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    How to market and sell to telco in the pandemic era


    The research confirmed there is some delay in buying decisions, and a move from trade show to trade publications as the overall most influential information channel.

    CCGroup has commissioned and published a report, Navigating telco turbulence: lessons for vendor marketing, carried out by Sapio Research. It conducted online interviews in December 2020 of 101 technology buyers in telecoms, based in 10 different countries in Europe, North America, Asia Pacific and Latin America.

    In short, the research found the pandemic has delayed most telco technology buying processes and changed how vendors market to telcos.

    Less delay

    Turns out delays in buying are not as long as many may thing: only 9% of respondents from telcos with procurement responsibilities said they were experiencing delays of more than nine months.

    The researchers concluded this suggests most telcos are continuing with business as usual which includes making buying decisions about technology. This is supported by the fact that 30% of those respondents haven’t experienced any delays.

    Vendors’ marketing departments have radically re-engineered campaigns, removing away from large industry events, to new channels, while increasing their reliance on others.

    Whichever strategic direction vendors take, the pressure to achieve return on investment on marketing spend has never been more acute – both for the chosen marketing channels and the content that is created and shared.

    Where to put marketing spend?

    The big question is how vendors should prioritise their marketing budget? Which channels do telcos’ technology buyers value the most and which proved the most compelling?

    The new survey’s results were compared to those from a similar exerciser three years ago: in 2018 telco tech buyers were asked to rank primary marketing channels in terms of how much they influenced awareness of developments in technology.

    The results underlined the strength of the trade media, industry analysts, peer relationships and trade shows.

    The new research set out to find out how this has changed moving into 2021, with no almost physical industry events having taken place?

    It found that industry analysts, trade and business media, involvement with trade associations and social media are most respected sources of information by telcos, as shown in the graph above.

    Vendors’ own channels and virtual events also have further differentiation between vendors, but vendors’ challenge is strategically integrating all their channels for maximum effect.