I’ve been thinking about segmentation recently and was asked to provide some comments on the issue for an article.
Most mobile services are still not structured in a way which reflects customer’s behavioural patterns. One of the biggest challenges operators face when trying to effectively segment their customer base is evolving their approach from one predicated on technological segmentation to a model built around behavioural understanding. This is an inherently difficult task because the very concept of ‘segments’ is incompatible with the random and often illogical ways in which customers identify themselves.
While an operator may find it useful for their own purposes to divide the market into neatly ordered segments with particular usage requirements, customer behaviour often transcends these boundaries and, far from improving the customer experience, a poorly implemeneted segmentation approach can actually lead to additional frustration and lower overall satisfaction.
In the long-term, operators will need to focus on providing a personalisation architecture which enables customers to define their own requirements – from tariffs to mobile multimedia services. To achieve this, the industry will need to evolve from the view that handing more control to the customer poses a threat to revenue and recognise future growth will be directly proportional to the freedom with which subscribers can build their own mobile experiences.