We’ve followed the evolution in operator subscriber engagement since we activated the first iPhone for AT&T back in 2007, and through our active role in the explosion of cloud storage in the U.S. As a result, we’ve known for years that telecoms operators are sitting on a gold mine of contextual customer data. While studies have estimated the market to be worth billions of dollars – potentially – no one’s looked at this from the brand’s perspective. Until now.
Last week at Mobile World Congress, Ovum released the findings of a new study, commissioned by Synchronoss, that examines brand attitudes towards using telco data assets for targeted digital advertising. And guess what? It’s good news for mobile operators. The study of more than 300 brands from the US, UK and France, uncovers a potentially lucrative, but relatively untapped, opportunity for operators to monetize customer data insights through commercial brand partnerships.
The new study, “Brand perceptions of data insights in digital advertising – and the role of operators,” found that 67% of brands consider telcos to be a better original source of data insights than digital services companies like Google and Microsoft, smartphone OEMs like Apple and Samsung, and chat apps like WeChat. However, a staggering 48% of brands are not aware of telcos’ ability to even offer these insights – suggesting that many operators have been slow to market to monetize these core assets.
Of those brands that weren’t previously aware that this telco data existed, 92% expressed willingness to explore commercial partnerships with operators once they were educated on the possibility. These findings offer significant encouragement to telcos, especially as global digital advertising revenues from brands are set to soar. However, a word of warning: operators must arm their data with analytics and tagging if it is to lead to better digital experiences, sharper engagement and better monetization.
On an even more encouraging note, operators have the capability to emulate the social networks that are revered as the best overall source of insight, by investments in chat bots and A2P messaging platforms. These will enable operators to create messaging communities of their own, capable of extracting even higher metrics than those being delivered by the likes of Facebook today.
Download the research whitepaper “Brand perceptions of data insights in digital advertising – and the role of operators,” from Ovum to discover the full findings.