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    Operators offered marketing nirvana

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    Target the influencers, says social analysis company

    Mobile operators could be much more efficient in how they market services and offers to their customer base, according to Elery Pfeffer, CEO of social marketing company Pursway.

    Pfeffer said that current marketing efforts, which rely on identifying customers in terms of revenue, or volume of use, are not as efficient as taking an approach that identifies the most important influencers within their customer base.

    Pursway has been working with Vodafone and Orange to target those customers who hold the most influence within their peer groups. Pursway’s solution is not based on social media analysis, Pfeffer said, but on the data operators themselves hold about their customers.

    “Deploying this approach can increase marketing ROI but 5-10 times,” Pfeffer said. “A typical consumer tends to convince between 0.3 to 0.5 people to take a product – in other words for every three customers you sign they might between then convince one more. But an influencer tends to influence 3-5 people to take up a product or service.” About 10% of customers are influencers, Pfeffer claimed, meaning that an effective marketing strategy to influencers could potentially address up to 50% of the addressable market.

    He explained that the Pursway approach is not just about identifying the influencers, but about how companies then market to that person.

    “Influencers tend to be a little bit more involved and informed than the general population, so ther is also possible with the wrong kind of contact or experience to generate negative advocacy,” he warned.

    Bob Rapp, Head of User Communities at Vodafone Group which worked with Pursway on a recent unidentified launch said, “The work we have done with Pursway on a recent product launch across Europe demonstrates the capabilities and value presented by the Pursway solution and its team above and beyond any other methods we have previously experimented with.”