Industry Blog

Rewards Program for Subscriber Recruitment

Recruiting subscribers is a challenging task for any carrier, one that is matched by encouraging them to engage with the brand on social media. The American carrier C-Spire thinks it has found the answer, with its innovative PERCS program. As a solution that works in the application layer it has the potential to open subscriber recruitment into a whole new area, and provide new interactive ways of recruitment.

Current models for recruitment

The current model for subscriber recruitment has been to use price and exclusivity deals on new mobile devices as the main method to draw in users. An example of this was seen with AT & T in the US and O2 in the UK using the first iPhone as an exclusive, to attract new subscribers. In 2013 this same method can still be seen with AT & T again offering an exclusivity deal on the customization of the Moto X. However, as manufacturers look towards having their devices on as many carriers as possible, exclusivity deals are likely to become less of a draw as they once were. In addition, with devices using the same specifications even between different manufacturers it is likely that such a model of recruitment will have a greatly reduced impact compared to programs in the past.

PERCS by C-Spire

So how can mobile operators tempt in the higher value, heavy data using subscriber? Well one innovative method that is currently running is that of PERCS from C-Spire. C-Spire’s method for attracting new subscribers is to reward them before they leave their current network. This is an extension of the system that is already available for their own subscribers, but with the primary focus on social media. In doing so, C-Spire is targeting social media users and actively encouraging them to engage with the brand, and spread C-Spire’s messaging.

PERCS works by rewarding users with points that can then be exchanged for discounts on new mobile devices, accessories or data passes. Rewards are gained by performing simple tasks such as; liking C-Spire’s Facebook page, re-tweeting its tweets, sharing YouTube videos and joining C-Spire’s own forum, Circle.

PERCS has two advantages over the previous methods of focusing on price and exclusive devices. The first advantage is that the carrier will have increased presence in social media, with users now rewarded from spreading messages and posts about the carrier. This generates brand awareness, and engagement with potential customers, that traditional methods such as mobile device exclusivity deals would struggle to match.

The second advantage of using rewards for subscriber recruitment can be seen in the type of audience that is being targeted, as those that C-Spire are focusing on are active users of social media. In a 2013 Nielsen report it was found that the 16-34 demography had the highest proportion of smart phones users, and that after text messaging, web browsing and emailing the 4th highest use for a smart phone was in social networking.

How it works

As a result, what is needed to facilitate a rewards program such as PERCS is a system that lies in the application layer, which can assign reward points based on the user carrying out the simple tasks associated with brand engagement.  This system needs to be able to know when a user has performed a task that is point worthy, and assign the correct amount of points to the individual’s profile.

The solution consequently needs to be working quietly in the background, so as not to affect the user’s experience. Intrusive alerts or the extra effort of having to sign in to be rewarded would result in reduced uptake and reduced interaction. However, the C-Spire model means that after registering, users do not worry or get annoyed with the reward earning process; it’s automatically done without interfering in their involvement.

From a carrier’s point of view, they need to know that the correct amounts of points are being assigned to the right subscriber. So that when the time comes for the subscriber to join their network, they can be informed of how many points they have already earned and therefore, what reward they have earned. The solution also needs to act fast, so that the information on the number of points each subscriber has earned is ready for the moment when they are ready to change carrier.

In the future

Looking to the future of subscriber recruitment, solutions that exist in the application layer will be able to offer an even broader range of programs beyond that of social media interaction. This could include rewards for messaging subscribers who are already with the recruiting carrier, and therefore further encouraging potential subscribers to change. Rewards programs also offer a system that can seamlessly shift from recruitment to retention, something that in the ever competitive environment of mobile communication is vital.  Rewards programs in the application layer consequently offer a new and exciting take on subscriber recruitment.

This blog was published by PCC Mobile Broadband on Mar 21. Click Here!