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ABCDE of Data Monetization – 2

Data Monetization

This is the sequel to first part on DEVICES

For a traditional telecom MNO, it also means growing CAPEX. The laps in the race, from 2G to 5G, are becoming shorter and faster! And perpetual quest to improve data monetization (especially in developing markets) remains.

Here is my personal reflection on 5 Factors and I shall cover it in 5 short articles, The ABCDE of Data Monetization:-

A – Availability & Awareness

B – Base Management

C – Content Play

D – Device Ecosystem

E – Experience & Engagement


In traditional telco school, I learnt that base management is mapping customer experience journey from “cradle to crave” and enabling consumer to use more through engagement to enable higher lifetime customer value.

Step #1 – Create & Manage Customer Journey Map

a.      From Onboarding to Usage and From Solve to Churn, we must identify positive, neutral and negative experiences. Mark key decisioning.

b.     Prioritize actionable based on impact and implementation complexities.

c.      Enable frontline with appropriate training, right data/information and sufficient empowerment.

For example, during onboarding, the biggest concern for 1st time smartphone user in developing markets is around APN settings and working on awareness through appropriate communication makes a big differential in the market.

Similarly during usage period, customer is worried about data being “stolen” or “eaten up” by some apps. Lot of customers switch off data when not in use! This behavior is detrimental to business in the long run. A position around bonus for set up data or free upgrades during “Off peak” hours may work wonders to gain customer advocacy.

Step #2 – Work on data segments

It is important to work on smaller homogenous segments to have better control and efficient utilization of resources. Illustrated below is one example or approach. It’s best to decide as per market and conditions like competitive index, smartphone penetration, usage behavior etc.

a.      Device classification between Non data enabled, feature and smartphones and user / non user / drop user categories for the relevant base

b.     Data users can be classified then based on usage like The Schoolmates (Social + Search only), The Graduates (Where users also emails, install and use apps, maps and ecommerce) and The Post-Graduates & PHDs (High ADOU, Gaming, Video Streaming, etc.)

c.      “Power user” definition … “Read another article on Pareto Optimality” and close watch helps secure and build revenue

The segmentation helps in identifying the usage consumption pattern and also develop proposal of right product and pricing. It also enables us smooth gradient on upgrade or upsell.

Step #3 – Offer Grid / Design and Communication

I’m intentionally not deep diving on content or channel at this stage as I intend to cover it in the next episode. There is no denial that it needs to be segmented yet simple, relevant and customized, value for money yet not erode business value. Here are few important aspects which would help us build the offer design and communication.

a.      How & Why

If you’re from a market where “What is Internet?”- the biggest call driver at call center then you must invest in awareness drive ATL, BTL and TTL on How to get connected to the powerful and amazing Online world.

ONE DESTINATION – Airtel’s effort on One Touch which was immensely successful and awarded at GSMA, addresses some of the challenges of the first time user. Simple discovery; One USSD channel (AOC on USSD) or Intelligent landing page/AOC (Always On even when DATA credit is over) could help boost connectivity.

OCTOPUS GRIP – Rule of thumb states that most engaged user has 8 reasons to go Online.

DIY video / content on passion points or applications like Snapchat, Instagram,, Reddit, Diigo, Tumblr, Flipboard, Hootsuite, LinkedIn, Flickr, NetFlix and many more ensures customer is getting hooked to more ways of connecting for their reason of use. Reviews, Sampling or seeding of Apps and Games helps towards the same objective.

b.     Unlock pattern – Buy & Use

From PayGo to daily & monthly bundles. From volume based to time based and surge pricing. Lean period and Peak period. OTT packs and Combos. There are tons of offers with every MNO to customers through different channel – SIMPLIFY them and make it simpler for customers to buy it on cash or credit.

U&R should focus on NO BLACKOUT (period of no data credit) using auto loans, free AOC page with minimum engagement content, or any other approach.

Usage THRESHOLD ALERTS with iEOCN purchase prompts also helps in seamless connectivity.

The core of U&R engagement for improving ADOU or fighting inactivity continues to be relevant. Use of device type in the segments makes it more relevant and we stop offering 5Mb to a non-user having an iPhone7 and also STOP sending offer via OBD to a router or security camera.

Coming Next The C Factor : Content Play


Prasoon Lal is the Chief Marketing Officer at Bangalink, one of the largest cellular service providers in Bangladesh. Prasoon is a marketing professional with 15+ years of telecom experience in Africa & Asia. He has extensive people management experience in large, multi-faceted, multicultural and international settings.

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ABCDE of Data Monetization – 2


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