CASE STUDY: Earning loyalty

IBM Commerce and Vodafone Qatar partnered to boost below-the-line marketing revenues
Consumers, Customer, IBM, Loyalty, Marketing, Operators, Service providers, Telecommunications, Telecoms, Users, Vodafone Qatar


Users are now demanding more and operators need to answer to this request to create loyal customers and offer a value-added service. Vodafone Qatar knows it and the telco wanted to drive up its average revenue per user by nurturing the loyalty of its customers.

In order to answer to this question, the operator decided to partner with IBM Commerce and use its solution.

According to the vendor, Vodafone’s marketing team can use events-based triggers—such as a customer topping up or a SIM balance rising above a certain threshold—to build timely and engaging campaigns.

George Bourazanis, head of Insights and CVM marketing at Vodafone, explains: “The high levels of SIM penetration in Qatar make communications a highly competitive marketplace, especially in the pay-as-you-go space. For example, customers may have two or more cell phones with SIMs from multiple different vendors, and will actively compare the deals on offer to decide which SIM to top up.”

“IBM offered outbound and inbound multi-channel campaign management and a real-time next best offer solution across all channels—from retail shops to call centre, IVR, SMS, Facebook and websites,” explains Marilies Rumpold-Preining, Middle East and Africa leader - client success at IBM Commerce, to CommsMEA.

As the vendor explains, Vodafone Qatar now uses tailored marketing campaigns that convert up to three times better than before—encouraging loyalty, incentivising repeat business and boosting below-the-line marketing revenues by a factor of three.

“The end-to-end deployment took approximately nine months where the implementation of all modules of IBM marketing solution was done in parallel. Vodafone Qatar wanted to go live with all channels (inbound and outbound) at same time; hence we did not take a phased approach,” says Rumpold-Preining.

She explains that, while deploying he solution, both companies faced several challenges. “Vodafone implementations methodology worked on the System Integrator model, where one vendor is nominated as an SI and it becomes the SI's responsibility to align all involved vendors and stakeholders to manage the program's delivery, artefacts, project plan, RAID, testing, and so on. In this implementation there were seven different vendors and partners involved for various channels, and IBM was to lead and manage them all throughout the entire implementation. IBM successfully worked out this challenge despite the fact that some of these vendors were located in different geographies and time zones. We ultimately delivered the project within the timelines and passed all Vodafone's and IBM quality checkpoints in time.”

In order to unify the system, IBM needed to talk with different vendors. Rumpold-Preining said that the outcome was very positive when working with several vendors.

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