SFR is a Vodafone subsidiary and the second largest mobile operator in France. It is also a major player in the French economy with 10,000 staff, 18.8 million subscribers and revenue in excess of €9 billion.
The company prides itself on its innovative approach and places a strong emphasis on developing new services and high speed networks to keep it at the forefront of technological innovation. SFR was the first operator to launch 3G and 3G+ services and continues to be the leading provider of 3G services to its 4.1 million subscriber base.
Today the French mobile market place is as competitive as ever and the challenge to maintain customer loyalty and satisfaction from mobile content is significant. At the 2005 GSM World Congress in Barcelona a chance meeting with Pontis, who offer a personalised approach to the marketing of mobile services, set them on the path towards a new level of personalization of mobile content offers via their WAP portal.
The marketing team at SFR had been searching for a way to create more personalised, targeted marketing offers to boost the selling of a variety of mobile content via their WAP portal and to increase customer satisfaction.
Following a competitive tendering process and technical evaluation phase in 2006, Pontis, in partnership with Capgemini, were tasked with creating and implementing a solution that would enable targeted marketing activities to be planned, launched and evaluated, based on actual subscriber behaviour and known preferences and interests.
For SFR’s marketing team the fact that Pontis was able to provide marketing templates like ‘Buy One Get One Free’ (BOGOF) and ‘Happy Hour’ - familiar retail-type marketing paradigms, which made it easy to understand and apply - was a particular bonus, especially the capability to deliver real-time online banners.
Another key factor which swung opinion towards the Pontis solution was its ability to monitor and track usage on content partner’s sites. And since all of the content links on the portal redirect the user off of the SFR portal this was a mandatory requirement and one which Pontis was uniquely able to accommodate.
In April 2007 the Pontis Marketing Delivery Platform (MDP) went live to SFR’s entire WAP browser population (apart from a 10% control group for comparison purposes).
Its introduction meant that the SFR product management team were now able to develop a series of marketing campaigns based on a subscriber’s actual usage patterns.
For example, they can now segment non users, low and high users of a service like ring tones and develop a series of targeted offers to entice users to download more ring tones.
Since April 2007 the results of the new, personalised approach to promoting a variety of different service including ring tones, games, music, video and adult content enabled SFR to launch and manage a large portfolio of marketing offers. Using the MDP desktop improved dramatically the workflow process and time to market.
According to Nicolas Oyarbide, CRM product manager in charge of the WAP portal, “The improvement in the take-up of various offers has been as high as 20% for some campaigns, with improved usage giving more than 10% revenue increase.
“Revenue improvement has been most pronounced on new services like video clips where awareness is particularly key to improved market penetration. For services like these we have seen a doubling in usage.
He added, “For more mature products like ring tones the impact has been to maintain demand which would otherwise tend to tail off as they reach the end of their life cycle.”
“The WAP portal is really our shop window and it’s important that we are able to use the space efficiently to deliver the most relevant offers to each subscriber. If a customer is a high consumer of games, but has shown no interest in ring tones it’s more sensible to give gaming promotions a higher profile on the portal for that user.”
The Pontis solution is able to determine the most relevant offers based on usage patterns and position a banner advert that is most likely to appeal to the customer and place it in a prominent position on their individual portal.
For Nicolas, who is keen to gain the maximum traction from banner ads, the Pontis solution helps him to prioritise the different services and also have the ability to monitor and change banner ads on a daily basis based on real time statistical analysis of click through rates.
He added, “Pontis enables Marketeers to implement what they have designed. Ultimately, now that we have a good quality service to offer the user and the right tool sets in place to plan and deploy the marketing campaigns, the success of the marketing comes down to the ability of the marketing team itself.”
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