ISPs Risk Consumer Ire in Fighting Gigabit Marketing Wars

It always has been difficult to conduct marketing campaigns whenever a service provider is upgrading or introducing network-dependent local access services. Major metro area cable TV network builds (new builds or rebuilds) often take three years.

So what is the marketing team supposed to do about it mass media efforts when, by definition, a sizable number of would-be customers will contact the firm about buying, only to be told the service is not yet available “in your neighborhood.”

It is a messy process, more expensive and almost certain to generate consumer ire. That is why some firms, in the midst of such construction projects, end to eschew mass media marketing in favor of lower-key programs that can be targeted neighborhood by neighborhood.

Some firms might be taking different risks, though, touting gigabit services using mass media outlets.

Doing so, when the company knows the new services initially will be available only in some neighborhoods, is bound to generate ill will. In such cases, the firms appear to be taking such risks to tout the magnitude of upgrades, part of the access marketing wars that are building across the United States.

It will not help that Comcast, arguably the leader in U.S. high speed access, will upgrade virtually all customer locations for gigabit access by the end of 2015, with 18 million out of 21 million locations able to buy 2 Gbps service.

That is about as big a deal as was Google Fiber’s “symmetrical gigabit for $70 a month” offer.

But the downside, for would-be competitors, is the risk of increased potential customer ire, since most of the offers--Comcast being the big exception at the moment--being targeted only to high-demand neighborhoods.
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