How Sky used data to change consumers’ perception of value

By drilling down into millions of customer data points on viewing habits, Sky changed perceptions on the value of the subscription service.

When it came to reducing churn at Sky, the business opted to avoid the usual route of differentiating on price, and instead chose to focus on the value provided by its subscription service. The new approach came from insights that customers receiving value messages about the products are more likely to increase their loyalty.

Using data to target those customer segments most likely to abandon their Sky subscription, the company created tailored messages depending on people’s proximity to the end of their current contract. Emails sent out contained a hyper-personalised summary of the content customers had enjoyed from Sky since they joined, with an emphasis on the last 12 months. Emails also featured an intriguing subject line on customers’ viewing habits that significantly boosted open rates.

This kind of data was no small feat to acquire, requiring the team to drill down through 1.6 billion rows of customer viewing data and figures about viewing habits to achieve true one-to-one communication. Even the call to action was personalised to each subscription member, encouraging them to either recontract or take advantage of other Sky upgrades.

On a test of 107,000 customers this hyper-personalised email saw a 38% uplift in open rate, a 64% uplift in click rate and a 3% uplift in conversions compared to the version that didn’t use viewing data. This success led to the campaign being rolled out to another 219,000 customers. The campaign even altered perceptions of the subscription service, increasing both positive views of the company and a sense of the value of the service.

The success of this hyper-personalised data-led campaign makes Sky the worthy winner of the 2021 Marketing Week Masters award for Data-Driven Marketing, sponsored by Experian.