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Cable Companies Losing Subscribers? It’s Time for More Powerful Marketing

25 March 2014 | Blog

For all the hand-wringing about cord-cutters, only about 105,000 subscribers jumped ship in 2013. But cable companies seem to hahouseholdsve it the worst, with subscribers down by 3% (Pay TV Providers Hold Steady, Cable Continues to Lose Subscribers). While it’s hardly the death of TV some had forecast, it’s obvious that cable providers’ marketing teams need some new tools in their toolbox to stay competitive.

This is where addressability can help solve problems. Household addressability would be best, so that messages and offers can be crafted to most align with each household’s needs. Whether convincing nonsubscribers to sign on or offering current customers additional options, a cable provider can best increase adoption rates by offering people the product they actually need by showing them the ways it can best benefit them, rather than wasting their time with irrelevant offers. But even zone-level targeting can help, allowing providers to use specialized messages and offers to cross-sell in the areas that are underpenetrated, while using different messages and offers in areas that already have higher levels of adoption.

Better targeting also helps with one of the other major revenue driver, ad sales. A certain amount of a cable operator’s inventory must be devoted to their own marketing efforts. But if targeting can make that marketing more effective, it can make it possible to use less inventory on internal marketing, freeing up additional inventory for the ad sales teams. So it’s the best of both worlds—more subscribers and more ad sales.

People aren’t going to stop watching TV anytime soon. But cable companies can make sure they get a bigger slice of the pie by taking advantage of some of the smart new ways to improve their ad performance.