Talk it up – utilising readers switching mobile providers

LANCE CLATWORTHY looks at how telco advertisers can target those planning to switch mobile service providers while also exploring customer satisfaction of the sector.

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An attractive audience for advertisers

Advertisers can use news media to reach 1.4m readers who intend to switch mobile phone service providers – they’re an attractive bunch providing not just a sales opportunity but also an opportunity to leverage these higher than average spenders as advocates.

Tougher competition for Telstra in metro areas

The latest emma data shows that Telstra is regarded as the main provider to 55 per cent of Australians who have a mobile phone service, with Optus achieving a 22 per cent share. This share is reflected across all news media channels with the notable exception of Regional newspaper readers, 66% of whom regard Telstra as their main provider. Conversely, competitors squeeze Telstra’s share to 50 per cent among the highly metro based readers of Community newspapers. Competitors’ mobile networks provide more extensive coverage in metro areas, thus removing a barrier that challengers have in more regional locations.

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Net Promoter Scores of the biggest service providers

Now looking at the Top 4 mobile service providers, we can see that of the news media readers who regard Virgin Mobile as their main provider, 27 per cent of them are Promoters – they are advocates who would recommend the provider to their friends or family. However 32 per cent of them are Detractors. This gives Virgin Mobile a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of -5 while Vodafone (-31) and Telstra (-34) have a very similar NPS with nearly half their users as detractors.

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1.4m Switchers intending to change service providers

There are 1.4m news media readers who say they are likely to change their mobile service provider in the next 12 months – that’s a reach to 91 per cent of Australians who say they intend to change. They are prime prospects for advertisers in the category; let’s call these readers “Switchers”.

Switchers display a lower NPS for each of the Top 4 providers (above). Not surprisingly, those likely to change providers are more often Detractors – they are less likely to recommend their current provider. We also see a lower incidence of Promoters -if a customer is happy with their service then they are less likely to look elsewhere. However, it must be said that even Promoters intend to re-evaluate their service provider. Optus (-50) has the lowest NPS among Switchers – a high proportion of those looking to change plans are currently Detractors with Optus.

Savvy Switchers can be advocates

The 1.4m Switchers are good sales prospects while also having the added benefit of being potential advocates for their service provider. Whereas 20 per cent of all news media readers say they encourage others to buy telecommunication products/services, this is true of 28 per cent of Switchers. These readers are also more savvy; compared to the population aged 14+, they’re 44 per cent more likely to say they keep up-to date with telecommunication products and services. The fact that they’re informed is no doubt part of the reason they look to change providers.

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Switchers are bigger spenders

Switchers are not only savvy customers providing leverage through word of mouth, they’re also big spenders. Compared to the population, Switchers are 11 per cent more likely to be in the Top 20 per cent of spenders on mobile phone services. Indeed, Switchers reading National newspapers are 23 per cent more likely to be big spenders.


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Optus set for net gains

Looking at the population, we see that 55 per cent of mobile phone service users have Telstra as their main service provider. Given that only 48 per cent of those looking to switch are currently with Telstra, Telstra looks set to lose less than its fair share of customers. However, for Optus and Vodafone, their share of users is exceeded by their share of those likely to switch – they look set to lose more than their fair share.

On the acquisition side, with 44 per cent of prospects willing to consider Telstra, the company looks set to lose share overall. Optus is the provider that looks best set to have net gains with 29 per cent of switchers willing to consider the provider – those considering Optus out weight customers intending to switch away from Optus.

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1.4m savvy advocates who are bigger spenders

Savvy, influencing others and spending big on mobile phone services – news media gives telco advertisers access to 1.4m readers who are looking to make a switch.

Source : emma™ 12 months to June 2017. Readership based on last four weeks. Survey conducted by Ipsos MediaCT, people 14+ ; Nielsen DRM June 2017, People 14+ only. All references to “readers” means “news media readers (print/digital)” unless otherwise made clear. All references to Switchers are news media readers who agree they are likely to change mobile service provider in the next 12 months.

*1 Share of readers who have a stated Main Mobile Service Provider – typically 89% of readers. This is accordingly adjusted higher than “penetration” of all readers.

*2 Main provider of Mobile phone service. Net Promoter Score (NPS) = Promoters % less Detractors %. Those very likely to recommend the provider less those not likely to recommend.

*3 For Telecommunications products and services. News media 31% I like to get information about purchasing experiences of others before I buy. News media switchers 42%.

*4 “More likely” is Switchers in the Top 20% of spenders on mobile phone services indexed v Population aged 14+ = 100 ix

*5 16.5m Aged 14+ who have a (main) mobile phone service provider. Emma share stats rebased given that only 89.1% of the population have a provider.

*6 Reflects the provider most likely to consider (including current provider) when switchers review their provider within the next 12 months (News media readers).

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