How To Increase Telco Customers With Data Science

How To Increase Telco Customers With Data Science


The telecommunications (telco) industry remains highly competitive and is not without its set of business challenges. Take Client X for example, who ranks #2 in terms of market share penetration in Malaysia.

Despite having formidable strength in mobile network coverage and progressive technological advantage, like other telco providers, Client X faces stiff competition in terms of pricing, acquiring new customers, and retaining existing subscribers.

However, their competitive advantage lies in being early adopters of digital marketing, data-driven marketing strategies, and data analytics as a medium to differentiate services, increase revenue growth, and boost customer experience.


To rise in the industry, Client X needed to gain a better understanding of their competitors and uncover their own business gaps. But how? By using data science of course!

ADA applied a 4-step IDEA framework to:

ADA IDEA Telco Case Study

Business Challenge 1

Always start by IDENTIFYing the problem, which, in this case is, ‘how do I prevent my subscribers from churning1 out (leaving my telco service)?’

Then, consider what sort of DATA can be used to solve this problem: Start by taking a look at the customer profile and analyse it by sectors such as, demographics, interests, device type, etc.

What sort of insights are EXTRACTed? Our data-driven approach found that contrary to popular belief, the propensity to churn increases with age. Thus, the Churner profile was identified as male, aged 35-49 years who are part of a family ecosystem with kids. While the Churner may have a regular income, there is also growing financial pressure, added responsibilities, and new priorities.

So, what are the ACTIONABLE strategies – basically, how would we get a potential Churner to stay? They are clearly value-driven; with preference over family bundles as opposed to single-user plans, thus the perfect candidate to introduce ‘life stage marketing’.

For example

  • Newlyweds would enjoy a straightforward ‘Couples Plan’
  • Those with kids will enjoy the flexibility to share data across several mobile devices to better monitor and control data usage
  • For families with elderly parents, they can rest assured that their parents will always be contactable as their telco plan will be bundled together in a family package, eliminating the risk of their elderly parents forgetting to pay their mobile bill

Business Challenge 2

IDENTIFY the problem: While Client X had a good sense of what they were doing, they realised that they had ‘little to no insights into their competitors’ market share’.

Can DATA be used to solve this problem? Yes, by using XACT, our proprietary telco-powered data management platform (DMP) and the client’s own telco data! By combining data from the client, XACT, and our business intelligence tool, the Telco Business Insights Dashboards (Telco BID), we got some pretty interesting results.


So, what was EXTRACTed? Our team of data analysts were able to aggregate geohash-level2 market data – for both client and competitors – by sales territories. We were able to see the hot and cold zones of the competitors’ stores and also had insights into their customer profiles and behaviours.

What are the ACTIONABLE strategies from this? From the specific information that was extracted, our data scientists and engineers were then able to create a model and use machine learning to train it to predict specific attributes such as gender, age, prepaid or postpaid usage of potential subscribers, so that Client X could build a targeting marketing strategy and attract customers from the competition.


Business Challenge 3

IDENTIFY the problem: Another business gap Client X discovered was that they had ‘low market penetration in the youth segment’. What does this mean? They needed to attract more youth to switch telco plans!

How do we use DATA to solve this? Using Telco BID, we constructed a Switcher profile based on data at hand and analyse it.

Then, what is EXTRACTed? We found that the Switcher persona are youths between the ages of 19-24 years, visitors of quick service restaurants (QSR), as well as TV and video enthusiasts (watching and gaming).


Being in a younger age group, and in college or university, they are price-sensitive, often on a tight budget and therefore open to offers and good deals. They are also highly sociable both in real life and digitally; have huge data consumption needs; and are part of close-knit groups where they often identify with their friends and peers.

How do we put ACTIONABLE strategies to work? By understanding this Switcher persona, Client X can market not just to the individual, but the entire cohort. This means that this persona has high propensity to be attracted to:

  • Group rewards (pack mentality)
  • Incentives such as referrals (free data or extra credit)
  • Mobile data sharing ability (lend-some-data or give-some-credit)
  • Youth-targeted partnership with cool deals (freebies!)

By clearly understanding your own business challenges, you will be able to make better sales and marketing strategy decisions, optimise business operations, and bring forth better ROI. However, if that is coupled with insights into your competitors’ market share, you’ll be on your way to winning. Reach out to us to see how you can learn more about your business and what your competitors are up to.

1 A measure of the number of individuals or items moving out (leaving) of a collective group (e.g. telco provider) over a specific period
2 A city broken down into grids of 1km x 600m each, a geohash would be the address of each of these grids.


The ADA difference

Through ADA’s business intelligence tools and capabilities, you will be able to know exactly who your customers and potential customers are. We’re able to go beyond their demographics to which apps they use, what time they shop, which areas they frequent, and how they get around and much more.

We can also help provide insights through the Geographic Information System (GIS) to help you tap into new and returning customers. It lets you gain insight from geolocation data to know where your customers live, how far they are willing to travel, to gaps in your competitors’ market space that you can fill.

Attain actionable insights from footfall analytics to find out peak times for specific stores, differentiate regular and seasonal customers, and even drill down to which type of customers come in at what time. Deep diving into data is crucial to the customer experience as it provides a greater understanding of average time spent, conversion rates, and if they are willing to walk into your store.

If you are confused on where you can get started, ADA has the capability to integrate data with Xact, our Data Management Platform (DMP) that carries over 280 million consumer data sets across Asia.

By combining our business insights tools and marketing dashboards, you are able to make sense of all that data and understand consumer behaviour to reach out to them through our Acquisitions model, where advertisers only pay for every successful acquisition of customer and bears the media risk.

Source: Ada-Asia

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