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Looking down the MVNO line

Three ways to find growth – and stand out from the crowd

Our panel of experts share their top tips for finding a growth path in a competitive market.

1. Look beyond demographics

Home in on behaviour, attitudes and what customers are looking for. Whether your target audience is in their 20s or their 70s, the chances are that, ultimately, they’re looking for the same thing: simple, easy-to-use solutions from companies that help them to manage their daily lives hassle-free. It’s simply not true that it’s just Gen Z or Millennials looking for fully digital app-based solutions. Today, the majority of people want to avoid calling hotlines and waiting to talk to someone. Instead, what they want are straightforward services at their fingertips.

Benjamin Grimm, Head of Carrier Relations, freenet

2. Don’t rely on stable, go-to niches

The pandemic accelerated the drive into online research and purchase behaviour – and this included digitally native customers and those who are less so. Then came the cost of living crisis, which has opened up the market to all providers as long as they can offer enough value. As such, we believe that specific niches won’t necessarily continue to be stable go-tos. And even if you could identify a niche today, the

same one probably won’t be there in two years’ time. This in my opinion means that we need proper market segmentation. If you start with that, you can conduct some really great proposition placement targeting work off the back of it. The behavioural and attitudinal profiles of the discrete segments need to be your absolute number one priority. This will lead to understanding the customer needs that you

want to try and help with, and you can base your proposition design on that. When you’re part of a portfolio of brands, which is sometimes known as being a light MVNO, this can also help define which brand does what for each group; what problems you can solve and how to avoid as much overlap as possible in

order to get to the greatest aggregate value. This approach means that you only really start talking about demographics once you’ve found the customer need that you want to help with and once you’ve found the size of the audience. Then and only then should you find and create lookalike audiences, as well as your digital and other targeting touchpoints.

Matt Kennedy, Chief Commerce Officer, giffgaff

3. Explore new business spaces for opportunities to disrupt

We’ve certainly seen a couple of interesting growth areas recently. In the UK, we’re on the procurement frameworks in the public sector, an area historically held for the MNOs. We’ve been incredibly successful as a disrupter brand within that specific sector because, ultimately, they want choice and they’re becoming more cost conscious. We were fortunate because our host operator in the UK, Three, wasn’t on those frameworks. But because we provide other business services to them, it was quite an obvious place for them to look. This is a business space worth exploring in my view. My other advice would be to look at market opportunities where there’s displacement technology. We have PSTN switch off happening across Europe – this means that a significant portion of that base is open to MVNOs. People aren’t going to want fixed phone lines and fixed broadband lines anymore, which makes this an opportunity to be tapped into.

Mike Mills, Director of Cloud & Infrastructure Partners, Gamma

Key takeaway:

Forget traditional target audiences and demographics. Instead, focus on behaviours, attitudes and what

it is that customers – regardless of age, gender and job title – are looking for.

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