Data analytics has opened up a whole new world for rural telcos.
Google, billing analysis and other data-driven strategies make it possible to fine-tune marketing
campaigns, improve customer experience and yield a bigger return on investment.
In the days before forward-looking technologies and services, many in the rural broadband industry
relied on the “build it and they will come” adage, according to Bethany Chinadle, vice president of customer operations at Triangle Communications (Havre, Mont.), which serves about 24,000 square miles
in Montana and has approximately 12,300 members. Companies often based their upgrade decisions
on the quality of the copper plant rather than customer usage and needs. Marketing was done as
mass messaging, with the hope that the company would reach a few members with this approach.
The last few years have been a game changer, however. Data technology has become much more
cost-effective, allowing companies like Triangle—and not just the Googles or Amazons of the world—
to better gauge the experience their members are having on their network.
Triangle started using data-driven marketing in May of 2017 and immediately saw a 26% gain in
marketing investment efficiency. Having the data at its fingertips allows Triangle to effectively target
the customers it wants to reach and optimize the message it’s delivering. “With the data, we can see
customers who are a high probability to upgrade to a higher service tier based on their existing usage,”