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Mobile Trends Telecom Vendors Need To Watch In 2015

Monday, January 19, 2015

By Manish Maheshwari,
Co-Founder & MD, txtWeb

The proliferation of the Internet has been rapid in India, but it is nowhere near the fast pace of mobile growth in the country. In 2014, the mobile user base grew at a steady 8% and was expected to reach 815 million users by the end of the year. India has proved to be a Mobile- first country where a majority of users get their first taste of the Internet through their mobiles. It then becomes of extreme importance that brands and telecom vendors understand the new mobile economy and leverage new developments to engage with the new always connected customer.

Let’s take a look at the key trends that will define the Mobile Ecosystem in 2015.

Payments: A significant percentage of the youth in India, a target demographic for many companies lie outside the traditional methods of payments. While they might not have a credit/debit card or even a bank account, there is one device they all have or have access to – the mobile phone. Mobile gives vendors the unprecedented opportunity of capitalizing on this untapped purchasing power. In 2015, M-Commerce is set to grow exponentially and companies that have mobile friendly or mobile customized payment solutions are the ones who will reap the benefits. Those who take it to the next level, by setting up customer loyalty programs and engagement strategies will be at the forefront of the M-commerce revolution.

Engagement & Micro-moments: The consumer in 2015 is one that is always connected to his or her mobile. Vendors and companies need to move beyond the point of purchase to engage the consumer on a regular basis. Features like geo-tagging and geo-fencing allows them to pinpoint the exact location of the user and then, push the most relevant content towards them. It is paramount that brands create a seamless mobile experience for users and deliver “Micro-moments”. These moments consist of brief engagements where vendors grab consumer attention and anticipate/address their needs.

Personalization: In today’s world, most companies witness an alignment of product, marketing and technology. But the customer needs to be at the centre of this trio. Vendors will need to personalize their experience based on consumer behavior. Here data will play an essential role in allowing vendors to know their customer, create customized experience thereby keeping the customer happy and retaining their business. The key is to talk to the consumer rather than “talking at” them. Personalization paired with excellent customer service will be a major driver to improve customer relations and the overall bottom line of any business.

India presents an interesting scenario as a majority of “unconnected” users remain in rural areas. By June 2015, Mobile Internet users in urban areas will continue to grow to 160 million but in rural India, it will reach under half that number with 53 million users. The concern of the day is to boost this figure drastically to reach the remaining 800 million mobile users. To achieve this, the content provided to these users needs to be customized to suit their interests and requirements, which can be attempted in the following ways:

  • Digitize offline local content. Think about the early days of internet when newspapers and magazines made scanned copied of their printed version available on their website instead of creating original content for online users. This would be a temporary stop-gap arrangement.
  • Translate current online content into relevant local language. While the process of pure translation can be automated, but making the content relevant is difficult because the offline population is very different from those online.
  • Create new locally relevant content in a scalable way. An ideal long-term solution would be democratizing creation so that anyone with any mobile device can create relevant local content for his or her family, community and village with little or no coding knowledge.

To expand their market share and revenues, Telecom vendors will need to provide users with locally relevant mobile content as value-ads in order to maximize the profits of the mobile revolution. They will also need to device strategies and form key partnerships in 2015 to ensure that the customer remains central to their growth strategy.

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