manageIf you know your customer well it is certainly easier to send relevant content in the right context and level of language. Therefore, get to know your target group amply since only personalized, type-appropriate communication has nowadays a chance to be considered as relevant by the audience.

Unfortunately, we live in a hyper-saturated market where customers take product quality as a given. Hence, only a brand-defining and customer-winning communication is left to stand out. For years, the production was optimized for achieving the highest possible quality with as lowest number of resources when possible. But why are we not taking this into consideration in marketing and communications?

Many companies lack transparency regarding the nature, extent, quality and timeliness of their information, repressing target group-oriented communication. But isn’t that fundamentally a contradiction, since the business administration and the lean management shows that companies that are set up slim with low resources and high flexibility in the form of "configurators" achieve maximum profit?

The fact is that companies are still facing the same questions in communication as in the past, such as: “How do I achieve the highest possible willingness to buy at the lowest costs?” Well, the art nowadays lies in the "atomization" of the information modules and making sure that they are perceived despite general overstimulation. This applies both internally and externally. Ad hoc advertising goes generally unnoticed due to a lack of consistent communication or misclassification. Not to mention that far too often, the customer's perspective is left to chance.

Therefore, always keep in mind that today’s customers have a wider choice of products and services and far greater access to information than ever before. Hence, relevant local customer experiences become a distinguishing feature, through which a company can sustainably increase its brand value.

Of course, dealing with customer contacts quickly- such as inquiries, complaints or urgent concerns – is important, too. This requires employees who understand contexts, develop their own positive convictions and are motivated to act fast. To achieve that, silo thinking is out and bundling of data sources more important in the future.

The orchestration of customer communication, focused on the customer, must be simply at the center of everything, since "in the world of tomorrow," the data and the experiences we gather today will be the measure of the company's success – which will be "driven" by the customer.

Nokia’s president of Fixed Networks, Federico Guillén, pointed that out as well during a keynote conference session at the Broadband World Forum, when he told the packed auditorium that openness will be a key piece of the foundation to making this happen, with open solutions, open architectures and open data being critical to achieve the lowest cost per-home connectivity and accelerate time-to-market for gigabit services.

“I spoke last year about the ‘power of and’ and this absolutely still applies – operators need to combine fixed and wireless technologies to deliver a gig to every home; they need to leverage meshed Wi-Fi to bring that gig service into the home; and they need to combine the network and the cloud to manage the complexity,” said Guillén. “What they also need is openness across all these pillars. Openness is not only about doing things differently by using analytics and automation or embracing DevOps and co-development; but it is also about doing new and different things: enabling new business cases, diversifying strategies and creating new customer engagement and business models.”

Presciently, Guillén warned of the risk of openness as well, namely abstractness, and therefore provided two specific use cases where openness either unlocks new business cases for operators or allows them to move faster and save costs:

1. Network slicing, according to Guillén, unlocks a range of new scenarios and benefits. Operators can partition their network in different slices, with each slice allowing full control over the resources in that slice. Slices can be assigned to different divisions within an operator or even to different operators.

2. Guillén believes the age-old interop challenge for GPON to be solved simply and elegantly with a driver-like approach based on openness and virtualization. With this “driver” approach – inspired by PC peripherals – operators can introduce new Optical Network Terminals (ONTs) in their network in days or weeks, rather than months.

Guillén concluded that openness can help address network and industry challenges as complexity increases, and average industry expertise decreases, as baby-boomer experts retire, and the industry turns to new players to build networks.

“Put simply, we have to build smarter networks based on automation and artificial intelligence,” he added. “We need to get to network nirvana – a frictionless, modular and programmable network, where everything is simple and happens ‘automagically’ at the touch of a button.”

So, let’s come together open-minded and brave our new business world.

By Daniela La Marca