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Why real-time location matters. A telco can target the specific audience at the optimal moment.

Key to unlocking telco’s own treasure box lies in the real-time location-based marketing.

As world turns more digital, popularity of big data intelligence is on the rise. It is especially relevant for industries like telco and banking, gathering enormous quantity of customer data. True alchemy lies in the means of data storing, filtering and processing, with the ability to find value in it.

Targeted advertising belongs to the areas where telco is able to utilize location-based data, especially when we add another factor- timing. There is a significant difference between sending a promo message anytime, or when a customer that falls under the targeted group is located within the campaign area. Mobile network operators (MNO) mostly appreciate real-time messaging for upsell/ cross-sell or to promote branded events and to invite customers into their shops when in the vicinity. Most resourceful marketing analytic tools that MNOs implement are those processing customer geo data internally and externally. Market Locator proved to be of great assistance to innovative telcos as a strategic tool enhancing operator’s value with measurable KPIs.

Slovak Telecom, a major telco in Slovakia has partnered with Instarea and been using Market Locator for its location-based marketing for four years and counting. Providing the tool for external monetization of its corporate partners in the form of Targeted Advertising & Data Analytics as a service, Slovak Telekom has been increasing its revenue by approx. 1mio USD annually. These customers were using the tool to define target audience, apply filters and send promo SMS/MMS/email when a target’s mobile signal is recognized in the chosen locations. This external use inspired Slovak Telekom to use the same tool internally. Actually, not many telcos are tapping into the opportunity of using real-time location due to technical constraints or issues with integration. The case of Slovak Telekom shows it doesn’t have to be difficult.

The telco-oriented solution Market Locator blends two factors resulting in efficient SMS marketing with customer segmentation & BTS signaling data processing in real-time for location-based data. On an interactive heat map the campaign manager chooses the target location and targeting filters applied for the campaign – the rest happens automatically. Market Locator is a self-service tool that can be handled and adjusted even by non-technical campaign managers.

Case study 1: Slovak Telekom wanted to increase visits to their main summer pop up event

Slovak Telekom, together with Bratislava municipality organize and run attractive summer spot called Magio Beach annually during the summer months. This waterfront urban beach offers interesting sport activities, concerts, hip food and drinks, organizes conferences and more. The campaign’s objective was to attract more visitors to the Magio Beach with a coupon code for a welcome drink as an extra motivator for a visit. In Market Locator, the CRM manager selected event’s location & surrounding areas as the campaign target location and filtered through customer segments. Targeted SMS hit the customer when mobile signal appeared in the chosen area. Campaign aced with the CTR of 8,06% performing over the weekends for six weeks. Outstanding results accompanied with positive customer feedback proved that Market Locator was considered beneficial & innovative for both parties.

“Major Slovak telco managed to attract more visitors to their pop-up event by targeting mobile phones located in the event’s vicinity with successful CTR rate of 8,06%.”

Case study 2: Slovak Telekom wanted to up-sell/cross-sell its services to a chosen client group

Common issues that telco’s sales team faces are saturated market and highly competitive products. CRM manager at Slovak Telekom wanted to use targeted messaging aimed at clients eligible to extend / change their plan. Normally, the chosen group would receive enticing message with fresh deal few weeks before the plan ends in a “carpet bombing” way. Plan expiration was the only relevant factor when setting up the campaign. Additional targeting based on real-time location of customers’ cell, raises the probability of the customer acting on impulse and entering the store they are invited to since it is in close vicinity to their actual location. Slovak Telekom firstly decided on branches where customers could prolong a plan & receive small gift, then set up the campaign around these shops, which delivered a promo message at the time when the desired client came close to the branch. The delivery times were naturally also adjusted to be in line with the opening times of the stores in question. At the end of the campaign, Slovak Telekom’s marketing manager left encouraging feedback due to the successful results that outperformed initial expectations and set a solid ground for future cooperation.
Three main outcomes stood out:

  • more than 4% of recipients on average used the included link in the message to navigate themselves to the nearby branch,
  • total interaction rate at the shop of targeted customers was on average in excess of 10% upon receiving the location-based message,
  • real-time factor was the key difference that raised a probability of transaction 5 times.

“Compared to the control group Slovak Telekom boosted not just shop footfall of target customers, but also probability of transaction 5-fold when using real-time location-driven SMS invitations delivered by the Market Locator platform.”

How Veronika the campaign manager created the above

1. Heat map with real-time movement

First Veronika identifies the locations where the campaigns are to be sent – either by uploading a list of branches as GPS points, or by simply selecting the area on the map. She can check the expected reach of the campaign in the chosen geography.

Select location in Market Locator

2. Screening through filters

Veronika then applies relevant filters (calculated probability for offering, customer value, type of device…). She then adds the whitelist of eligible customers and blacklist of excluded VIP customers.

Apply Filters in Market Locator

3. Set-up a campaign

Now that the location & filtering criteria are chosen, deciding on communication channel and creative is important. In this case, SMS messages due to their deliverability and visibility are chosen. Content of a promo message shall be concise but tempting in order to attract customers who are passing by to visit. Finally, she sets limitations on max number of messages per hour so that a shop doesn’t get overwhelmed with too many customers at one time

Set up campaign in Market Locator

4. How Market Locator executes the campaign

Once the campaign is submitted by Veronika, Market Locator automatically takes into account consents, contact policy and starts monitoring the signaling stream in real-time (approx. 6000 events pers second in this case). Once a match between one of the locations & target group is identified, Market Locator delivers the correct communication directly over SMS gateway or pushes this positive event into a central campaign management which can add further decisioning prior to an action.

Bottom line

Despite the importance of immeasurable outcomes like the ease-of-use or intuitive usage, the key reasons for applying ML are measurable KPIs. Those normally mean higher returns of investment, reducing barriers and smoothing operations, significant cost reductions, and other long-term rewards resulting from the added benefit of external offerings alongside the internal use. Extending the old traditional approach to campaigning with the Market Locator platform proved to be a success associated with positive reactions in both use cases for two reasons: campaign’s KPIs brought solid measurable results & customers would feel a benefit from promo offers instead of feeling spammed. Real-time location driven campaigns are the key difference and with Market Locator a telco can easily add this capability to their existing campaign management.

Eliska Dzurnakova

Eliska is a business development associate at Instarea.

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