Leveraging Data to Boost Bundling & Retention for Telcos

Telecommunications companies have access to an immense amount of data. This data, if properly harnessed, can become a gold mine of valuable insights. However, the challenge lies in the ability to unlock this wealth of information and convert it into actionable strategies that can help increase bundling , customer retention and overall ARPU (Average Revenue Per User). Fortunately, the Salesforce ecosystem can be leveraged to help companies meet this challenge.

The Current Challenge: Siloed and Inefficient Data Usage

In the current landscape, many Telecommunications companies are grappling with data that is siloed and disjointed. This results in a multitude of problems, such as weeks spent on delivering campaigns and deciphering results, an absence of a unified ‘household’ view for effective bundling, and limited ability to send real-time communications leading to a customer experience that often falls short of expectations. The customer has been trained to have an expectation of an “Apple” experience, but instead is still experiencing, in reality, a lackluster set of interactions rooted in marketing motions created in the 90’s. This sub-optimal state of data hinders the ability of Telcos to efficiently tap into the available bundling and retention opportunities.

Thanks to legacy platforms, mergers and acquisitions, moving into new markets, or some combination of all of the above, there is generally no shortage of data available. BUT… there is a major disconnect between having the data, and actioning the data.

Most organizations have data (and it’s expensive to procure and maintain), but they’re not properly monetizing the data.

The Solution: Harnessing the Power of an Integrated Customer Data Platform (CDP)

An Integrated Customer Data Platform (CDP), like the one offered by Salesforce Data Cloud, presents a potential game-changer in this scenario. This platform not only offers a solution to unlock the wealth of data held by Telcos, but it also provides the tools to make this data actionable.

By integrating and unifying customer data, a CDP can turn this data into a powerful tool in the hands of Telcos. This enables them to fine-tune their strategies for bundling and retention, leading to improved business outcomes and enhanced customer satisfaction.

This is done through the following steps:

  • Harmonization: Unify customer data across platforms
  • Ingestion: Allow for the data to flow into the solution in near real time, from a variety of disparate sources
  • Identity Resolution: Create a single representation of an individual and a household – single person, different data
  • Insights: Allow for in-platform calculations and connect to BI and AI platforms
  • Custom and Reusable Segments: Group individuals into relevant segments (gamers, at risk to churn, new customers, high data consumers etc)
  • Activation: Trigger advertising, emails, SMS, cases and sales opportunities in near real-time

An evolution of the “Perfect Match” scenario

Historically, Marketing and Sales have struggled with the concept of a “perfect match”. Typically Telcos have a list of people in the subscriber database which is cross-referenced with the billing database, and if there’s a match – you can send them a promotional email, or text, or run ads to them. If there’s not a perfect match – you don’t. This dedication to the “perfect match” has limited the number of people that could be advertised to. However, a CDP solution like Data Cloud allows you to come up with a “fuzzy match”. This might involve connecting data from different sources where the customer’s name or address is slightly misspelled, or linking together individuals that may be in the same household. Fuzzy matches allows Telcos to create a more comprehensive picture of the customer – even with imperfect data – which opens up more opportunities for connections.

The Importance of Calculated Insights

Insights drawn from data are only as valuable as the actions they inform. We often think about Sales and Marketing efforts being targeted towards particular segments or audiences (like lapsed customers in a particular market). While this is valuable, calculated insights can be even more powerful. Using models like RFM (Recency, Frequency, Monetary value), Telcos can leverage Data Cloud to target those with propensity to buy at exactly the right moment. Scoring can be based on the intersection of behavior and demographics like consumption, income and spending, and household size – data points that may be held in disparate systems – to help determine the ad, email or SMS campaign that is most likely to be effective on that particular customer at that specific time.

The Impact of a CDP and Data Cloud on Telco Strategies

To understand the real-world impact of a Customer Data Platform (CDP) like Data Cloud, let’s explore some tangible use cases that demonstrate how a CDP can combine with a Marketing Automation platform like Marketing Cloud to help Telcos optimize their data usage and improve their bundling and retention strategies.

Targeting High-Usage Customers:

A CDP can facilitate actions based on changes in a customer’s data usage. For example, when a customer’s data usage changes, a solution like Data Cloud can add them to an audience. That audience can trigger upgrade email/sms/advertising journeys in a platform like Marketing Cloud, offering them upgrades or packages that better suit their needs. This not only enhances customer satisfaction but also opens up new revenue streams for the company.

Effective Household Bundling:

Traditionally it has been difficult, in some cases impossible, to group subscribers together as households. A spouse with one mobile plan, another spouse with the internet plan, and a child with their own mobile plan are all disconnected in the subscriber database(s). Using a solution like Data Cloud, an organization can build a unified ‘household’ view of customers. This enables Telcos to effectively promote bundling services for households with multiple users. Bundling services together can reduce churn, but also move family members on lower tiers (like a flanker mobile brand) upwards towards higher value tiers. This leads to increased customer satisfaction and provides an avenue for added revenue.

Customer Retention and ARPU Growth at Renewal Time:

Insights drawn from customer data can help Telcos to develop personalized strategies for customer retention. Combining support tickets, consumption (like data streaming), and subscription data (like renewal dates) in a single place – like Data Cloud – allows sophisticated audiences to be built that update themselves in real time. For example, one audience might be customers who have an open support case and whose existing contract is expiring in the next 30 days. A person being automatically added to this audience might trigger the creation of a case that is assigned to a retention team to proactively reach out and reduce the risk of churn. Overall, this approach can play a crucial role in reducing churn and growing Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) at the time of renewal, leading to improved business outcomes.

Enhancing Customer Welcome and Satisfaction Journeys:

A CDP like Data Cloud can assist Telcos in sending personalized customer welcome emails and satisfaction journeys. Offering automated welcome journeys, providing relevant upgrade options, giving access to a convenient self-serve knowledge base – these are all areas where you can increase customer satisfaction – and all things that can be accomplished with Salesforce/Data Cloud.

Leveraging Website Data for Enhanced Advertising:

Website data can be a treasure trove of insights for Telecommunications companies. By tracking user behavior on their websites, Telcos can gain a deeper understanding of customer preferences and needs. Historically, we might have known that if a significant number of users are visiting pages related to a specific service bundle, this indicates a high general demand for that particular bundle. Now though, by connecting the online behavior with customer data, we might be able to create an audience that is “users on the bronze streaming plan, who are heavy streamers, who also have looked at the gold plan bundle on our site”. Being added to that audience could trigger a very personalized email/SMS and advertising journey to encourage that uplift buying motion.


While the benefits of leveraging data are clear, not all telcos are utilizing their data to its full potential. One of the primary reasons is that it has traditionally been cost intensive and inflexible. While implementing a robust data analysis infrastructure can require an investment, both in terms of finances and manpower, leveraging solutions like Data Cloud makes it easier and they are more flexible in the long term. The potential benefits of harnessing data for bundling and retention strategies in a solution like Data Cloud and then using that to trigger customer journeys and support events with Marketing Cloud are immense. As such, more and more Telcos are recognizing the value of investing in their data capabilities and are taking steps to unlock the power of the data at their fingertips.

Want to talk about how your organization can leverage Data Cloud to optimize your sales and marketing operations? Get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

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