understanding of your customers' needs.

You can register for the webinar here.


About Author

Mike Turner

Principal Business Advisor, SAS UK & Ireland

As a multi award winner and with over 25 years of experience in the field of Customer Intelligence, Mike has led many successful projects for international blue-chip companies. Holding collaboration and innovation as core disciplines in delivering value to his clients, Mike has experience across multiple market sectors. He has bought together skills from academia, start-up and commercial organisations to help resolve business problems in current operations and in future roadmap strategies for many businesses. With SAS Mike is helping clients to understand the future direction of Customer Intelligence and how this will be impacted by the rapid change and growth in technology and consumer expectations. He works across topics such as the Internet of Things, algorithmic decisioning, open and collaborative data strategies and next generation marketing considering artificial intelligence and machine learning. Mike is considered a thought leader in his chosen field.

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