The communications company, which alongside BT is one of the two broadband stakeholders in the YouView IPTV service, will change tactics from its current campaign that serves to notify consumers it now offers TV, to directly communicating how customers can set up the service in their homes.
TalkTalk will centre the campaign’s narrative around its “best value credentials”, according to communications director Mark Schmid, who spoke to Marketing Week at the company’s media launch for YouView this morning (27 September). It will be created by Chi and Partners, the agency behind its current “Model Britain” activity.
The company is currently offering all its Plus customers, who pay £14.50 a month for unlimited phone and broadband, a free YouView set top box. BT is offering YouView services with a free set top box, fibre optic broadband and TV Essentials package from £18 per month.
Schmid says: “[The next stage of YouView marketing activity] will be much more about what we feel TalkTalk brings to homes. We’ve spoken before about brightening up Britain and that theme will continue throughout. ‘Britain’s better off with TalkTalk’ is our value message that will continue – those are the kind of lines we will take.”
TalkTalk’s CEO Dido Harding said at the event this morning that TV and TalkTalk will “democratise TV” and transform the way people watch content in the same way the iPlayer launch “revolutionised” viewing four years ago.
She added that the company expects “the vast majority” of its 4 million customers to take YouView. TalkTalk currently has 1 million Plus customers, but it expects consumers tied into other services may switch over time to take advantage of the free service and the ability to sign up to pay TV such as Sky Sports or LoveFilm on a more flexible monthly basis.
Schmid told Marketing Week that competitors – such as Sky and Virgin – have already begun lowering their pricing as a result of YouView’s launch with BT and TalkTalk.
“Broadband prices have come down significantly in recent years because TalkTalk changed that market and that’s what YouView is trying to do now – it’s great news for customers, but maybe not great news [for our pay TV rivals],” he said.
TalkTalk received the most amount of complaints of any UK landline or broadband provider for the three months to June, according to Ofcom. It has also received the highest amount of complaints for broadband and landline services since Ofcom began its quarterly customer satisfaction reports in 2010, which could potentially hinder take up of its YouView product from non-customers.
Schmid, however, rebutted this suggestion. He said although TalkTalk has been at the bottom of the table for landline and broadband complaints since Ofcom’s report began, it has “significantly” improved its customer satisfaction levels by about 35 per cent in that time.
He said: “All we can do is come down and improve every single quarter because we’ve done something in the last two years nobody else in this sector has done: we bought eight different ISPs, with eight different networks and eight different billing systems and bring them into one. If you see the banking sector and look at someone like Santander, which brought [lots of] different banks into one – there’s inevitably complications.
“What’s encouraging is that the whole [communications] sector is getting better and investing in [customer satisfaction] greatly but we’re most interested in what we are doing and that’s continuing to improve.”