Mobile loyalty must come from better value
After a careful analysis of the market, loyalty marketing firm Collinson Latitude has called on mobile phone network operators to capitalise on their vast customer data and insights by offering reward programmes that better anticipate customer needs.
Mobile operators are already aware of the opportunities to build stronger relationships with customers by undertaking effective customer segmentation, but there is little evidence yet that they are actively pursuing relationship management strategies that make consumers feel that they are known and valued, warned Collinson Latitude director, Janet Titterton.
With initiatives like O2 Priority Moments, the UK market is starting to see operators harnessing the huge loyalty potential of mobile platforms, providing offers and benefits when and where customers need them. But to truly reap the rewards of customer loyalty and engagement, the key for operators now is to be more relevant and provide customers with tangible value.
According to Titterton, the need to move beyond generic offers for all to more personalised benefits is particularly acute for operators: "Mobile operators are facing a watershed in their evolution. Although mobile handsets have become indispensable lifestyle accessories, customers not only value their handsets but also the content provided by third-party companies. There is a danger of the underlying mobile connectivity becoming a mere commodity. To minimise customer churn and to access fresh revenue streams from customers, mobile operators need to exploit their data insights to surprise and delight customers with loyalty rewards and offers that are timely, relevant and offer real value."
The good news, however, is that mobile operators are in an ideal position to deliver this type of next generation relationship programme. They have access to many indicators of a customer's lifestyle, such as where they live and even their travel behaviour. And, with growing market penetration of near field communications (NFC) and contactless payments, the opportunity to track wider buying behaviour will also be available to them.
By developing a comprehensive and single customer view through data analysis and insight, operators can deliver targeted benefits that are relevant to the individual and reward loyalty in a unique way.
"By analysing reward, offer and benefit redemption behaviour, operators can develop more intelligent, personalised and dynamic programmes that anticipate customer needs and wants based upon previous behaviours," Titterton concluded. "And it is exactly this ability - to foresee customers' wishes - that makes some online retailers so successful at driving customer profitability. Mobile operators must also now follow the same path."