Summary: There has never been a better time for telcos to establish a profitable role as a market enabler in the mobile advertising ecosystem. STL Partners analyses how 3 telcos – Sprint, Turkcell and SingTel – lead the way in leveraging permission-based subscriber data and highlights the role that each has chosen to perform. The report assesses each company’s strategy and execution, outlines the core reasons for their success, and identifies 6 ways in which telcos can accelerate time to market with advertising and marketing solutions. (December 2015, Foundation 2.0, Executive Briefing Service, Dealing With Disruption Stream, Telco 2.0 Transformation Stream.)
2015 has witnessed the turning point at which internet access on mobile devices exceeds desktops and laptops combined for the first time and, worldwide, digital advertising has followed the audience migration from desktop to smartphone and tablet. A new ecosystem has evolved to service the needs of the mobile advertising industry. Ad exchanges and ad networks have adapted to facilitate access by brands to an ever-wider range of content on multiple devices, whilst DMPs (Data Management Platforms), DSPs & SSPs (Demand Side and Supply Side Platforms respectively) are fuelling the growth of ‘programmatic buying’ by enabling the flow of data within the ecosystem.
Advertising should be an important diversification strategy for telcos as income from core communications continues to decline because they can make use of existing assets (e.g. audience reach, inventory, data), whilst maintaining subscriber trust. Telecoms operators’ ability to use their own customers’ data (with consent) to improve their own service offerings is a key advantage that provides a strong basis for developing advertising and marketing solutions for third-parties.
Facebook and Google will represent more than half of the $69 billion worldwide mobile-advertising market in 2015. This dominance has led some operators to question whether they can build a viable advertising business. However STL Partners believes that there has never been a better time for many operators to consider ramping-up their efforts to secure a sustainable practice through leveraging the value of their own customer data. In fact, many telcos are actively working with OTT players such as Google and Facebook to assist them in understanding territory-specific mobile behaviour.
In the main body of this report, STL Partners identifies the role that each telco has chosen to perform within the advertising ecosystem, assesses their strategy and execution, and identifies the core reasons for their success. The three case studies display several common characteristics and point to six Key Success Factors (KSFs) for a telco advertising business. The first is a ‘start-up mindset’ pre-requisite for establishing such a business and the other five are core actions and capabilities which mutually strengthen each other to produce a ‘flywheel’ that drives growth (see Figure 1). As a telco exec, whether your organisation is just embarking on the advertising journey, if it has tried to build an advertising business and withdrawn or, indeed, if you are well on the way to building a successful business, we outline how to deliver the following six KSFs in the downloadable report:
After years of hype, mobile advertising is now starting to mature in terms of technical solutions, business models, and customer acceptance. The catalyst for this growing awareness of the potential of mobile advertising is the increasing demand for first-party (own customer) data to personalize and contextualize marketing communications both within telcos and more widely among enterprises as a way of improving on coarse-grained segmentation. Telcos hold more and better data than most organisations and have wonderful distribution networks (the network itself) for managing information flows, as well as delivering marketing messages and services.
For those within and outside telcos that are developing marketing and advertising solutions, we would love to hear your stories and facilitate discussions with your peers, so please do get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Technologies and industry terms referenced include: 3rd party data, ad spending, advertising, agencies, Amobee, analytics, app developers, app monetisation, audience, behavioural data, brands, customer trust, data ecosystem, Data Management Platform, demographic data, digital, DMP, first party data, inferred data, informed consent, location data, mobile, mobile commerce, permission database, Pinsight, privacy, publishers, SingTel, Sprint, Turkcell