A couple of months ago we were meeting with a product manager for a European mobile operator, who confessed he had a big problem with mobile social networking. His manager had done a “link deal” with one of the big social networks – you can probably guess which one – and with much fanfare, a new link and logo appeared on that operator’s mobile home page.
At first glance, this initiative had a tremendously successful outcome for the MNO. Their mobile Internet usage saw double-digit percentage growth overnight. And kept growing.
A week later, the operator announced increased usage caps for all of its data plans. No great problem here, as subscribers rapidly became new mobile social networking enthusiasts, often in their thousands each day. But certainly less revenue per MB.
In fact everyone was terribly pleased until later in the month they discovered that while overall mobile data was substantially up, their on-portal traffic had actually decreased, by more than 30 percent. And adding to that dilemma, ARPU decreased for nearly every VAS product they offered to their subscribers.
So while the social networking traffic was increasing, the mobile operator had become a dumb pipe – and found themselves dramatically exposed to churn in a competitive market. Because “m-site” social networking on network A is an identical experience on network B. And C. Or even D. Popular social networking sites are attracting millions of unique visitors to their mobile portals every month, and while mobile data usage rises, the ARPU curve – from data usage alone – is trending ever downwards. What should be an opportunity for mobile operators can very quickly become a massive problem.
To help mobile product and VAS managers meet this challenge, we devised the Locatrix (Re)Engage Workshops. Our thesis is this: mobile operators don’t need to “introduce” social networking services – their subscribers are already there. Instead, they need to formulate and execute strategies which provide a re-engagement path, via and through existing social networking services such as Facebook, Twitter and Friendster.
Delivered in either half-day and full-day seminar formats, our (Re)Engage Workshops help mobile product managers and network executives better understand the demographic mix of social networking users, and teaches them how to create a subscriber engagement strategy by working within the social networking paradigm. Creating, for example, a framework for injecting your mobile brand and VAS solutions into social networking portals, and helping your customers promote their favorite services to their friends. And while we of course present engagement examples based on Locatrix solutions and services, there is no ongoing commercial obligation from the (Re)Engage workshop – just an opportunity to learn and refresh your strategies for leveraging mobile social networking within your subscriber base. And (Re)Engaging with your customers!
There’s more information about the Locatrix (Re)Engage Workshops on our website, but for a limited time we are offering a free half-day (Re)Engage Workshop to qualifying operators who are readers of this newsletter: simply mention “Position Update” when you contact us, or use this special e-mail link.