We are seeing the emergence of three distinct media types: Mass media(TV), Social media(Social networks) and Mobile media.
Often these media types are discussed in isolation – but they make a lot more sense when viewed holistically in a converged ecosystem from their underlying data patterns
The idea is: Spot the patterns in data usage and validate the patterns using promotions. Do this over as wide a network as possible(either a converged network or in partnership with a broadcast media channel)
The goal of any media is to get the receiver of the message to take action – ideally a purchase decision(but not necessarily so)
Broadcast media/ Mass media(TV, newspapers etc) are great for brand building. They are best placed to get the message across to the widest section of the public. One could argue that mass media is ‘interruptive’ in nature – but without an interruptive message – I can only know what I already know – but I cannot know what I do not know ..(At the risk of sounding Rumsfeldesque .. ). On the other hand, a message that can be personalised to the recipient is truly useful to them. So, the goal is to work with these two end points
Also, irrespective of how the message is received, ideally the two ends of the media cycle need to co-relate i.e. for every recipient of the message – there should be a corresponding action. That action should be tangible and measurable in some way – i.e. you need to be able to measure how many people received your message and how many of these people took action based on that message.
Traditional media focussed on these two ends of the equation.
Into this mix comes social media and mobility – both of which have a unique and a disruptive effect. What I am trying to show below is that they have a synergistic effect when viewed together:
The effect of social media is as follows:
The defining characteristic of social media is it’s two way nature i.e. social media participants are not passive consumers of the message but also potentially creators of the message and indeed have the ability to mutate that message. So, social media could be the reinforcer of the message or it could be the destructor of the message. Hence, on one hand we get the viral effect (reinforcer) and on the other hand we get the death spiral for the message (destructor)
The effect of mobility is also very disruptive ..
The mobile operator /provider has the opposite problem from the broadcaster. They know the customer individually but do not know much about that customer. Specifically they do not know the user’s preferences which can be used to create a more personalised message (and by extension a message that is potentially useful to the receiver)
So, the approach could be: Spot the patterns in data usage and validate the patterns using promotions. Do this over as wide a network as possible(either a converged network or in partnership with a broadcast media channel)
Mobile media complements mass media (like television) by providing the individual personalization which mass media lacks. This can happen in potentially three ways – all these ways are interconnected
a) Patterns: Spotting behavioural patterns
b) Promotions: Specific promotions to validate observations from the patterns
c) Partnerships: Creating partnerships between traditional media and mobile media to get as wide a network as possible(or extend your own network in a converged ecosystem)
Patterns: Patterns in usage can be gleaned by merging data streams from outside the telecoms network along with Telecoms data (CDRs).
Consider program viewing schedules. Suppose an Operator analyses their data based on program viewing schedules and discovers that at a certain time every week, a group of people on their network communicate via text message.
If that time co-incides with the transmission time of a specific program(say a TV serial) – then potentially these customers are fans of that serial and are communicating with each other as they watch the program.
This information can be validated via promotions i.e. specific promotions designed to test the hypothesis with an opt in clause for further promotions.
Finally, a telecoms provider can get insights if it partners with a TV station. They can also extend the scope of the network itself beyond mobile. This can be done by offering fixed network services, IPTV services etc – either on their own or in partnership.
The key is to get a single view of the customer from their data patterns and / or to get an incrementally detailed view of their customer through their social interactions(who they interact with) and behavioural interactions(what type of behaviour do they exhibit – which may need external data sources) – and then refine that analysis by specific promotions to validate the observations.
The wider the network they can do this over(either on their own or in partnership) – the more effective the result
Many thanks to Tomi Ahonen for his feedback on the mobile related ideas in this blog