FEATURE10 March 2017

Ringing in the changes

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AI Data analytics Features Impact Mobile Telecoms

O2’s head of research Jessica Salmon talks to Ben Bold about customer satisfaction, proactive research, technological innovation, and the benefits of balancing the old and the new in market research


There are few things that epitomise the union of old and new as succinctly as mobile telecoms. Within a relatively short period of time, the sector has transformed from one focused on untethering people from their landlines – so they could make calls on the go – to one that provides data and devices allowing people to: browse the web; stream high-definition film; make video calls; send text and emoticon messages; play games; listen to their favourite music; diarise their lives; and find the quickest route home.

“The thing I love about telecoms is that it changes so much – you are effectively working in a different industry every six months, ” says O2 head of research Jessica Salmon. This coming together of the traditional and state-of-the-art is analogous to Salmon’s approach to market research, with old-school skills – such as qualitative – being used to interpret and enrich the array of data available from newer information streams.