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Orange France: a geomarketing approach to support superfast broadband

Orange France: a geomarketing approach to support superfast broadband

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In a context of accelerating fiber deployment, Orange France is taking an innovative geomarketing approach in order to provide strategic support for Orange France’s Fiber Projects Division and operational support for fiber and marketing teams working in the group’s regional directorates. Let’s take a look at the people behind this approach, their methods, tools and levers for success.

What are the goals of your geomarketing approach?

We aim to exploit our detailed knowledge of the different fiber deployment zones to support our Fiber Projects Division, fiber teams throughout France and the people choosing sales strategies for fiber offers. We can help them identify the most attractive segments for fiber and prioritize their investments; we can provide factual data to structure and plan rollout programs.

So the Geomarketing Department intervenes upstream of the deployments?

Yes, that right. Our job is to reassure the Orange France Fiber Projects Division in its deployment choices which can be considered to be strategic in view of the cost of this new network. And later on we support the deployment and marketing teams in order to confirm or question their important assumptions, taking into account regulatory, technical and commercial factors.

What skills do you need?

We depend on our geomarketing specialists most of whom have postgrad degrees. They have technical and communication skills and are experts in geomarketing software. They know how to process voluminous data and diverse information. They are capable speakers able to present our analyses, adapting their discourse to their audience. We centralize these skills and capitalize as much experience as possible.

What are your intervention modes?

We present ourselves as consultants addressing all Orange’s needs. We collaborate closely with these internal customers and then propose orientations and recommendations. To ensure intimate knowledge and fine analysis of the specificities of each region, we appoint a specific contact for each Orange department to provide a kind of "one-stop shop". Once a year, we make a Tour de France to meet all the operations managers and their intervention and network supervision units. This strengthens our cooperation and helps us find the best ways of working together.

Which tools do you use?

We use geographic information systems to aggregate external databases, customer data, network quality data and even customer experience information. Our consultants are free to choose between three geomarketing systems reputed to be the best: ESRI, GEOCONCEPT and MapInfo. In our studies we use Google satellite and street images to get an impression of districts that are fiber candidates. These allow us to see building characteristics in more detail and the presence or absence of aerial cables. We also exploit information about future property development which helps us target new buildings for fiber pre-installation. Finally, we have developed internal and external digital tools. For example, our inhouse geographic web service "My Fiber", provides information such as indicators updated with cartographic data showing fiber-equipped zones and the presence of our customers and our competitors. "GeoLife" provides socio-demographic data (tell me where you live and I will tell you who you are!), appetency data (address-by-address information that highlights potential value-generating addresses), shops in which fiber could be commercialized.

Geomarketing has also developed a digital map to allow customers and prospects to check the eligibility of their address – and even subscribe immediately or register their interest. That’s a world premier! With all these tools we can give our operations managers hyper-fine knowledge and a vision of potential deployment zones and their occupants. Our preliminary statistical analyses help our internal customers to prioritize and plan their deployments.

What are the key factors for success?

In the case of fiber, the rollout must be oriented by geomarketing criteria which need to be regularly refined and enriched by a comprehensive technical vision.
We operate in a continuous improvement loop that helps us to:
• Work very closely with the regions and exploit local knowledge to adapt to specificities of terrains and markets.
• Maintain a continuous market intelligence activity to monitor software and skills and thereby improve and evolve our own methods.
• Work on forecasts, while analyzing feedback in order to question our methods and enrich our analysis and prioritization criteria.
• Capitalize on field experience and translate it into recommendations that our fiber project managers can easily put into practice.

What will be the next steps?

To give our customers even finer information, we recently developed an "address appetency" rating system that can guide deployments during the connection phase, with objective business criteria. We will soon explain the utility of these new metrics to Orange entities and integrate them in the information system. Another stimulating challenge for us!