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Unlocking 5G by Driving Digital Adoption


As is often the case, understanding how to succeed is most clearly grasped by understanding where digital often fails. And there are many reasons the newly digitized CSP falls short of fulfilling the potential of its newly created infrastructure.

All of this doesn’t just happen. It’s insufficient to build a 5G network and hope things magically take off (from the perspective of increased revenues). The participation of subscribers in new digital channels doesn’t happen passively; it must be driven.

This is a critical challenge for today’s telecommunications companies. “Build it and they will come” doesn’t work. CSPs must actively engage customers via the digital channels they offer.

2020: Putting the pressure on digital

While digital adoption has always been a challenge, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for it. Digital adoption and engagement should today be playing an even more critical role in building customer relationships and loyalty. Yet many CSPs are missing an opportunity here. In their bid to ‘trend,’ to gain followers on social media and to boost what they think is effective digital engagement, CSP brands often lose sight of the real goal: delivering what the customer wants.

The risk here for CSPs is prioritizing what is anemically defined as ‘building digital relationships’ at the cost of focusing on the real prize: creating meaningful connections with consumers. It is only after meaningful relationships are built that digital adoption increases and commercial success follows. Industry experience dictates that, for any high-performing customer communications strategy to be truly successful (think of loyalty programs as an example), the CSP must develop an emotional relationship with its customers. This is the starting point for increasing ROI. Obvious? Well, maybe, but evidence suggests possibly not.

So, if you’re going to prioritize driving digital adoption, what should you keep in mind as the principles of an effective strategy? I’d suggest:

  • Clarify and clearly articulate your targets and priorities
  • Develop a strong customer insights function
  • Define proactive and adaptive customer journeys
  • Create a portfolio of unique and personalized offers, rewards and experiences
  • Deploy flexible and future-proof technology
  • Embed strong program measurement practices

For industry leaders, these actions are already happening. Early digital success stories regularly highlight CSPs that have designed world-class loyalty and digital engagement programs with clear business outcomes and support for long-term brand building. These programs, when successfully executed, increase customer retention, boost profitability and revenue, drive digital adoption, generate valuable subscriber insights, and increase customer engagement.

Unfortunately, designing and implementing such programs is not without its challenges. Here’s how these can be overcome.   

Meeting expectations

As is often the case, understanding how to succeed is most clearly grasped by understanding where digital often fails. And there are many reasons the newly digitized CSP falls short of fulfilling the potential of its newly created infrastructure. These include, first, a failure to meet the expectations of empowered consumer.

In the age of the consumer, loyalty program members have heightened expectations for how, when, and where they want to communicate and what they want to receive from brands. Instead of empowering consumers and providing them with some control over their interactions with a brand, too many programs still deliver loyalty program offers and rewards on a latent basis. Without the proper technology, integration, and a shift to active and flexible mindsets, marketers cannot appropriately foster a customer experience that caters to consumer-driven terms.

Another common issue is undervalued rewards. Determining the give-and-get of a loyalty program involves complex financial modelling. Furthermore, well-intentioned partnership programs often end up having the opposite effect on consumers and, rather than adding value, they simply complicate the redemption process. Loyalty programs frequently strike a tenuous balance between give-and-get, and too often the scales are tipped in favor of the company, not the consumer. Most programs offer discount-based rewards, and the perceived consumer value of loyalty programs deteriorates as a result.



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