Targeted drive works for C&W

Roger Baird’s article (MW November 26) demonstrates how out of touch observers are with the cable industry.

A lot of the criticisms he levels may have been true a few years ago, but it is a young, aggressive and fast-changing industry which has learned quickly. I wouldn’t describe Cable & Wireless’ profit of 150m in the past year as “poor performance”.

The fact that its year-on-year sales was increased in October in the face of the huge advertising expenditure by ONdigital and Sky suggests not only that our marketing is more effective, but that the product is competitive. Cable & Wireless’ marketing, far from being a “leaflet through your door”, is a fully integrated multimedia campaign. Its marketing is so effective that it can maintain its spend and yet double its sales performance, taking on 147,000 new customers every year. It might not be a marketing blitz, but it is highly effective, responsive marketing which delivers sales at half the cost of its competitors’.

Digital might be sexy, but Cable & Wireless is offering a more personal choice of higher quality channels at a much better price than either of its digital competitors – and that’s with its existing analogue product.

Ask yourself what choice you get from ONdigital, where you have to choose a block of either six or 12 channels. And of course neither Sky nor ONdigital offer free telephone line rental, so the Cable & Wireless dual product costs considerably less than either. From next year, when its digital product is launched, the channel line-up will be unbeatable, the choice of packages more individual and the price still substantially less.

So, while Cable & Wireless is plotting its digital assault, it is confident that the current product’s strengths will carry it through until next year.

Cable & Wireless’ digital will then be launched using the same targeted marketing which is so successful for the company now – and it won’t need to be a blitz.

Fiona Gordon-Brown

Director of Responsive Marketing




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