Hyper-personalized service offers: sounds painful, what are they?

via Flickr © Adam Dachis (CC BY 2.0)

via Flickr © Adam Dachis (CC BY 2.0)

  • We’ve all heard the story that network operators are sitting on a data goldmine 
  • It’s just waiting to be mined, assayed and acted on
  • Really? Give me some examples of how this might work

Spanish data insight specialist fonYou Telecom has been developing its expertise for 15 years now around a recognition that the operator’s network data was a valuable resource which could be used to extract customer insights which, in turn, could be the basis for making new service offers.

“When we first started the business, mobile operators and their customers were just beginning to recognise and embrace the data revolution,” says Founder and CEO, Fernando Nunez Mendoza. “We spotted the potential that the network data offered to learn more about the customers, their interests and ambitions, in order to support them with better, hyper-personalized service offers.” Mendoza was by no means alone in that recognition, of course, and I’ve lost count of the number of interviews I’ve conducted over the intervening years with companies - large and small - seeking to develop their take on the same idea and put it to commercial use. 

So how exactly does the bait and hook operate?

The idea is to use nuggets of information from the collected network data to get an understanding about what might appeal to a customer at a given moment. The data collection from the mobile operators’ systems and the processing to glean the all-important ‘nuggets’ all happens on fonYou’s platform which analyses 100 billion data events across the participating operator networks per month. The fonYou front end sends out RCS messages to likely candidates.  

For instance, the network might detect that data errors in a video transmission had caused the user to abort a particular stream. The offer of a data boost for, say, a dollar might therefore be taken up if the offer is presented properly. Or, the completion of a box set of dramas might be an opportunity to make a special follow-on discount offer for the next - all automated of course. 

The essential thing to keep in mind is that these micro opportunities for the operator or service provider, can in no way support the cost of a telephone call or any sort of paid human interaction. And it also means that the offer has to have a low monetary value so the buyer is comfortable making a snap decision without seeking further information. As the operators are sending their messages across their own network the cost of each approach must be infinitesimally small. fonYou calculates that each offer costs one millionth of a dollar. 

So free data in, practically free messages out, what could possibly go wrong? Repetitive message overload that’s what. That will surely see users shutting off the notification stream and that’s presumably the way you get to learn that you’re sending too many.

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