Updated on 16/01/2023
Introduction to a strategy for Internet Service Providers
The world of the Internet, and the world of Internet Service Provider, is undergoing major change. To stay ahead, companies will need to update their marketing strategy. In this post, we’ll look at the best practices and success stories for ISP.
Internet Service Provider provide a service that can be defined as “essential”. Today’s society and economy are based on the Internet. The emergency triggered by the Covid-19 epidemic has made all this more evident and internet technology more valuable than ever before. Moreover, Internet Service Provider find themselves in a field of continuous and impetuous change: the market is crowded with new players and changing regulations, the implementation of new technologies is constantly accelerating (just think about 5G), and customer expectations are getting higher and higher.
We have dedicated an entire post to the changes and new trends facing this sector. In this post, we will focus on marketing strategy for Internet Service Provider. Such a strategy must start with an awareness of these new scenarios, and providers must constantly stay up to date and make decisions accordingly. This is the only way to gain competitive advantage.
Marketing strategy for Internet Service Provider: 5 best practices
So, we will be very concrete: we will identify 5 key themes, and for each one we will identify the best practices and some successful examples. However, we would like to underline one fundamental concept: the most important aspect of the marketing strategy for Internet Service Provider is the Customer Experience. This is more true today than ever before. We will return to this below.
1. Building the foundation: the role of education
Today, we are bombarded by information, some of which is contradictory or confusing, if not deliberately false and misleading. As an example, just think about the proliferation of fake news around 5G technology. This is why it is important for companies in the industry to make their voices heard, to provide clear, simple, and useful information to their customers. In other words, they should try to educate their Customer Base (that of both actual and potential customers). A good marketing and Customer Care strategy must start from here.
A decisive best practice, in this regard, is to exploit the power of video. Video tutorials are some of the most sought-after consumer content; such content can also be a valuable business tool. Fastweb has taken advantage of this trend to create a series of tutorials on YouTube for its customers.
2. Social Media Marketing
According to the latest data released in March:
- active users on Facebook worldwide are more than 2.80 billion. In 2020, users were 2.6 billion. More importantly: 1.78 billion people access Facebook every day (source: veronicagentili.com);
- active users on Twitter, instead, are 1.3 billion (source: websiterating.com);
- Instagram has 500 million daily active users (source: websiterating.com);
- TikTok, born in 2016, has already exceeded one billion active users worldwide, of which 5.4 million in Italy (source: oberlo.com).
These are impressive numbers, which, better than any word show how important and indispensable it is for any company to be present (and proficient) on social media today. This is where you’ll be found by both actual users and new customers.
Putting a good social media marketing strategy in place makes ISP more attractive, increases Customer Engagement, and therefore increases retention and loyalty. No less important: poor social media management can have a disastrous impact on your reputation. This is another reason that companies must pay close attention to what’s happening on social media.
An example of a very aggressive, creative, and functional use of social media is offered by the telecommunications giant T-Mobile.
3. Referral Marketing
Social networks, by their nature, are a formidable tool for spreading messages that, starting from individuals, spread like wildfire, reaching potentially huge audiences. It’s the digital and contemporary equivalent of ancient word of mouth. Yet, word of mouth still works today, and is still quite effective.
This, after all, is what Referral Marketing means; it’s the set of actions that a brand can use to get its customers to recommend its goods and services to others.
Let’s look at the data on referral marketing:
- 83% of consumers trust advice (so-called “referrals”) received from people they know (nielsen.com);
- word of mouth, still today, is the decisive factor for purchasing decisions for 20 to 50% of total cases (mckinsey.com);
- 82% of people seek advice from friends and acquaintances before making a purchase or becoming a client of a company (getambassador.com).
This is where you begin to see the very close link between the Customer Experience and marketing. Having satisfied and loyal customers is the best marketing strategy for Internet Service Provider.
How do you strengthen all of this? The main path is personalization, which we’ll focus on in the next point.
A classic example of Referral Marketing is the one put on track by AT&T, with its “Refer a Friend” program.
4. It is increasingly a question of personalization
As we saw in the previous point: every marketing strategy for Internet Service Provider must start from Customer Service. All the challenges of the industry are played out here. Having satisfied customers brings down the churn rate (the abandonment rate of a company): a very delicate problem for the industry, but this is only the first aspect.
A satisfied customer, in fact, will be an involved and loyal customer. In turn, they will provide positive testimonials about the company, ideally becoming the first marketing agent. Finally, the brand itself will benefit from all of this in terms of image, reputation, and attractiveness.
In short, the primary urgency for ISP is to trigger this virtuous circle. How to do it? The answer: In the simplest and most effective way in the world: by getting to know every single customer, analyzing their characteristics, behaviors, the Customer Journey, and then by taking care of customers in a personalized way, individual based one-to-one communications, with 24/7 support, and with made-to-measure offers. All with an omnichannel perspective.
All of this may seem an impossible mission, especially when we’re talking about audiences of millions of users, but it is not so.
There are specialized companies like Doxee that push the technologies provided by Digital Transformation to the maximum, offering personalization services for marketing and Customer Service. First of all, it’s about digitizing the Customer Base: collecting a huge amount of important data in order to track the characteristics and behaviors of users, with a degree of refinement that can make individual personalization possible. Finally, it’s about packaging communications, dialogs, and offers tailored to the individual. To put it briefly: transforming data into “intimate”, solid, and long-term relationships.
Doxee has been working with Fastweb for several years now, precisely in this direction. Since 2009, the Italian company has been using the Doxee Pweb® technology — personalized micro-sites through which customers can access their data, view invoices and get more information about their subscription, in an omnichannel, user-friendly, and highly personalized way. That’s not all: Fastweb has also implemented Doxee Pvideo® technology. Through this tool, personalized videos have been created, built on the characteristics of individual customers, which not only illustrate the invoices, but are also powerful tools for loyalty and dialog, with the possibility of inserting specific calls to action, aimed at loyalty campaigns, or up-selling or cross-selling.
The possibilities, in this sense, are really endless. For more information about this collaboration see this case study.
Finally, let’s look at a relatively new strategy that many companies are engaging with: The “Freemium” model.
In concrete terms, it’s about offering a basic and free version of a service; then proposing additional features for a fee. It’s a successful and widely diffused strategy.
Of course, the dynamics of the ISP business do not allow a complete and integral implementation of this type of model, yet it is possible to take advantage of these experiences, adapting them to the specific needs of this Industry. Also in this case, the advantages are simultaneously transferred to both marketing and Customer Service. Interesting experiments in this sense have been initiated by the Canadian company Koodo Mobile, which is targeting younger users (koodomobile.com).
In conclusion: the sector is in a period of great change, but it is operating around the increasingly decisive importance of individuals. Any marketing strategy for Internet Service Provider can only pass through here.