Integrating telecommunications and life design.

KDDI designs optimal personalized experiences across touchpoints with Adobe Campaign.

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Established

1984

Employees: 44,952
Tokyo, Japan
www.kddi.com

5.7x

Increased conversion rates by using behavior triggers to drive communications

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Objectives

Make customers’ lives convenient and fun by fusing telecommunications and life design

Actively introduce new services to customers as part of “au Next Best Action”

Provide consistent customer experiences across touchpoints

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Results

Provided a fine-tuned customer experience with best recommendations and timing across multiple touchpoints

Halved labor with marketing automation and increased number of monthly campaigns by 1.5x

Increased conversion rate by 5.7x by using behavior triggers to drive communications

Designed customer experiences built around detailed data such as customer feelings and reactions in stores

KDDI is more than just one of the biggest telecommunications operators in Japan through brands such as “au by KDDI”. Today it operates by integrating telecommunications and life design to make customers’ lives more enjoyable and convenient. The company is expanding through services such as “au PAY” and “au PAY Market” to promote deeper engagement with customers.

 

KDDI uses Adobe Campaign as the foundation for marketing automation integrated with in-house systems to enhance personalized communications. By combining huge amounts of data such as attribute information, behavior information, and customer feelings, KDDI designs customer experiences that capture the lifestyles and preferences of customers. With this insight, KDDI runs high-quality customer engagement programs that reach across touchpoints, from online touchpoints such as mobile apps to offline touchpoints in stores.

Building exciting experiences that make lives easy and fun

As a telecom provider, KDDI provides telecommunications services for both individual and corporate customers. Customer experience is particularly important when working with individual customers, and KDDI started working with personalized communications to improve engagement.

 

“KDDI provides a lot of services that make customers’ lives more convenient and enjoyable,” says Ms. Hiroko Murata, DX Design Department at KDDI. “We want people to know that, and we want to recommend services to customers. We have many very diverse touchpoints with customers, from the mobile app portal “My au”; to customer support over email, phone, or chat; to physical contact in stores. Through these different touchpoints we want to help customers get the most from our services, and through those experiences feel closer to au.”

 

Previously, communication was optimized for each touchpoint, which meant that opportunities for communication could be missed. Furthermore, information gained at one touchpoint was not shared with other touchpoints, so KDDI sometimes delivered unnecessary information to customers.

 

Ms. Murata has been leading the push to improve customer experiences for the past five years. As the head of the DX Design Department, she is paving a path for better customer experiences by designing and enacting a company-wide DX policy. The concept is called “au Next Best Action (au NBA)”. Based on this concept, KDDI aims to actively propose the best actions for customers.

 

As part of this new concept, the DX department took another look at its marketing automation platform that handles personalized communications. “The previous platform had various problems, such as a limit to the number of attributes we could set,” says Mr. Daiki Yagisawa, DX Design Department at KDDI. “So even if we designed a great customer experience, it was possible that we would not be able to run it. For example, we couldn’t set communications for specific days of the week, and we weren’t satisfied with the way that the platform combined online and offline communications, such as sending messages through a mobile app or email before or after a customer visits a store. The UI was also complicated and difficult to use, so only a limited number of people could use it. This meant that we couldn’t adjust to company-wide policy changes quickly, putting the brakes on adoption of company-wide efforts to improve customer experiences.”


“With Adobe Campaign, we can create customer experiences that make full use of online and offline information, from app usage to reactions in store.”

 
Ms. Hiroko Murata

DX Design Department, KDDI


Running scenarios that make full use of data

KDDI started a project to renew the marketing automation platform. After comparing multiple products, the company decided to adopt Adobe Campaign.

 

“At that time, KDDI wanted to bring together dispersed data to understand customers’ lifestyles and preferences in greater detail,” says Mr. Daisuke Shirai, Regional Revitalization Development Department at KDDI. “We also wanted to implement fine-tuned experiences that make full use of data and technology. One of the reasons why we chose Adobe Campaign was that it could meet these requirements. After implementation, when we designed experiences based on a customer’s app usage level, the number of customer visits to the website tripled and customer satisfaction levels also improved.”

 

KDDI also adopted Adobe Campaign for other reasons, such as an easy-to-use UI, flexible customizations that help it integrate with systems, strong results in Japan and around the world, and compliance with KDDI’s security policies.

 

“A marketing automation platform handles sensitive information about customers,” continues Mr. Shirai. “At KDDI, we have strict policies around the handling of sensitive data. Many other products we looked at could not clear these security requirements as they were developed for use in foreign data centers or other such use cases. Adobe Campaign met the KDDI security standards.”


“By making predictions based on customer behavior and making recommendations at just the right time, we greatly improved the conversion rate.”

 
Mr. Daiki Yagisawa

DX Design Department, KDDI


Improving conversion rate 6x with timely communications

Currently, KDDI is using Adobe Campaign according to the workflow shown in the figure above.

 

Information such as attribute information, behavior information, and customer feelings obtained during mobile app usage or in-store visits is combined into one database. KDDI analyzes this information using machine learning and AI to obtain various recommendations based on customer interests and concerns. KDDI designs customer experiences using this analysis and carries out experiences using Adobe Campaign. Adobe Campaign automatically sends personalized communications based on the design.

 

“In our previous marketing automation platform, if there was no reaction from customers over one touchpoint, we had to manually design a new experience from scratch in order to communicate through another touchpoint,” says Mr. Yagisawa. “Now if we don’t get a reaction, Adobe Campaign automatically recommends trying another touchpoint, allowing us to easily implement campaigns that cross multiple touchpoints.”

KDDI is particularly focused on designing campaigns that emphasize behaviors, feelings, and reactions.

 

“Reactions that can only be obtained in-person through the in-store touchpoint play a big role in improving the accuracy of campaigns,” says Ms. Murata. “For example, even if a customer declines a recommendation, the next action can change dramatically based on whether the customer showed no interest or possibly had interest but no time. With Adobe Campaign, we can create customer experiences that make full use of online and offline information, from app usage to reactions in store."

 

Furthermore, Adobe Campaign is very easy to use and employees can become skilled with little training. Many people have already mastered it, with all departments — from the customer service department to the mobile app team — using Adobe Campaign to plan their own experiences. Not only is Adobe Campaign easy to use, but by taking advantage of automation, KDDI can half the number of hours needed for certain tasks, leading to a 30% reduction per month in hours needed for campaigns.

 

With fine-tuned personalized communications, KDDI improved the conversion rate for service subscriptions by 5.7 times in one campaign. “By making predictions based on customer behavior and making recommendations at just the right time, we greatly improved the conversion rate,” says Yagisawa. “It was a big difference from the times when all we could do was make the same recommendation to all customers not using the service.”


“At KDDI, we have strict security policies around the handling of sensitive data. Adobe Campaign met the KDDI security standards.”

 
Mr. Daisuke Shirai

Regional Revitalizationi Development Department, KDDI


Becoming the closest partner for customers

Going forward, KDDI aims to continuing creating different customer experiences to improve engagement and build relationships with customers. In addition to appealing to customers’ interests and concerns, the company will also work to nurture new interests.

 

“Improving systems around marketing automation is just one new step for the DX team,” says Ms. Murata. “KDDI is aiming to integrate telecommunication and life design services, so actively pursuing customer experiences and becoming familiar with customers will be an important part of achieving customer success. We want to create experiences that excite our customers by not only using data and technology, but also culture and know-how from Adobe.”

 

In a society where digitalization is accelerating, mobile services delivered by telecom providers are an important foundation for many services. It greatly affects the convenience and enjoyment in a user’s life. By aiming to improve engagement through customer experience, KDDI is trying to become the closest and most powerful partner for customers to live comfortably in the digital society.

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