The broadband community is at a crossroads. Many broadband service providers (BSPs) are stuck in a race to the bottom.
Marketing leaders can help their organization rise above the commodification of the services they provide by focusing their marketing strategy on differentiators: the unique offerings no competitor can provide. Equally important is building a brand rooted in the community and subscriber experience. That is how you build product offering strategies and marketing campaigns that grow your business and delight your subscribers.
Building a Foundation for Success
What stands out when I meet with BSPs across the country is their commitment to community. You are deeply rooted in the areas you serve—often donating to local charities, hosting sporting events or even eSports tournaments, and priding yourselves on your local bona fides.
Because you know your towns, you can offer the products that help them succeed. Calix customers are introducing residential services that address the needs of their modern subscribers. BSPs are matching their excellent, local customer service with managed services such as ProtectIQ, ExperienceIQ, Bark, Servify, and Arlo Secure to create bundles that are personalized to subscriber needs.
Highline is an excellent example of this strategy. They’ve created the “Gamer Bundle” and “Working Warrior Bundle,” which combine reliable, high-speed internet and managed services to speak to the specific lives of the subscriber.
Expand Into New Markets with Calix SmartBiz™
Now, Calix is offering the same tailored solutions for your small business subscribers. Today, most service providers are stuck selling basic connectivity and speed to small businesses. Bespoke managed services are often too expensive for most businesses. But SmartBiz allows you to create an offering that speaks directly to the needs of a small business.
Small businesses with 2–50 employees make up 99 percent of businesses across the country. With Calix SmartBiz, you can grow your business beyond residential services by providing solutions designed to help these small businesses thrive. A purpose-built solution, SmartBiz is unique in the market because it provides specific solutions and services to the small businesses that are the backbone of rural communities and that make up main streets across the country.
Managed services such as SmartBiz are the fuel that helps BSPs move beyond speed and price. Residential and small business subscribers want products that complement their online experience, protect them from the less desirable aspects of a connected life, and offer value beyond simple speed.
What To Look Forward to at ConneXions
We are less than a month away from Calix’s ConneXions 2023. At this year’s event, we will concentrate on how marketers can lead the charge in building a local brand, creating differentiated product offerings, and executing data-driven marketing campaigns.
Yes, the industry is at a crossroads, with the big players attempting to drag our community down to the lowest common denominator. But that means rural BSPs can push back and ultimately become shining examples of what broadband should be. That starts with products and services like SmartBiz that are purpose-built for your neighborhood.
Because Consolidated Business Services partners have a long history of marketing telecom cooperatives in the Pacific Northwest, we know what it takes to build a compelling brand and a differentiated product strategy. Representing DirectLink—a cooperative serving the communities of Canby and Mt. Angel in Oregon for almost 120 years—we’re driven by creating greater value for subscribers.
Small businesses are the bedrock of our society, fueling local economies and helping communities flourish. The odds are also stacked against them. Of the 33.2 million small businesses across the United States, it’s estimated that only half will survive more than five years. Business owners face a long list of challenges—finding the right productivity solutions to support their growth is yet another issue they must tackle.
For broadband marketers, developing a differentiated offering strategy is essential to remain competitive. Shifting away from selling exclusively on speed and price will build strong relationships and win subscribers for life—but it requires new ways of thinking. Evolving your go-to-market starts with embracing innovative managed services that deliver unparalleled experiences.
Let’s back up. What do we mean when we talk about “brand identity”? Or, more fundamentally: What’s “branding” in the context of our businesses?
Branding is the strategy we use to actively define and shape the perception of who we are and why we matter. It’s a slow effort built over time; it’s not a one-and-done campaign.