Vendor Spotlight: Razorsight

By: Jesse Cryderman

Last week I opened the mailbox to find two brochures from competing residential communications service providers (CSPs). One ad piece was promoting service for a telco-TV operator with which I already subscribe. The other was advertising a service tier that is actually unavailable in my area. I shook my head in disbelief as I threw away the flyers--tossing this marketing material in the trash was symbolic of a systemic issue that is plaguing service providers today. These ads had zero value, but considerable cost, and will do nothing to improve the bottom line for the companies that sent them.

There is a simple explanation for why these mailings, and many others, end up in my mailbox, inbox or voicemail and probably yours too: the market is saturated worldwide, and competition is fierce. Absent advanced targeting solutions, many CSPs resort to a high-level segmentation and what effectively is a shotgun approach, even though it is inefficient. That’s how badly they are trying to win customers from each other.

Price compression is accelerating due to this intense competition, and as a result of cord-cutting behavior and direct-to-consumer over-the-top (OTT) offerings from major content networks like HBO. At the same time, consolidation is occurring on a global scale and will continue to characterize the telecom space in coming years. Charter recently moved to acquire Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks.  The New Charter would approach Comcast in subscribers, homes passed, and broadband internet penetration. Altice recently made its move toward the US market with the acquisition of Suddenlink. 

Customers themselves have changed substantially, particularly millennials. They use the network differently than in the past, they don’t respond to traditional offerings, and they are wise to the fact that they live in a buyers' market. Online retailers like Amazon have hastened the transformation of the buying experience, while mirroring the demand-side expectations prevalent in youth culture.

We know market dynamics have rapidly shifted but, in the board room, the billion dollar puzzle for these operators is the same as it has always been: how can we grow and compete, and what will drive revenue growth?

Certainly not mass mailings, broadcast email, SMS blasts, telesales reps or other impersonal marketing campaigns. CSPs must evolve their practices if they want to continue to outmaneuver their competitors. They must leverage analytic tools that can rapidly and automatically identify the best potential customers, formulate personalized offers and upsell opportunities that are compelling, and reduce the likelihood of acquiring customers who bring fraud or bad debt into the picture.

Big Data has become an overused buzzword, but the data science and advanced statistical analysis are functional applications that leverage big data and which can have a dramatic positive impact on service provider growth. Now more than ever, operators of all sizes have an opportunity to stand out from the crowd by leveraging data science driven, predictive analytics to refine customer targeting and acquisition. Identifying needles in haystacks via intelligent acquisition will facilitate growth and customer retention.


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