Creating a winning customer experience
“You’re not too young for this position, frankly, I would be more worried if you were my age!” The regional head smiled at me. I was five months into heading up Ericsson’s client marketing engagement organization in Southeast Asia, and not entirely sure I was the right person for the job.
In this series of three blog posts, I take you through the marketing challenges that operators face today. In the previous posts, we looked at the market and customer understanding.
He continued to explain to me that our clients across the region – the mobile operators – served a young consumer base. The median age in SE Asia is 29. I was 32.
When you do something for the first time, you’ll make mistakes, and I was certainly no exception. But my age suggested that I could relate to the expectations of both generation X and Y. That taught me something about recruitment: people are part of your essential infrastructure to create a successful business, and it starts with leaders who can choose the right people.
I’m a firm believer that the best opportunities for mobile operators are ahead of them. If my belief is true, that means the best offers have yet to be invented.
I assume that we don’t know the best consumer use cases for 5G yet, and that we haven’t even discovered all the opportunities we can make possible through LTE. Some of you may remember when 3G arrived. All operators promoted video calling, which almost no consumer used.
If the assumption that the best is yet to come is true, the most future-proof platform is the platform that will give operators the freedom and agility to experiment and try new things, at a cost that’s as low as possible. You don’t want to spend weeks in configuration, or maybe even months in development, just to find out that your new offer doesn’t fly.
Solutions and processes for automated operations
Established and documented processes are crucial to move towards automated operations. When you can automate the back end of a marketing department, your marketeers can spend time on marketing. And not manual documentation and misunderstandings with the technology team.
If you don’t have an orchestration solution and an agile BSS in place yet, start by doing your process homework. This will make it easier to get value out of the technical solution once you have implemented it. For instance, you can ask marketing and IT to work on standardizing the documentation used from the idea generation of a new offering, and how that input is used in executing the final configuration of the BSS. This will mitigate the risk for misunderstandings and ensure that you have consistent input to the new platform.
All this requires change, both in terms of platforms and thinking. Empower people that have the right background and competence profile for the tasks. These team members must also speak up and be flexible enough to evolve with the new capability. Earlier in my career, I often believed that my opinion wouldn’t make a difference. However, time and time again, I’ve seen how the right people in the right place – with the right mandate – can make a world of difference.
Report on leading operator plans
At Ericsson, we’ve started to see how the right people together with Orchestration are changing the game for mobile operators and how they can take new offers to market. If you’re not sure what the implications are, check out what leading operators have planned for their network automation and orchestration in this report by MIT Technology Review Insights.