This blog is part of CSG’s “What’s Your End Game” series, focused on best practices for developing a successful digital content strategy.
Sit in any meeting, or worse – at the dinner table, and you are surrounded by a bevy of devices. The sheer volume of devices, coupled with their capabilities, create enormous pressure to provide compelling services across those devices. What’s your end game for providing a compelling content experience across devices? How will you create a consistent brand experience, no matter which device a consumer chooses to use?
Devices –and the footprint they create – are how communications service providers reach consumers. Even in the home, where Pay TV service providers have consistently dominated, there are new (and cheap) IP connected set top boxes that bring an array of options. Today, that footprint extends far beyond the bounds of the home, and reaches all the way to somewhere far more personal – our pockets. In year’s past, consumers relied on service providers to outfit them with a shiny new device (commonly a set top box) to interact with their service. That new device provided the latest technology and endless possibilities. However, in today’s ever-changing digital world, that shine has worn a bit and consumers now crave control far more than the thrill of having something new. That desire for control makes reaching the ever-expanding device footprint and providing a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategy vitally important for service providers in the digital age.
Providing a BYOD strategy is vital
Supporting a vast device footprint can be a costly proposition, both in terms of time and resources. By understanding the devices that consumers use most readily, service providers will save time and money. But how do you know what devices are most important? Look no further than what your consumers are already using. According to a digital consumer survey, 89% of consumers stream long form video on a connected device. Since mobile devices are so readily available, it’s no wonder why we are seeing such staggering numbers. So, with such a potentially costly endeavor, can service providers see a return on investment? In many cases, the revenue given up could outweigh the time, effort and cost incurred for creating those device experiences.
Service providers often wonder whether it’s best to rollout device support iteratively or in one big bang. They must ask themselves, is there a value in providing device ubiquity all at once? If yes – does it come at a cost? One survey revealed that 76 percent of participants would stop using a video streaming service if issues occurred several times. It’s not enough to just make video content available for streaming, the real value to the consumer comes from what you offer that keeps them coming back to your brand for the next episode. Ask yourself – Is your experience easier to navigate than others? Do you offer content packages that include a wide range of Internet TV services?
Delivering a Compelling Customer Experience
Widely across the communications and entertainment industry, service providers know that consumers want a customized service, but what does customized service really mean? In the past, offering a personalized customer experience meant delivering subscription offerings to a single head of household account holder. In today’s digital era, service must meet individuals within a household wherever they are, across multiple devices. The digital transformation has caused “personalization” to take on a whole new meaning – evolving it into one of the main competitive differentiators between service providers in today’s increasingly crowded and innovative market. With access to streaming, video, premium and live content at their fingertips – consumers want their providers to recommend what content, and device, to choose from – as a start. However, customization of service is more than just recommending what movie to watch next, based on what a consumer has watched previously.
True customization requires fresh thinking about how to create an experience that is tailored to each consumer’s unique interests, devices and usage — and how to deliver it while still maintaining a return on investment.
The upside to a BYOD strategy
With hardware topping the investment list over the past several years, service providers may ask: “What’s the big upside to be gained?” The answer is simple, with consumers bringing their own devices, cost to service providers around inventory management and installation go down drastically. So, the impact is twofold – consumers have device control and funds are freed up for providers to invest in serving consumers through these devices.
Even as content consumption patterns shift away from the 10-foot experience provided through a traditional set-top box, Pay TV service providers still top the list of content sources for consumers. Creating a BYOD strategy and expanding your device footprint are an end game that not only helps providers hold on to those existing consumers, but offers multiple ways to attract new subscribers, even those who may have already “cut the cord”.
We’ll discover how to attract and retain cord-nevers in the next “What’s Your End Game” blog.