How the Open RAN revolution is changing how the world builds networks

eContact Services looks at the momentum building behind Open RAN and how traditional telco supply chains are being disrupted as a result.

The Radio Access Network – or RAN – is the most critical and costliest part of a mobile network, the part that enables a mobile device to connect to a network. RANs are traditionally built by large network equipment suppliers where the hardware and software elements are tightly ‘coupled’, making interoperability between equipment from different vendors difficult – or impossible. This means that the customer, the mobile network operator (MNO), can be ‘locked in’ to a single vendor. It also means that competitors to these large suppliers – regardless of whether their technology is more innovative or efficient – can struggle to gain traction.

But all this could be changing.

A push towards a so-called ‘Open RAN’ approach has been gathering momentum as we move into the 5G era. Thanks to advances in network virtualisation, Open RAN is enabling operators to run software-based network functions using open interfaces. These open interfaces allow, for example, the use of one supplier’s radios with another’s processors.

Many high-profile MNOs are now pursuing Open RAN strategies. In August, for example, Vodafone became the first UK operator to launch commercial Open RAN, switching on a new 4G network in Wales using cloud-based software from multiple vendors. And last week it announced that, as part of the UK’s government mandate to reduce reliance on Huawei, it would replace more than a third of its Huawei estate with Open RAN equipment.

On the other side of the world, Japan’s Rakuten is another high-profile Open RAN advocate. A new entrant into the advanced Japanese market, Rakuten Mobile launched the world’s first fully virtualised cloud-native network last year and is aiming for 3 million customers by year-end. Last month it struck a deal with Spain’s Telefónica to cooperate on a “shared vision” to advance Open RAN, 5G Core and OSS.

In a recent report, the Dell’Oro Group calculated that the market for Open RAN hardware and software will account for close to 10 per cent of the total market by 2025 and surpass $5 billion in cumulative revenue over this period.

“Momentum is improving, and we have adjusted the outlook upward to reflect a confluence of factors including promising results from initial commercial deployments, growing support from incumbent RAN suppliers, and increased geopolitical uncertainty acting as a catalyst for operators to rethink their supplier strategies,” Stefan Pongratz, VP at Dell’Oro Group, said in a statement.

The “geopolitical uncertainty” refers to the controversy around Chinese vendors such as Huawei, which is providing a catalyst for change in some markets.

Another firm, ABI Research, expects total capex on Open RAN to soar to US$40.7 billion by 2026.

“Trade wars and the global pandemic have resulted in tremendous restrictions on the telecom supply chain and disrupt the evolution of new technologies,” said Jiancao Hou, Senior Analyst at ABI Research. “These effects will accelerate the development of Open RAN and open networks.”

Vendors leading the Open RAN charge include companies such as Altiostar, Mavenir and Parallel Wireless – and many believe this new generation of suppliers could cause serious disruption in a market dominated by large players such as Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia.

But the established players are also wanting to influence how the market develops. In July, Nokia announced its commitment to Open RAN, taking the approach of building open interfaces on top of its existing solutions. However, Ericsson has been less enthusiastic, arguing that more work needs to be done to address risks, such as the increase in security vulnerability caused by the decoupling of hardware and software functions.

Two industry groups have emerged to promote Open RAN: the Facebook-backed Telecom Infra Project (TIP), which runs deployment working groups for its 500+ members; and the O-RAN Alliance, which focuses on setting the open standards. The O-RAN Alliance was founded in 2018 by AT&T, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, NTT DOCOMO and Orange.

Many operators and vendors are involved in both TIP and O-RAN, and the two industry organisations are working together. However, as a fast-growing marketplace, navigating the Open RAN ecosystem can be a complex process for companies wanting to reach key decision-makers.

eContact Services can help you unlock the opportunities – please get in touch today!

 

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Securing the enterprise opportunity and embracing open-source networks: trends to watch as we enter the 5G era

5G networks, devices and use cases are proliferating – in this article eContactServices looks at the key trends shaping the new mobile technology. It’s clear that 5G is ushering a new, disruptive era that is reorganising relationships between operators, vendors and other players across the telco ecosystem. With more than 20 years’ experience in delivering lead generation services to the telco and broadcast industry, eContactServices can help you navigate this new landscape. Contact us today.

Operators are investing in 5G – but still need spectrum

GSMA Intelligence calculated recently that mobile operators are expected to spend $1.1 trillion worldwide between 2020 and 2025 on building new networks, roughly 80 per cent of which will be on 5G networks. It adds that more than 80 operators worldwide have now launched commercial 5G networks. And 5G is no longer confined to advanced markets – the first 5G networks in Africa launched this summer, for example, even though 3G/4G still has plenty of headroom for growth in such regions.

However, delays in auctioning new 5G spectrum has delayed 5G launches in some European markets, underlining the fact that access to the right spectrum is crucial to deploying new networks.

OpenRAN seeks to revolutionise network vendor market

How networks are being built is changing as we enter the 5G era. The large vendors are being challenged by a push to ‘open’ up networks allowing operators to use multiple, smaller vendors – disaggregating network software and hardware. According to a report last month by Dell’Oro Group, sales of so-called ‘OpenRAN’ equipment could surpass $5 billion over the next five years.

Vendors to watch in this space include Mavenir, which acquired the UK’s ip.access last month to boost in OpenRAN offerings. The big vendors are getting involved too: Nokia became the first major equipment maker to embrace OpenRAN over the summer.

Apple whets consumer 5G appetite

This month’s announcement of the first 5G-equipped iPhones could provide a boost for consumer uptake of 5G. Apple was relatively late to the 5G party – flagship 5G devices from the likes of Samsung have been in the market for a while – but a new iPhone has historically been a catalyst for change. Consumers may not be sold simply on 5G’s ‘faster speeds’, but Apple may be able to develop a compelling 5G proposition around AR/VR or gaming.

Ericsson expects consumer 5G subscriptions to reach 190 million worldwide by the end of this year, a slight increase on early indications – mainly due to a faster uptake in China, which has offset dampening demand caused by the pandemic elsewhere.

Is the enterprise-ready to embrace the 5G opportunity?

5G is considered the first generation of mobile tech that is set to have a greater impact on the enterprise rather than consumers. KPMG estimates that £3.35 trillion in value is waiting to be unlocked across major industries that embrace 5G such as government, finance, healthcare and manufacturing.

A report this month commissioned by Ericsson outlines how service providers are transforming from “connectivity provider to enterprise service creators” and delivering 5G enterprise solutions in collaboration with a broad ecosystem of partners “leveraging OSS, BSS, cloud technology, and AI.”

However, a separate study by Bell Labs Consulting looked into how prepared businesses are to make the most of the opportunity ahead. It identified a gap between “intentions and actions” when it comes to 5G – while 86 per cent of business decision makers said they have some kind of strategy for 5G, only 15 per cent are currently investing in its implementation.

Private networks take 5G in-house

As 5G increasingly powers the enterprise, many private companies are looking to take their networks ‘in house’. This is particularly true of companies involved in public safety and critical infrastructure, which are able to take advantage of 5G’s ability to support mission-critical or business-critical use cases.

However – like operators – companies will require spectrum to deploy these new private networks. Some markets are already supporting this. In Germany, for example, the regulator recently sold spectrum to a range of iconic German brands, including Bosch, BMW, BASF, Lufthansa, Siemens and Volkswagen.

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From iPhone to private networks: five trends shaping 5G

5G networks, devices and use cases are proliferating – in this article eContactServices looks at the key trends shaping the new mobile technology. It’s clear that 5G is ushering a new, disruptive era that is reorganising relationships between operators, vendors and other players across the telco ecosystem. With more than 20 years’ experience in delivering lead generation services to the telco and broadcast industry, eContactServices can help you navigate this new landscape. Contact us today.

Operators are investing 5G – but still need spectrum
GSMA Intelligence calculated recently that mobile operators are expected to spend $1.1 trillion worldwide between 2020 and 2025 on building new networks, roughly 80 per cent of which will be on 5G networks. It adds that more than 80 operators worldwide have now launched commercial 5G networks. And 5G is no longer confined to advanced markets – the first 5G networks in Africa launched this summer, for example, even though 3G/4G still has plenty of headroom for growth in such regions.

However, delays in auctioning new 5G spectrum has delayed 5G launches in some European markets, underlining the fact that access to the right spectrum is crucial to deploying new networks.

OpenRAN seeks to revolutionise network vendor market
How networks are being built is changing as we enter the 5G era. The large vendors are being challenged by a push to ‘open’ up networks allowing operators to use multiple, smaller vendors – disaggregating network software and hardware. According to a report last month by Dell’Oro Group, sales of so-called ‘OpenRAN’ equipment could surpass $5 billion over the next five years.

Vendors to watch in this space include Mavenir, which acquired the UK’s ip.access last month to boost in OpenRAN offerings. The big vendors are getting involved too: Nokia became the first major equipment maker to embrace OpenRAN over the summer.

Apple whets consumer 5G appetite
This month’s announcement of the first 5G-equipped iPhones could provide a boost for consumer uptake of 5G. Apple was relatively late to the 5G party – flagship 5G devices from the likes of Samsung have been in the market for a while – but a new iPhone has historically been a catalyst for change. Consumers may not be sold simply on 5G’s ‘faster speeds’, but Apple may be able to develop a compelling 5G proposition around AR/VR or gaming.

Ericsson expects consumer 5G subscriptions to reach 190 million worldwide by the end of this year, a slight increase on early indications – mainly due to a faster uptake in China, which has offset dampening demand caused by the pandemic elsewhere.

Is the enterprise-ready to embrace the 5G opportunity?
5G is considered the first generation of mobile tech that is set to have a greater impact on the enterprise rather than consumers. KPMG estimates that £3.35 trillion in value is waiting to be unlocked across major industries that embrace 5G such as government, finance, healthcare and manufacturing.

A report this month commissioned by Ericsson outlines how service providers are transforming from “connectivity provider to enterprise service creators” and delivering 5G enterprise solutions in collaboration with a broad ecosystem of partners “leveraging OSS, BSS, cloud technology, and AI.”

However, a separate study by Bell Labs Consulting looked into how prepared businesses are to make the most of the opportunity ahead. It identified a gap between “intentions and actions” when it comes to 5G – while 86 per cent of business decision-makers said they have some kind of strategy for 5G, only 15 per cent are currently investing in its implementation.

Private networks take 5G in-house
As 5G increasingly powers the enterprise, many private companies are looking to take their networks ‘in house’. This is particularly true of companies involved in public safety and critical infrastructure, which are able to take advantage of 5G’s ability to support mission-critical or business-critical use cases.

However – like operators – companies will require spectrum to deploy these new private networks. Some markets are already supporting this. In Germany, for example, the regulator recently sold spectrum to a range of iconic German brands, including Bosch, BMW, BASF, Lufthansa, Siemens and Volkswagen.

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Offset Digital Fatigue and Pep Up Your Telecoms Pipeline

Optimize your telecom marketing mix with a human touch

Vendor GTM strategies have pivoted heavily towards “digital” with content syndication, webcasts and display adverts now earmarked to generate everything from brand awareness to business leads.

But…as vendors fight for telco decision-maker mindshare the sheer volume of digital investment is for many delivering no more than a veil of “white noise” where AQL’s multiply but none mature, and audiences are too digitally drained to engage.

eCS cuts to the chase of your digital intent and accelerates demand generation by adding a human touch to telecom business development. We qualify and accelerate vital contacts and warm leads to become real business opportunities linked to telecom marketing investments.

3 proven human touch tactics to accelerate the success of your digital marketing mix:

Targeted Virtual Webinar Delegate Recruitment

We research, speak to and deliver registrants from your target company profiles to avoid the risk of competitor/low value registrations and secure engagement with quality audiences.

Post Virtual Event Registrant Follow-up

We personally, yet systematically, qualify delegates and “no shows” for further interest, delivering opportunities and organisational insights for actionable ROI and project intelligence simply by connecting “in person”.

Qualification of Digital Content Engagement Contacts

We convert multiple digital touchpoints into qualified leads. By reaching out directly to people of interest who interact with your whitepapers, reports, linked mailers and surveys. We deliver long term pipeline coverage and mid-term opportunities.
Don’t take our word for it, watch what our clients have achieved and learn more about our services – https://econtactservices.com/telecom-lead-generation/

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Perfecting your telecom marketing mix…

One of the crimes against telecom marketing humanity all too often committed by marketers bears examination. It’s this: the failure to understand that telco lead generation involves not isolated campaigns but, rather, leveraging multiple elements of a campaign mix.

Here’s what happens. Marketers leverage a lot of sources to generate telecom leads. These range from the cheap-to-execute (for instance, blind e-mail campaigns targeted at large databases) to the hugely expensive (e.g. webinars with recognised media partners). And at times that’s it. A campaign. It works or it doesn’t work. End of story. With virtual events or webinars, this means an enormous investment of both budget and time stands or falls by the event registration and perhaps a couple of follow-up e-mails. It’s not very sensible.

A rough example to step this through. A webinar with a media partner is likely to cost in the region of $10,000 +/-. A significant marketing investment by anyone’s budget. Roughly speaking the result for an average vendor might be to attract 125 registrants (note: this is a very general number culled from years of experience) where 40-50 might then show up to the live event and if you are lucky a similar number will listen on-demand. All 125, including the complete “no shows” will get a follow-up mailing or two after the webinar and their names will be passed on to sales and /or entered into the marketing database. At which point marketing and sales will move on, after the standard debate over whether or not actual, qualified leads have been delivered and maybe a group nod to “awareness” or “brand building”.

It’s not very sensible…

It may be somewhat ironic that the more invested into a marketing effort, the more it follows that further belt and braces investment will be required if a payoff is to be achieved. If you’ve spent $10,000 to identify 125 prospects, where’s the sense in failing to qualify their interest further?

This activity falls under the most important but often most overlooked component in the marketing mix of all: nurturing.

In our many years of experience, a personalised and clearly articulated telemarketing campaign nurtures and has few rivals when it comes to capitalising on the telecom webinar investment and nurturing names (which in the greater scheme of things are relatively useless) into actual, qualified telecom leads. Adding nurturing to your mix may add costs to your campaign, but the corollary benefit is that cost per qualified lead (which is what marketers really want) will go down.

Telecom marketers broadly tend to do good marketing activities. Their programmes generate telecom leads and contacts. Sales sell well when they receive a qualified lead. The breakdown in the mix all too often lies in nurturing the raw material of sales (unqualified leads) into becoming the raw material of viable deals. A webinar registration isn’t a lead; it’s an expression of interest. Telemarketing is what turns it into an actual, qualified sales lead.

Watch your digital ROI multiply – add Telemarketing to the mix. Now, this makes sense!

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POST-COVID: The song remains the same?

There’s a natural temptation to reduce complex political and economic circumstances to a few simple soundbites. But as, at different times around the world, we begin to emerge from the Coronavirus pandemic, it seems reasonably certain that business-as-usual is unlikely to be resumed. Not in the short term, and quite possibly not ever. The commercial landscape today differs radically from the one we left behind three or more months ago. And the new landscape is quite possibly here to stay.

While all of us could probably write books assessing the general impact of the pandemic, the question here is “what does all this mean for marketers?” and specifically for marketers in the telecommunications industry. I’d hazard a few guesses:

  1. How you communicate is going to be more critical than ever before. Simplicity is attractive to marketers for a variety of reasons. For one thing, it makes for better soundbites and in a world where news feeds are designed to meet rapidly diminishing attention spans, exaggeration is attractive. For marketers, complexity and messaging are hard to reconcile. However, COVID-19 has taught us that patient analysis and measured action is, if rarely a hallmark of government policymaking, often the most effective approach. It may be that this reality filters down to marketers who in future will spend more time structing more informative messages to their subscribers and engaging in conversations with them rather than, perish the thought, relying on spam.

  2. We all know there will be unavoidable economic realities to face in the wake of COVID. For one, it seems certain we are entering a serious, global recession. While the depth and length of the downturn cannot be accurately predicted (not least because which interventions happen remains to be seen), that the next twelve to twenty-four months or quite likely longer than that will be fraught for enterprises is a safe bet. For marketers, this will mean making every dollar has to work hard. The sources of new business generation activity that will survive the cuts won’t be linked to their cost so much as to their results. Campaigns that get funded will be those that have a track record of delivering leads. Ironically, that means sources that rely on conversation and depth of contact (such as telemarketing) are more like to flourish despite their cost than cheap, scattershot, mail campaigns.

  3. When the pandemic hit, the communications industry was in the midst of a sea change towards 5G and digitisation. This remains the case, COVID-19 or not. In terms of bottom line, successful 5G is all about knowing what your customers want and then giving it them. It’s not about winning business so much as building long-term relationships. To do this has, in commercial terms, always been a matter more than anything else of literally picking up the phone. Because telcos by definition control the means of communication and because as a result their importance has become clearer than ever in recent months, they have an enormous opportunity not to capitalise on their centrality in their subscribers’ lives. It’s vendors who will provide the infrastructure for those relationships and they have a rich seam of opportunities to help build innovative infrastructure for digital telcos as the pandemic slowly abates.
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Calling 5G Software & Service Specialists!

Engage with the telcos and seize a share of the B2B Prize.

Although we all know individuals, early adopters, people with a soft spot for the latest technology that will be willing to pay a little bit more for a 5G connection, (for faster video steaming or for “multisensory” digital experiences such as gaming or esports), it will be the “Business to Business” opportunity that makes 5G actually pay for the Industry rather than individual consumers. Omdia, estimate that the 5G enterprise services market (comprising connectivity, hardware, solutions/applications) could be worth up to $13.2 trillion over the next 5 years.

Across our professional networks and associations and speaking with strategic decision-makers at some of the largest Telco companies we are seeing that they are actively looking beyond the confines of their own technology teams to help land the big 5G win and ensure that the B2B opportunity does not slip away and into the hands of disruptors (e.g. Rakuten or Reliance Jio).

In terms of action we’re seeing that forward-looking CSP’s are inviting outside specialists in to collaborate, innovate, design, secure and serve a broad, attractive and business-ready package of 5G services for a market-ready and waiting to capitalise on new business models, new technology powered by 5G connectivity. Experience in the following is hot property:

  • Network Strategy, Security, Operations and Optimisation
  • BSS OSS & Customer Experience
  • Cybersecurity, Identity and Device Management
  • Cloud, Virtualisation, Edge, and Platform technology
  • AI, VR, IOT and more

eContact Services have been helping technology, software and service experts engage with Telco decision-makers to generate high-value business relationships for over 20 years.
We are dedicated to the telecommunications industry and offer comprehensive sales support packages including:

Our ability to engage 5G specialists effectively with B2B telco decision-makers is powered by our rich database of global telecommunications contacts, data points and our active network of industry associations and publications.

Our services are deployed by senior business developers with deep telecommunications knowledge who have proven success generating connections, leads, opportunities and revenue for 100 + technology multinationals, SME’s, and start-ups.

Read what some of our key clients have achieved and connect with us to discuss how we can help you support and capture the B2B revenue opportunity of 5G.

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Event Organisers and Virtual Meetings? A big mistake?

You’ve probably experienced this or, at least, have heard about it happening.

Think on this scenario. You are attending an event and the organiser reaches out to you to advise that they can arrange meetings. Really good quality meetings with people who want to meet you. After all, they organise the Event, so they know who is attending and they have influence. Right?

Wrong! On so many levels!

Event organisers are exceedingly good at what they do. Organising events!
Lead generation companies and telemarketing agencies are very good at what they do. Generating leads and calling people.

See the trend?

When you add in a sector specialism such as Telco to the mix, years of experience exclusively working in this industry and a database of contacts that reflects this then you have something special.

eCS, a niche company within a niche market

Previously delegates would agree to an Event organiser’s request to meet with a Vendor for several reasons. It could be they will receive a free pass to attend the event, an upgrade to their pass, access to white papers or some special dispensation that they see as a benefit to the role they perform. Any number of reasons.

However, if a vendor appoints a specialist and experienced agency, such as eCS, to book meetings at the physical or virtual event, the approach is completely different and more targeted. The campaign is based on the suitability of the job profile for the topics to be discussed and targets those who will have some real interest in that topic. There is no ulterior motive, there is a clear need from that contact to find out more about the product or service being promoted to them, and they make their decisions based on the relevant key messaging.

The agency, in this case, eCS, is not seen as a 3rd party. They are an extension of your marketing department or inside sales, an extension of your company. eCS see our self in this way and will perform a role as well for your company as if it were our own.

Now, in the world we find ourselves in, physical events are not happening, there are no Events for the organisers to arrange but, they still want to arrange those meetings for you. Virtually, of course.

Where does their experience come from, how can they guarantee that the meeting quality will be there, how can they ensure that there is some merit in arranging a meeting with that particular person. They have no history when it comes to meeting arrangement.

A company with a track record of success

eCS fall into the category of being a specialist in our field. We have the Industry specific experience, knowledge and a database that allow us to book meetings for our clients that are quality meetings and have substance to them. The location – an Event hall, a meeting room a boardroom, your front room!! It makes no difference in the process for us but by choosing eCS it could make a huge difference to you.

Use a company that will make the difference.

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Are virtual meetings the way ahead? The new normal?

Webinars by their very definition are a presentation, lecture, workshop or seminar that is transmitted over the web using video conferencing software.

With the increase in employees working from home, the explosion in the use of video conferencing software and the requirement for Vendors to still engage with their target market, should this be something you are looking to do?

Simply put, yes!

There are, however, a few guidelines that we would like to point out.
Ensure the topic is relevant to the now. Don’t schedule a webinar and call it “How to exploit the fact that people are staying at home more.” No kudos will be gained, head straight to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200.

Think of the time allotted for said webinar. Statistically it has been proven that 30-45 minutes is the optimum length of a webinar. Longer than that and the temptation to jump off for a quick cup of tea, or to catch up on another call, or simply to leave because they are bored, takes over with the participant.

Make it interactive with a live Q+A and/or a poll. Simple enough concepts from a creative and technical perspective, but essential for engaging your participants in the first place and keeping them engaged right to the end. One simple trick is to pose a question and advise that the answer will be discussed at the end. See? Keeps people engaged.

Make sure those that are presenting are engaging people themselves. The subject matter could be the most interesting in the world, but if it is fed line by line, sentence by sentence, by someone with the charisma of a snail then people will switch off. We aren’t looking for the next best thing in TV presenting, but a person who is articulate, interested in the topic (and this interest is clearly demonstrated) and who has a bit of personality is definitely someone that people will watch and listen to. Not the aforementioned snail!

Make sure the audience you get is the audience you need. Sounds simple and something you’ll probably think doesn’t need to be mentioned but it does, it really does. Click here to find out about audience generation

Record the Webinar and make it available to people who register but don’t attend. People often get side-tracked but could still be a prospective customer.

Have a policy where participants are on mute, as background noise often brings many webinars down.

Try to have someone as a Compere and someone taking questions by comment during the webinar and then asking, on behalf of the participants, to make it appropriate and keep participants connected.

Many of the webinar providers online will have a database of previous registrants/participants. These will be sent mailings daily, weekly, monthly, advising them of the new webinars being hosted. The webinar might even have some relevance to their role, it might be highly appropriate to the role they carry out, it might be the most appropriate webinar to their job and looks from first glance to have been created with them in mind but.. do they work at a company that you want to target, is their role in the industry that you have the specialist knowledge of, do they work for a competitor?

Some of the databases from the webinar providers will be mailed indiscriminately, with no criteria set and with the hope that the numbers promised for registrants will be the numbers achieved.

Telemarketing can solve this issue.
Telemarketing? Want to know more?

The agency you decide on, will have the same goal of achieving the required number of registrants but, and this is a huge but, they will be doing this based on the criteria you have set. – which companies, which roles, seniority in a company, etc.

That means the webinar that you have invested time and money on creating, the subject matter, or solution you will be discussing, which you have invested time and money on developing, is being presented to a group of individuals who have been personally invited to attend. They would not have registered and more importantly taken part if there were not some measure of interest there. If you also let them know that people of similar roles, in similar organisations are attending, then they will feel it’s more appropriate. Think on that.

Also, don’t be fooled into thinking that digital marketing will bring responses. It plays a part in marketing overall, but emails generally are lucky to get a 1 in 20 opening rates, never mind any kind of response. Only telephone calls directly to contacts guarantees any kind of positive response. It also prevents ‘opt-outs’ to meet GDPR regulations.
Digital marketing and calling?

Lastly, choose well. At eCS, we have worked in this space for nearly 20 years and our contacts, expertise and guarantee of success sets us apart.

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Sacred Cows: The Digital Marketing and Databases

Digital marketing may have a low barrier to entry making it easy and inexpensive to reach out to target companies/contacts and, albeit with some risk, to create brand awareness (if not executed deftly, spam does anything but create a positive brand image). But these advantages come at a price.

For one, if you are either using Linkedin or emailing regularly, you run a high risk of the contact ‘opting out’ of future communication. Once they have done this, you have lost a target forever under the GDPR regulations, before you have even had any engagement with them. This should give digital marketers food for thought, although all too often it doesn’t.

This, in a way, is surprising. It’s always been axiomatic in marketing that the key component of success is building the right list of prospects. Crudely, a great campaign sent to a weak database will fail. A less-than-polished campaign sent to the right target list is far more likely to succeed. If you can achieve both, you’ve cracked it.
 
This is where telemarketing comes in. Telemarketing allows companies to approach their target job profiles to discuss a solution, identify interest, allow us to qualify and only then gain the agreement for further information to be emailed. The italicised words are important; collectively, they imply interaction. An unrequested marketing e-mail is spam. An e-mail following up a conversation is information. Not only are mailing a pre-qualified prospect but in the process, you’re also protecting your investment in your database.

There’s more to gain than just that. Telemarketing also makes it easier to discover who else in a target organisation would be appropriate contacts for your solution, hence allowing you to not only maintain but also expand your database with additional qualified prospects. And because there is at least minimal engagement with that contact, they are far less likely to unsubscribe to subsequent approaches meaning that as an organisation, you can contact them in the future. Better traction into an account and better qualified qualification are critical components of marketing success.
 
Since the introduction of GDPR, within the first year of eCS contacting, by phone, thousands of contacts for different clients and campaigns, we have had only 2 contacts asking us to unsubscribe from being further contacted by our client. This is extraordinarily low compared to returns from digital marketing.

All of this is not to compare digital marketing to telemarketing but it is to suggest that a failure to spread marketing investment across multiple sources or to believe that digital-only marketing is a low-cost panacea are wrong. Most marketing jigsaw puzzles are incomplete without both digital and telemarketing components.

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