Another interesting day at Management World Dublin, and we even got to hear about social media today in the keynotes. Folks seemed well recovered from the TM Forum event at the Guinness brewery and the Amdocs event at the Jamieson distillery.
Keynote perspectives today kicked off with a talk on mobile money by Nick Ogden, CEO of Voice Commerce. He believes that at this moment in time, service providers have a unique opportunity to forge mobile banking relationships with their customers. And that this is likely to be a particularly sticky relationship, because just as few people like to change banks, so they’re less likely to churn. He also said that service providers are missing an opportunity if they don’t come together create a universal online brand for mobile money, just as banks have missed this opportunity.
Next up was Colm Long, head of EMEA at Facebook, ostensibly to talk about the opportunities that social media can bring to service providers, but spoke more Facebook strategy, and how service proviers can best support them. He talked about how Facebook is really designed around it’s users – not just the site, but everything they develop – products, services, etc. Which is what service providers should really be doing. According to the folks at Facebook, your identity is the sum of all things an individual is connected to, and Facebook is the projection of that identity into a digital space. He said they really work hard to keep advertising from driving away users by integrating it into the experience in a way that is not disruptive, and by keeping it relevant, targeted, and a great experience. I personally wouldn’t call Facebook advertising an amazing experience, but that’s certainly something service providers should be aiming for as well.
Responding to questions from the audience over Twitter (yay social media!), Long said Facebook sees partnerships as very important, and often partners with service providers, as getting onto sites like Facebook can be a driver for customers to buy phones. He also mentioned that telcos know more about mobile user behavior than Facebook does, and that this is really valuable information. How each customers access information, when they use their phone, their location, what services they use – service providers know all this. And yes, we know it’s valuable, but folks are still trying to findways to leverage this information to create new services and revenues.
Last up on the keynotes was a panel on the intersection of communications and media, mainly focused on social media. A couple of good points raised: you want social sharing to be able to happen across devices, for all devices to be aware of what’s happening on the consumer’s other devices so they get a consistent, seamless experience. The Facebook vision for this is “taking the social graph with you” i.e., your online identity follows you wherever you go. And opportunities for business providers? A few were thrown around: coming up with business solutions and opportunties through partnerships, creating brand loyalty with events like concerts, and looking at the trends and actually doing something with that data. Also, location-based services as it allows push marketing to consumers – like local coupons. Nothing you haven’t heard about before.
Predictions included: increased focus on instant gratification – customers want what they want, now. Also more apps, less web – Long even predicted the death of information webites, that they will all have to move to on-app devices. And that the challenge will be for apps to be used, discovered, and shared. Consumers are looking more and more to their device for actionable information – where to eat, what to buy, where to go on vacation. And theyactually prefer social recommendations, so are very open to a social purchase experience – i.e. products and vendors recommended by friends, or others. Also predicted was more usage and development of mobile money, opportunities around the connected car – since this is where so much time is spent, and finally, hi-fideltiy voice. And as Lucy Hood of USC’s CTM institute pointed out, service providers are uniquely enabled to support innovations in these up and comming inovative areas, because they have the advantages of immediacy, connection, and currency (access to right now, real time).
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