I have just returned from three wonderful days co-chairing and presenting at the IIR Mobile CRM & CEM conference in Monaco. I left cold, rainy Düsseldorf, Germany on Monday morning to arrive in hot, sunny Nice, France in the afternoon. The glorious weather stayed with us round the corner in Monaco for the three days and a great time was had by all.
Mobile telcos are facing the same challenges that most other companies are facing: Customers have a long-tail of choices available to them, are more demanding, are willing to pay less and if that wasn’t bad enough, aren’t paying any attention to formal marketing communications any more. Instead, they are looking to the Internet for their information and to each other for recommendations. Social networks are disintermediating the marketing department as fast as you can say antidisestablishmentarianism!
But unlike most other companies, mobile telcos know exactly who is taking to each other through the call data records (CDRs) they collect for billing purposes. As you can well imagine, many of them are already experimenting with social network analysis (SNA) to better understand the customer calling communities that exist within their customer base. The early results are very encouraging. For example, working with Xtract, a leading SNA consultancy, Swisscom was able to use social behavioural targeting to increase the uptake of new products by over 90%. That is pretty impressive when you think that most new products fail in the market place both the first and second time they are introduced.
But the real excitement is around mobile social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn; that you would typically access on your PC, but that you can just as easily access on your mobile phone. Mobile social networks bring together the influence of social networks with the power of multi-sided markets (a multi-sided market is one where someone brings together thousands of suppliers and millions of customers who would never normally meet each other, as in on eBay or Amazon). A case in point. When Facebook recently opened its doors to advertisers, 100,000 of them created friend pages almost overnight. 100,000! That’s 100,000 advertisers that you can start to have a dialogue with, mediated by friends’ socially-networked recommendations and powered by the multi-sided market on your always-on, always-with-you mobile phone.
Mobile social networking is the new black!
What do you think? Are mobile social networks going to dominate eCommerce? Or will they also succumb to the tragedy of the marketing commons?
Post a comment and get the conversation going.
Independent CRM Consultant
Interim CRM Manager