Masterclassing Connect

Its All About the Experience

David Murphy

Oren Glanz, CEO of Service Adoption Management company Olista, looks at the typical barriers to the uptake of Mobile TV and how they can be overcome

The mobile industry has long had high hopes for Mobile TV, hailing it
the biggest potential star for revenue generation by mobile operators
and service providers. With mobile phones meteoric rise to becoming
the worlds number one consumer item, outselling TVs, computers, motor
cars, microwaves, fridges and even fixed phones,  surely it would make
sense for consumers to also embrace the device as a TV?

Much to the frustration of the mobile operators, however, this has so
far not been the case, with customer interest less than enthusiastic
and the uptake of current offerings failing to take off on a widespread
scale. Why is this, when everyone in the value chain seems convinced of
its worth? 

Todays Mobile TV market is crowded with services and applications, but
what it isnt crowded with is users. Unlike voice services, to which
the mass market is strongly addicted, Mobile TV is still largely
considered interesting, rather than essential, and is a long way from
being even close to fulfilling its promise.

Mobile TV users are quick to churn when a service doesnt live up to
their expectations very often without contacting their operator.
However, if handled promptly, many of the barriers that can make users
churn can be turned into opportunities for operators.

Poor user experience
There are many technical and compatibility issues and opportunities for things to go wrong when delivering a 3G Mobile TV and video service. For example, networks are not dense enough to guarantee 3G coverage, even in high density urban areas. The service will only work when the user has a 3G signal, meaning that, too often, the service is unavailable, leading to poor user experience. Operators need to be aware of the issues when a user roams on to a 2G network from a 3G network and ensure that the user can still receive an image.
Beyond the more complex technical issues, however, the largest barriers to Mobile TV usage are far simpler. Usability, training, pricing, interest, and other user experience barriers are just as damaging. Mobile operators need to look at how they can ensure such customer problems are solved, before they impact on the user experience.
Improving the user experience will drive satisfaction, resulting in increased customer acquisition, retention and ARPU for the operator, and the However TV provider. Currently, customers are staying away from Mobile TV in large part because the aligned to their interests, expectations and capabilities, resulting in a poor user experience. 
Simultaneous mass launches fail to prompt enough trials, and usage barriers, which can be technical or experience-related, prevent most of those who do try from enjoying the service. Even single usage barriers, such as difficulty navigating through menus or dissatisfaction with pricing can turn a potential user into a lost user. The result is a double whammy: a low trial rate and a high churn rate.
Operators routinely invest extensive resources in new service development and marketing, each of which has its own challenges. But the greatest challenge lies at the moment of launch and through the service lifecycle, where there are numerous parameters that, depending on how they are tuned, can lead to smooth adoption or conversely to fast rejection.

Deep insight
To ensure all parameters related to the launch and the ongoing service are optimised for the maximum number of potential users, operators need precise knowledge and deep insight into their customers Mobile TV usage.
Companies such as Olista complement traditional product marketing practices and management by focusing entirely on adoption. It is possible to uncover usage patterns, and identify precisely where individual users encounter barriers and trigger corrections, all in real time. This provides a complete solution for identifying and exploiting revenue generation opportunities, and removing usability, training, pricing, interest and other user experience barriers, as well as technical barriers such as reliability and compatibility problems.
Armed with this highly granular insight into virtually any aspect of usage, and the ability to identify and remedy usage barriers, even those that have never before arisen, managers in charge of Mobile TV marketing and content can make more informed decisions and better target offerings and campaigns. They can time service launches and special offers to customer groups or individuals for maximum effect, and they can act quickly to remove barriers and exploit marketing and customer care opportunities.
This deep, real time visibility into subscribers interactions with Mobile TV, combined with extensive control of the service, and powerful analytical tools, can turn unprofitable, high churn Mobile TV offerings into successful services, which stimulate customer loyalty, increase overall Mobile TV usage and generate meaningful profits.