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Increasing customer loyalty and brand recognition through play

Danielle Hrin Kuek, Producer & Global Project Manager, Branded Mini-Games | July 28, 2015
How Advergames help telecom operators reduce customer churn in a competitive market.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

With the advent of mobile technology and increased connectivity, telecommunications operators are finding that managing "customer churn" is an increasingly complex and in some cases, expensive exercise.

"Customer churn" or the propensity of the customer to 'jump' from one mobile operator to another as their service provider of choice, is a common phenomenon in Southeast Asia, especially in countries like Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore. It is not unheard of for a customer to have more than one SIM card for different uses; for example, to sign up for a data plan with one operator while being a customer for cheap international calls with another and yet another for local calls. In this way, they seek to reap the benefits of attractive tariffs on campaigns and contracts promoted by the operators.

In a recent study done by industry analysts, the customer churn rate in Asia was an estimated 23 percent in 2014, compared to a relatively low and stable market in Europe where it was about 10 percent. Similarly, the need to be online and connected was a key determinant for customers in moving from one operator to another, leading to many telecommunications companies to fret over customer loyalty and pricing.

Challenges facing mobile network operators
As we become more digital and connected in Singapore and indeed in Southeast Asia, the importance of being able to retain customers and their prolonged interest is becoming a critical issue for marketers in the mobile operator space.

How we keep our customers loyal to our plans/contracts and how can we get them to engage and spend more, thereby increasing their average revenue per user (ARPU) — becomes the fundamental question that keeps them awake at night.

With a high customer attrition rate, telecommunications operators inevitably face the cost versus revenue conundrum that plagues markets with large customer churn rates.

The economics of servicing a reduced ARPU base means operators are less inclined to innovate, create new products and solutions. Customers in the long run get lesser value for money with limited technology and services innovation, reduced options and variety and almost negligible reduction in tariffs.

Recognising this cycle of reduced value, marketers at European network operators have focused on building customer brand loyalty and "stickiness" through a very simple solution.

Advergames or mini-games are simple user-friendly, browser-based games that one can play on mobile phones. In Europe, Mobile Network Operators (MNO) like Turkcell have introduced successfully Advergames to entice and ensure retention of customers, through increased interaction and social sharing.


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