Once upon a time, telecommunications brands had the benefit of differentiating themselves from the competition with cheaper tariffs and the promise of better data coverage. Today, super-fast network coverage has become a base level expectation for consumers. And so, telecom brands are exploring with new tools of engagement which utilise mobile apps, social media, innovative tech and more.
According to eMarketer’s Digital Ad Spend by Industry 2019 report, the telecoms industry is predicted to spend a total $13.45bn by the end of 2019. It’s also tipped to be the most mobile-driven vertical, with mobile ads accounting for 70% of that total.
From the introduction of fifth generation (5G) wireless technologies to the full potential of augmented and virtual reality, Smart Cities and Internet of Things (IoT) being unleashed, telecoms marketing is taking on a new lease of life – one that puts the customer firmly at the centre of the narrative.
Taking a deeper dive into the telecoms entries to have been recognised at the Festival of Media Global Awards 2019, all of these campaigns were implemented in Europe. The top performing categories for telecoms brands include ‘Best Use of Geo-Location’, ‘Best Use of Technology’, ‘Best Use of AR / VR Technology’ and ‘Effective Use of e-Commerce’.
This strong focus on data and technology is broadly reflected in the audience data and targeting strategies adopted by these brands – with real-time targeting and optimisation proving to be a must. This also allowed for clever use of geo-targeting on a hyper-local level to increase the relevance and timing of communications.
Social media was the medium of choice across these entries, particularly Snapchat for its sponsored geo-filter capabilities and vast range of other ad formats. A number of integrated bespoke partnerships were forged and tailored to specific objectives to meet the desired outcome with consumers.
The main objective in these entries was to boost engagement with consumers and prove the breadth and scale of the mobile data on offer. Hence, creating shareable moments that customers could extend to their own social networks in real-time, meant that tracking the number of likes and comments was seen as a core measure of success.
Another technology to be explored in great detail by telecom brands to feature at the Festival of Media Global Awards is Augmented Reality (AR) to create new levels of engagement with consumers. With digital multi-channel AR core to one campaign in particular, a number of media firsts were claimed in this space. But at the heart of it all was content, and notably user-generated content to involve consumers on a more personal and emotional level.
According to Mic Locker, managing director in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) industry practice: “2019 will present several opportunities for providers to bolster current revenue sources—or to create entirely new revenue streams. Many of those opportunities will arise from changing market conditions and consumer preferences—and from the first large-scale rollouts of 5G technologies, which are expected to create significant business opportunities for telecom companies.
“Even before the rollout of the 5G, there is work to be done. Consumers continue to display an insatiable appetite for mobile data. With more data-heavy applications securing their place in consumers’ daily lives, we only expect this trend to continue. To balance the competitive landscape and possibly stabilise pricing, telecom companies will likely be looking to expand their boundaries and search for new opportunities.”
From mobile ads to AR and VR, geo-location, social media and more, it’s an exciting time for telecoms marketing. To create real stand-out in this space not only requires exploration with these new technologies but for brands to ensure that customers are brought into the ongoing brand narrative as it unfolds.
We put the spotlight on two Festival of Media Global Awards 2019 winning entries, which highlight this trend:
Three: Living Life To The Full Without Consequences | Three Mobile | Mindshare | UK
Shortlisted for: Best Use of AR / VR Technology (GOLD WINNER)
Three has always been the network known for data, constantly tapping into the heart of internet culture. In 2018, it wanted to expand its high-value millennial (HVM) audience and therefore find new ways to appeal to them. Mindshare brokered an exclusive partnership with Snapchat to enable Three to include Snapchat within its Go Binge offering, so customers could use Snapchat infinitely without fear of exceeding any data restrictions. This is Snapchat’s largest partnership to date and was a truly integrated and bespoke partnership approach from start to finish.
The media strategy aimed to showcase this prop via digital multi-channel AR focused activations via various social media channels to drive scale and hit every HVM. It then led the audience into Snapchat and enabled them to play with the creative hero of the ATL campaign, Puggerfly – the world’s first AR pet. This content strategy was angled at delivering not only drive results as a primary objective but generating brand love and awareness through users’ comments and shares – shifting the perception that HVM had of Three.
It released Puggerfly on Snapchat via the first consecutive seven day national Snapchat lens, pulling the audience back every day and being the first brand ever to utilise Snapchat in this way. On Facebook it applied a CTA engagement strategy to encourage the audience to send in their own content of Puggerfly therefore increasing usage as well as also providing Three with strong user generated content to capitalise on later. Each content was adapted from lens based creative to become more interactive content, in the form of sticker packs and games. The agency also activated a geo-targeted chain filter around Three store, so that users who visited a store could engage on another level within the store, thus encouraging more time to be spent in retail.
Telenor Got You Covered | Telenor Mobile | Starcom | Norway
Shortlisted for: Best Use of Geo-location (SILVER WINNER)
Cell phone coverage is the number one criteria when choosing telecom operator. However, people seldom give it any thought in their everyday life – it’s just there. Starcom wanted to make people more aware of Telenor’s superior coverage by identifying situations where cell phone coverage actually played an important part.
The last couple of years several Norwegians have opted for a domestic holiday as opposed to travelling abroad. When doing so they wish to experience one of the best things Norway has to offer – majestic mountains. The desire to share ones proud moment from the mountain top has a direct connection to cell phone coverage, as it’s critical for whether you even get a signal to publish the post or not. The strategy was obvious: It wanted to tap into and be a part of these magical moments, and at the same time letting people know that Telenor’s got you covered!
It started by mapping out the biggest and most popular mountain tops across all of Norway, identifying 11 in total. Based on insights, the agency knew Snapchat was the most suitable social media for reaching people in this particular situation. In addition, Snapchat had the perfect ad product for reaching out to more than just the ones standing on top of the mountains! Through hyper-local geo-targeting on mountain summits, it presented a sponsored geo-filter from Telenor – tailored for each of the 11 different locations. The ads were designed to enrich the moment, and not steal the spotlight with excessive branding.