Social Network Analysis makes its debut at 3GSM

By | February 14, 2006

For the first time, mobile telecommunications operators can visualize the social communities within their subscriber networks. Using software from Idiro Technologies, companies can identify both influential individuals and valuable groups of customers, based on people’s social behavior.

“Word of mouth and Viral Marketing are becoming more and more important to telecommunications providers as competition in the industry continues to heat up,” says Idiro Head of Marketing Tania O’Connor. “The ability to market to customers indirectly, by selling to key people around them, is something mobile telecommunications operators have wanted to do for a long time. Trying to drive uptake of 3G has been especially challenging, and we offer a very cost-effective way of doing that. Done well, our customers are able to execute true Viral Marketing campaigns. It’s like invisible marketing – customers actually market new products to each other.”

According to consulting organization McKinsey, approximately two-thirds of all economic activity in the US is influenced by shared opinions about a product, brand or service. Also, Roper ASW, part of GfK Group, finds that over 90% of Americans cite word of mouth as one of the best sources of ideas and information. Further, they rate “word of mouth twice as important as advertising or editorial content and put one-and-a-half times more value on it today than they did 25 years ago.”

Interest in word of mouth is not confined to the US, either: a recent UK survey conducted by Mediaedge:cia asked consumers which factors made them most comfortable when purchasing a product. More than 75% cited the recommendation of a friend.

“There is a lot of emphasis on new products and tariff plans offered by mobile telecommunications right now,” says Simon Rees, Idiro Head of Business Development. “We can help them target their marketing much more effectively, by giving them insight into which customers are not just financially valuable to them, but socially valuable. By seeding your subscriber base appropriately, not only can you speed up the diffusion of new products, but you can go a long way towards customer retention.”

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