[Video] How Telkom is using gaming and high tech trailers to win over SA consumers

Enzo Scarcella, Chief Marketing Officer at Telkom reveals how Telkom is slowly winning over skeptical SA Internet users.

Speaking at the recent IAB Summit held in Johannesburg, Enzo Scarcella, Chief Marketing Officer at Telkom, cautioned Marketers to avoid missing the point when ‘chasing the future of communications’. Scarcella explained this concept to Adlip, and also revealed how Telkom is slowly winning over skeptical SA Internet users.

“The future is Mobile and it’s Digital, but as Marketers we use the future as a way to talk to customers…and it’s about doing really cool things (Digitally), because we can do them, rather than because they emotionally engage the customer,” he explains. “Often when we chase the future, we forget about communications…”

Scarcella says that Marketers still have to engage consumers emotionally to move them from a state of ‘no-purchase to purchase, or a state of non-consideration to consideration.’

He adds that Marketers need to be careful about not losing emotion, particularly as they look to Digital as a means to connect and engage with customers (and drive purchase decisions).

Three Key Drivers

“Telkom comes from a troubled past…over the last few years we’ve become more financially profitable – but our relationship with consumers has been a challenged one…”

He notes that three key drivers shape Telkom’s Marketing strategy: Emotion, Relevance and Service.

With regards to Emotion, he says they are essentially ‘a company of 14 000 engineers’ – and as a business, it’s about starting to try and become ‘attractive’ to customers again.

He says that brand awareness and consideration scores for Telkom have been rising steadily over the past several years, driven by successful ad campaigns and Marketing.

The Relevance part is being implemented by what Scarcella describes as a ‘Digital home on wheels’, that shows how everything within telecommunications today is Digitally connected. This self-contained ‘vehicle’ travels around to malls, schools, etc, and demonstrates to consumers the value-add that Telkom provides in a very tangible and practical way.

The second element to the Relevance drive is Telkom’s sponsorship of the Do Gaming League.

“Gaming is the biggest consumer of data in the US behind Netflix and YouTube,” he says. “In SA that community is much smaller, but we think that the opportunity for bandwidth through gaming is really big…”

The third key driver is Service, whereby Telkom is looking to use Digital to drive the front end and the back end, he explains.

“The less people you have in a service value chain, the higher the service rating,” says Scarcella. “Here, Digital is the main way to give consumers an end to end service experience. We’re probably about 18 months into a journey that’s going to take us three to four years.”

As a telecommunications business, Scarcella notes that although data is the vehicle for growth, ‘Digital is where future value really sits.’

“Ultimately, if we’re going to be successful as a business or as an industry, you’ve got to be selling Digital experiences, rather than only selling the pipe that brings it there,” he adds. “It’s moving from Voice into Data, but ultimately into Digital.”

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