No business can hope to survive today without having access to good information
about the market in which they are participating. We use the term Telecommunications
Market Research to describe all of those disciplines that the Telco can use to help
management to understand:
- Who are my customers ?
- What products and services do my customers want and need?
- How much revenue does each market represent ?
- How can I create products and services that will have a maximum impact
in the marketplace ?
Telecommunications Market Research represents another critical area of
Telecommunications Business Intelligence. As with all of the other types of business
intelligence Market Research for the Telco makes use of many of the same techniques
utilized by other industries, but has its own specialized set of assumptions, rules
The core activity of the Telco marketing research function is the development,
planning and execution of "Telco Market Surveys". Telco Market Surveys
are the term used to describe a number of different techniques all of which involve
directly asking customers to answer questions about their feelings, thoughts and
attitudes about a number of issues important to the research. Some of the principle
market survey techniques include:
- Phone Surveys
- Mail Surveys
- One-on-one interviews
Statistical Sampling - Key to market research maximization
While in the perfect world, the Telco would probably like to conduct
a survey and ask every single customer to answer questions about their wants, needs
and willingness to pay for services, the costs of doing this (in terms of the financial
outlay and the cost in terms of inconvenience to customers) makes it prohibitive.
More importantly, it is not really necessary. By employing sound statistical sampling
techniques, a market researcher can learn, with a high degree of confidence, what
the wants, needs and attitudes of most Telecommunications Customers are, simply
by building and running surveys that make use of well selected sample populations.
It is a well established fact, that a market survey (when conducted in the right
way) issued to several thousand customers, can accurately forecast what the attitudes
of the entire population will be.
By intelligently designing and conducting the right kinds of market research,
Telco management can gain incredible insight into where they should be focusing
their marketing, product development and customer service efforts, in order to maximize
Market Research Model Building
On the surface, it would appear that market research is a simple and
straightforward process. However, in order to get maximum benefits from the process
there are many factors that must be taken into account. The survey that you run
is only one small part of the overall market research plan that you are building.
We call the entire process of conceptualizing, building, executing and analyzing
the results of a Telco Market Research activity, Telco Market Research Modeling.
A Telco Market Research model is the overall "package" that
defines the objectives for the research, the assumptions about how it should be
run, the details of its execution and the criteria for its evaluation.
Telco Market Research Model building occurs in the following steps.
Step 1 : Identify the business problem that the market research is to
solve (ie. determine the size of the market (in # customers and Revenue) for a proposed
new product offering.
Step 2 : Develop assumptions about how market research can help you to
figure this out. (ie Do a survey of customers and ask them how likely they would
be to buy a new product if it were available).
Step 3 : Determine which survey method will be the best for ascertaining
these facts (ie Should we mail questionnaires to customers, should we ask them over
the telephone, should we do face-to-face meetings?). Each survey method has different
costs, strengths and weaknesses associated with it.
Step 4 : Define the sampling criteria (the number of people to be surveyed
and the method used to identify them)
Step 5 : Survey preparation (the creation of the survey or focus group
Step 6: Survey Execution
Step 7: Survey Evaluation
Ways to purchase Telco Market Research
There are several ways through which the Telco can acquire market research.
Many times, they will have their own market research department, commissioned to
continuously execute market surveys. Other times, they will hire market research
companies to build and execute the models for them. In some countries, the telecommunications
market is mature enough to support the presence of Telco Market Research Products.
In these situations, a market research company decides that certain kinds of research
will be valuable for many different Telco's to have. (For example, surveys that
compare the strength of different Telco brand images). In these situations the market
research company will "publish" the standardized reports on a periodic
basis and sell "subscriptions" to Telco's.
The Challenges of Telco Market Research
Telecommunications Market Research, like the rest of Telecommunications
Business Intelligence, has matured a lot in the past several years. Most Telco's
have found that market surveys and segmentation approaches that were originally
conceived to support retailers or manufacturers are very poor substitutes for market
research founded on a good understanding of the idiosyncrasies of the Telco business,
Telco services and the very special and unique kinds of relationships that Telco's
maintain with their customers.
Telco Training Academy,and
Telco Market Research
As with so many other areas of telecommunications business intelligence
it is difficult to find persons with the focused expertise and broad ranging experience
in telecommunications specific market research areas to provide Telco's with the
help that they need to get optimum results from their Telco Market Research efforts.
With over 20 years experience working in this area, and TTA represent
a unique and valuable resource to be called upon when you face Telco Market Research
Telco Market Research Support
TTA can provide you with support for a number of areas in the Telco Market
Research field including:
- Assistance in the development of meaningful, high impact models
- Assistance in the design and execution of those models
- Working as liaison to market research firms to manage the process
- Assistance in the interpretation , analysis and integration of market
research results into operations
- Assistance in the staffing, training, organizing, budgeting and administration
of the market research function within your firm
If you have specialized needs in the Telco Market Research area, then
TTA could be a good resource to help.