Globys: Derek Edwards' 2015 Trends

2015 is a year in which we’ll see micro-segmentation thrust into action in emerging markets, enabling the delivery of personalized experiences to address the wide diversity within and between markets.

We all know mobile growth within emerging markets is predicted to remain on an upward swing in 2015 and beyond.  Smartphone adoption is on the rise by more than 30%, app downloads are surpassing those of some developed markets, mobile web usage is rapidly rising, and video is projected to dominate mobile data consumption.  

Consumers in these markets command a digital lifestyle.  Unlike in mature markets, significant gaps remain in traditional services, such as banking, retail, and media, making the mobile device (and the operator) central to all aspects of daily life. 

Despite the positive trends, operators in these markets are increasingly challenged by how to compete and grow.  Yes, more consumers in these markets are using mobile technologies as prices have fallen and disposable incomes have risen. But income groups in these markets are disparate, and as a result the behaviors, needs, and preferences of subscribers vary greatly even where there’s geographic homogeneity. 

What I think we’ll see in 2015 is operators deploying more sophisticated segmentation and marketing decisioning approaches that allow for the tailoring of experiences to individuals at an unprecedented granularity and scale.

The operator’s focus will be on creating appropriate products, services and business models that are both relevant and efficient for different consumer needs, and then determining for which customers and in what contexts are they most optimal.   

In moving away from a ‘one size fits all’ marketing approach, operators will adopt new technologies that allow them to more effectively leverage what they know about their customers to then optimize relationships in ways that create loyalty and maximize profitability.   Big Data technologies will be deployed to provide the marketer actionable insights from their detailed customer data – plan, network, handset, status, income, voice and data usage, purchasing power, days active, third-party usage, etc. And we will start to see machine learning capabilities driving automated discovery of targeting variables, and automated testing and optimization of experiences. 

The ability to scale is a key driver for this.  When telecom marketers have the capability to test virtually all possible customer experiences at scale and determine with a high degree of granularity the most relevant attributes for targeting, personalization for the mobile masses becomes possible.  For operators this means they meet the needs of their consumers while fueling new waves of innovation and growth.

Derek Edwards is the CEO of Globys.

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