I have polled local small businesses online (have you?). Most only know
VZ and TWC. No idea who the local ISP's are.
People are sheople. They will shrug - or like seeing a warning light on
the car - just keep driving on whatever broadband is available. Very few
will seek an alternative. They go with what the neighbor tells them or a
co-worker or Jim the copier/PC repair guy at the office.
You can't expect people to use your service because you were their
first. Or even because you are better. Or because "it's our people,
Jeffrey. We have the best people." (How would anyone know? And who
believes that crap anyway?)
You have to earn your customers' loyalty every day.
You have to give them VALUE to defeat lower price.
On the MDU's do you have a website for the tenants with blogs,
classifieds, photo album, video sharing, and announcements?
Do you have HOWTO's on tech gadgets like Linksys boxes, VoIP, iPods,
Or do you just offer internet and hope that people will use you because,
darn it, I'm a nice guy and I was here first?
Or do you give it away and live on slim or no margins?
Ford was here first and now they are so far behind the pack that they
Ford and GM made a couple of key mistakes:
1) They took their eye off the competition
2) They didn't take the competition seriously
3) Forgot to be remarkable
4) Forgot to be reliable
5) Lost Brand awareness
6) Lower price didn't win them market share
What does this translate for you?
Do you have a Brand?
Do you have a Value Proposition?
Do you have a Target Market? Not everyone, but a true, defined market
that you can specialize in and be an expert in?
How do you and your employees reply when someone says that cable/DSl is
Your competition keeps "improving" its brand by adding services and
People only know how bad the duopoly is during an outage or problem;
People only know how good you are when there is a problem or they switch.
Back to the branding really quick.
If you advertise, is it a clear, consistent message across all mediums -
radio, TV, paper, website, inserts, flyers, email?
Or is it one thing now and one thing later?
That's fine for Brand Awareness, but that doesn't drill a message into
TerraNova - Key's Largo's finest Internet Provider
Clear, concise, to the point.
Now if he started advertising TerraNova Microsoft Gold Partner on week 2
and TerraNova webhosting and design on week 3 and TerraNova gets Cisco
Authorized Refurbed Reseller on week 4. Your audience has no idea what
you do or who you are.
Back to the competition.
VZ and BST have been playing catch-up. They used price to kill
competition and gain back lost market share.
They add "value" by selling backup, anti-virus, security, wlan, etc.
Stuff that you were providing but not telling anyone.
It looks like they are ahead of the wave.
To counter that you need a newsletter, website and bill insert to
communicate with your customers and prospects.
You need to keep your current customers; get sticky; and turn them into
raving fans who will evangelize your service for you.
That brings us back to the community website with blogs, et al.
The unfortunate thing is that all this is work. Daily, boring, grinding
We are long past the day that a yellow page ad, a billboard, a radio ad
is going to work.
The Big Boys have to do that. Coke knows that the minute their ad buys
drop, so does their market share.
You have to be more creative.
Lots of ways to do it.
Sorry for rambling so much.
Tom DeReggi wrote:
That's where the argument hits the road.
Since BB Provider choice is so limited, you will end up with a walled
garden like Prodigy.
But would that really be that bad for the ISP industry? (I don't
believe I jsut said that :-)
Going back to the old days where an ISP was both the content provider
connection provider (ie: CompuServe and original AOL).
Wouldn't it create more demand for Internet End Users to start
demanding options for more connectivity providers?
Right now, I do not think we (ISPs) get the supprot from Consumers
that we deserve. We've forced lower prices in the industry, we've
given our lives to deliver options to consumers, but way to many of
consumers are satisfied accepting the lowest cost alternative from the
monopolies with little interest to support the indepent ISP in
return. If their content was restricted, they would demand more
provider options. Possibly even have the need to subscribe to more
than one ISP provider simultaneously. And wouldn' it prevent content
monopolies, if ISPs had the choice to force other content providers to
have the option to serve consumers. Meaning that even if Google was
the best, they wouldn't wipe out every one else, because the other
content providers could find smaller ISPs to subsidize them, after
they blocked Google. The truth is I think its scarry when ANY company
has to large a lock on the consumers or to large a market share,
wether it be a content provider or a connectivity provider. How do
you force Consumers to spread out their business between multiple
providers, for the over all benefit of competition in the market place?
WISPA Wireless List: email@example.com