Research Notes

In the David and Goliath battle between virtual and network operators, digital marketing is the sling shot that often helps MNVOs win

It’s not always an advantage to be the incumbent. Network operators can learn from virtual operators. 

Mobile operators have taken the world by storm by slashing prices for mobile services.  But low prices are not enough to sustain an advantage.  We have seen network operators both lower prices and acquire nimble MVNOs. Retaining profitable customers requires more than cheap prices.  Effective marketing to retain customers is also important.

Strand Consult studies the mobile industry worldwide. We have investigated the MVNO world more closely than anyone. What we can say with confidence is that a number of virtual operators are effective to digital marketing and communication. In fact, when we look at network operators, we can see that virtual operators can be some of the best teachers in terms of digital marketing.

Born digital, virtual operators have no choice but to do their online marketing right the first time. We are impressed by a number of virtual operators that understand digital communication and make shrewd decisions both their online and offline marketing.  We can think of MVNOs such as Telmore, Onfone, Amaysim, and Simyo. While these MNVOs target a younger segment that is already hip with digital, that fact does not explain everything.

It has more to do that beginning at enterprise at the beginning with the right strategy and the right tools. The managers of these companies always had the idea that their operations would be digital. Never having real stores, they have always had to make the customer experience online feel real and authentic.  As their only presence is digital, they have to make themselves seen and heard.

Naturally the MVNO offering is simple compared to what a full-service operator can provide, and this is where the virtual operator succeeds in communicating its value proposition. These simple messages are echoed across all the digital platforms and lend themselves well to the small formats of Twitter, Facebook posts, customer reviews and so on.

Strand Consult got a lot of press coverage for its analysis of how poorly Facebook performs for network operators.  While the numbers are still low, we can see that the leading MVNOs get twice as many Likes for their Facebook pages as their network counterparts. There are two key reasons. (1) Virtual operators are shrewd to harness the dissatisfaction of network operators’ customers and channel that through effective Facebook communication and (2) the smaller and more cohesive marketing team ensures that the main marketing messages show on the website is the same message on Facebook.  Given that there are fewer silos, marketing and communication is more consistent on digital and social channels.

Because marketing is a large part of operator’s expenditures, Strand Consult has undertaken a global survey of operators and collected their case studies and best practices.

Contact us today and learn more about Strand Consult unique strategic reports and tailored workshops developed from an operators’ perspective.  With our new digital strategy marketing workshop, headed by Roslyn Layton, you can expect that same quality and no-nonsense approach that we bring to all of our work.  Our job is to cut through the hype and help operators make decisions that improve their business. Feel free to contact us about our digital strategy workshop and Facebook reports
More information:

Digital strategy for Telecom and Media industry How to get success on the MVNO market

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