A month ago, Virgin Mobile KSA announced that it had achieved net-zero carbon emissions across its operations in the Kingdom. The news came shortly after authorities announced that KSA had widened the reach of 5G networks to about half of the population and the majority of cities by mid-2021. Telecom is a competitive landscape in the region.
Since its launch in the Kingdom in 2014, Virgin Mobile KSA has been supporting Saudi Arabia’s digital transformation goals through sustainable methods. Martechvibe speaks to Aziz Amine, Director of Marketing & Country Head Of Mobile Financial Services, Virgin Mobile about how brands need to drive innovation to keep up with market forces and customer expectations.
Telecom services are commoditised. So, how do you differentiate?
We differentiate by driving innovation to improve the customer experience. The digital landscape continues to change and with it, so do the customer’s needs. The focus is on personalisation at every stage of the customer journey to deliver timely, relevant mobile experiences. We deliver a customer-centric experience using the right technologies. Our Digital App offers flexibility, choice and exciting products for the consumer. Our customers can enjoy the content of various OTT Apps from their mobile through our DCB*, and soon we will be offering digital mobile wallets to our blue-collar customers to transfer money back to their home countries securely and swiftly through our mobile App.
*Direct carrier billing (DCB) is the online payment method that allows users to make purchases by charging payments to their mobile phone bill.
How does data impact business decision-making and product development? Give an example.
Data is the key to behaviour analysis and how customers interact with your products and services. Data helps improve marketing personalisation and segmentation to provide the right product or service and customer experience to customers. It offers your business a competitive intelligence tool to outperform competitors.
Marketing is the key to customer acquisition and data is critical to that success. Building data analytics into marketing strategy empowers marketing and sales teams by providing the ability to measure the impact of each marketing investment. Data enables marketers to confidently identify which parts of the marketing efforts deliver the optimal return on investment (ROI), including the performance of channels and products. With the right data analytics, you can accurately forecast results and measure the progress of each marketing activity against defined milestones. You will be able to optimise your marketing in real time, accurately plan out your future marketing long-term plans.
We use data analytics in Marketing to target specific customers with our CVM offers depending on their ARPU (average revenue per unit), AON and LTV to ensure their retention on our network. If your business has a goal of staying competitive in today’s hyper-competitive landscape, you must make your marketing a data-driven process.
What are the biggest changes in the telco industry?
The telco industry is very dynamic and technology is evolving rapidly. 5G technology, IoT, ESIM and AI-driven content are some of the biggest changes taking place at the moment.
5G: This is the next generation of telecom networks. It is the fastest, most robust technology the world has ever seen.
IoT: From hairbrushes to scales, consumer and industrial devices are embedding chips into their products to collect and communicate data. Smart cities and connected cars are some of the big IoT projects at the moment.
e-SIM: The main advantage of an e-SIM is that customers can quickly change operators at any time without a new physical SIM card. It will also be compatible with all telecom operators. The e-SIM allows us to have more than two phone numbers associated with our smart device
AI-driven content: Marketing may be the biggest and most game-changing trend yet. Google is taking this to the next level by using AI to facilitate better matches to search queries using its RankBrain algorithm. RankBrain is a machine learning (AI) algorithm that Google uses to sort the search results.
What advice would you give marketing teams evaluating their MarTech stack today?
We live in a time when technology moves fast, consumer behaviours are hard to predict and the traditional customer winning methods don’t work anymore. The digital landscape continues to change, and with it, so do the customer’s needs. Marketers have to be more ambitious when it comes to digital services and focus on sustainably differentiating themselves from the competition by driving smarter, more client-centric and value-based services to consumers. Data analytics in marketing, used in the right way, will help your business not just stay and function but thrive in this world of constant innovation.
Modern marketing isn’t just ‘going digital’ – it’s having an omnichannel strategy to build touchpoints across all channels your customers use, both online and offline.
Also Read: Shaping Customer Behaviour For Normal 2.0
The convergence of telecom and financial services accelerated due to the pandemic. How do you see digital convergence impacting customer experience?
Fintech created the most impact in mobile payments by addressing many areas and democratising the financial services. Using digital disruption, fintech increased user engagement by reducing transaction and service costs, which is beneficial to customers and service providers such as SMEs. Fintech proved a competitive advantage in the current pandemic condition by offering its services for Direct Benefits Transfers (DBT), P2P or Financial Relief Payments.
The latest fintech innovations and digital disruption have helped many businesses improve the customer experience and penetrate new niche market segments. Customers can are able to shop and pay their bills in a more convenient and secure way by using digital mobile wallets. Transfer money locally and internationally instantly to friends and family. Get instant financing through a quick, convenient, simple and paperless process.
What opportunities does the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia offer to brands to grow?
Saudi Arabia holds exciting potential and opportunities for investors and international brands to establish local operations. It boasts of a G20 economy with a young, highly-educated population of more than 30 million people. As part of Vision 2030, a wide range of economic reforms has succeeded in creating new business opportunities, leveraging Saudi Arabia’s key strategic assets, and driving economic growth and diversification.
The Saudi government is investing $220 billion towards projects to make Riyadh one of the world’s top 10 city economies. Brands like PepsiCo, Schlumberger and Tim Hortons are among those putting up their regional headquarters in Riyadh.