Acting on your goldmine of customer data

Databases are the life and blood of an operator; a goldmine of customer and operational information that is integral to a company's successful operation. Unfortunately, most telcos don't appreciate the value of the data that they have and how they can use it to create new business opportunities and reduce costs.

Today's telecoms providers need not look further than their customer database to create opportunities that could drastically improve their bottom line. They could start off by diving into the monthly transactional statements and invoices churned out by the finance department to identify patterns in customer spending. By identifying these past consumption patterns, they will be able to structure and market programs that have proven to be successful. Furthermore the up-sell and cross-sell opportunities will become immediately apparent when data is broken down further through the analysis.

For example, a simple review of a customers' billing or usage may reflect that he or she has a strong inclination to calling a particular overseas destination on a monthly basis. Armed with this knowledge, a specific campaign can be tailored for this individual to increase up-selling opportunities.

Extending this further, telcos can make use of a direct marketing technique called 'transpromo', which combines promotional materials in transactional documents as an effective method to capture the reader's attention, reduces the costs and increases the effectiveness of a marketing campaign.

Transpromo is one of the more refined marketing communications concepts to address rising costs and increasing need for business savings in recent years. It is essentially integrating transactional communications (such as telephone bills, invoices and statements) with promotional materials (flyers, discount coupons and marketing leaflets). What better way to combine these than in the monthly statement, which has by far the highest readership rates - up to 89% according to some industry watchers. And according to industry analyst InfoTrends, personalizing documents increases revenue and response rates up to 6.5%, well above the standard direct mail response rate of 2-4%.

Gone are the days when consumers face dull transactional statements that only chase them for bills. They can now look forward to the monthly colorful bill statements that not only serve as a reminder for payment, but also double up as exciting promotions and discounts to be taken advantage off.

Aside from improving response rates, telcos can look to reduce the waste of unwanted direct marketing promotional materials. This couldn\'t have arrived at a better time. With green and eco-friendly concerns dominating headlines, saving costs and being green hasn't looked this attractive for a long time. Transpromo maximizes business productivity while being able to deliver a sustainable green programme for the telecoms industry.

Benoit Chatelard is VP for Asia Pacific a Infoprint Solutions

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