BMMA News – November 2014

Download a PDF version.

This BMMA News is courtesy of your marketing committee. New committee members are always welcome; please contact Janet Sczech (Committee Chair) to get involved.

Topics in this issue:

  • Support our New Member Initiative
  • BMMA in your 2015 Budget
  • BMMA 2015 Best in Class Awards
  • BMMA “Peer Question” Emails
  • Benchmarking Report Update
  • Research Committee Update
  • Upcoming BMMA Events
  • BMMA 2014 Annual Meeting Highlights
  • BMMA 2014 Fall Workshop Highlights 

Support our New Member Initiative

As a BMMA member, you gain value by having more members. Please help us do so by sharing our NEW MEMBER promotion with at least one potential new member, and include your personal endorsement of the associationHere’s the promo

– FREE membership for Q4 2014 ($1125 value)
– $500 discount off 2015 membership dues

Helpful links:

Current new member promotion BMMA overview
BMMA member testimonials 
BMMA membership application                

BMMA in your 2015 Budget

As most of you are planning your 2015 budgets, we remind you that the BMMA will work with you on flexible budgeting solutions. This includes our ability to invoice in advance for any anticipated 2015 BMMA expenses (dues, estimated travel, etc.) to help you lock in funds and avoid budget restraints later in the year.

Remember to budget for:

·       2015 membership dues. Invoices for 2015 membership dues will be emailed on January 2. Visit our website for information on our current dues structure. If you would like to be invoiced early to use up existing budget, notify Lisa LaBorde.

·       Spring Events 
March 16 – 20, 2015 – Atlantic Beach, FL (Jacksonville)
These events will be co-located to minimize your travel expenses.

BMMA 2015 Annual Meeting (March 17)
Free for up to two* individuals from each member company

* “Small provider” memberships include 1 registration to the Annual Meeting. 
   Additional attendees may register for $500.

ResearchFirst IPTV Symposium ** (March 16)
US $495 (includes early registration and BMMA member discounts)

ResearchFirst Broadband Services 2015 Seminar ** (March 18 – 20)
US $1,295 (includes early registration and BMMA member discounts)

** An additional package discount for those attending both RFI events will be provided.

·       BMMA Fall Workshop. Registration is typically $500. Ask us about invoicing in advance to avoid year-end travel restrictions.

·       Sponsorships opportunities. Contact Ellis Hill to discuss options.

BMMA 2015 Best in Class Marketing Awards

Nominations for the BMMA 2015 Best in Class Marketing awards are now being accepted, with submissions due December 1, 2014. First introduced in 2008, these awards recognize individuals or teams that demonstrate broadband marketing innovation, excellence or partnership. Recipients will be presented awards at the 2015 Annual Meeting and will be asked to present their programs.


Marketing: awarded to one provider and one vendor member that best display innovation or excellence in broadband marketing. This may cover a leading edge product or service development, practice or operation; or marketing as it relates to execution.

Marketing Partnership: awarded to two or more members that have successfully implemented a marketing program to serve the needs of their mutual customers.

These awards bring value to our members through:

·       Peer recognition (within the BMMA and one’s own organization)

·       Ability to claim your product/service “Award Winning” in the public domain

·       Provide the opportunity to other members to learn more about industry best practices

“Peer Question” Emails

In the last year, a new form of communication between provider members has taken off: peer question emails. An individual from a member company sends us (BMMA staff) a question they’d like answered quickly about a broadband service or product issue. We shoot the question out to all current voting provider members with the option of responding only to us (to maintain anonymity), to all, or directly to the individual who posed the question.

Since we began tracking this in August of 2013, we’ve had 22 such inquiries covering:  1G service; Wireless STB (set top box); IPTV Content Management Tools / Software; HS Usage; Email; Revenue Share Opportunity; POTS Splitters; Online Backup / Storage; Business Side Of Things; Metrics; TV Ad Insertions; Customer Email Management; PTS; Can Be Reach (CBR) Number; On Honoring Promotions; Affinity Program Question; Automated Emails; Remote Access For Help Desk Agents​; Professional or Self Install For VDSL; New ​HSI Modem ​Authentication​​; TV STB Trends; Bill C-11 (Canada) o​r SOPA (US)​

Send your Peer Questions to Lisa LaBorde and enjoy quick responses from your peers.

Benchmarking Report Update

Thirteen (13) member providers participated in our Q1 – 2 2014 semi-annual Benchmarking Report this round – what a great turn out!! Reports were recently distributed to participating companies, and highlights were presented at the Fall Workshop. The BMMA philosophy – “you get what you give” – means that detailed results are shared only with participating companies. We encourage ALL of our service provider members to participate in order to get the full benefit from this report.

The report covers broadband penetration (total, by technology and by speed), churn (total, controllable, uncontrollable, non-pay disconnects), ARPU and video and bundle penetration.

A Benchmarking Committee conference call will be scheduled soon to review potential changes to the report including the addition of some operational data, and the addition of penetration to include serviceable areas rather than total market. If you are interested in joining this or future calls to drive the direction of this report, contactStan Romero.

Research Committee Update

Last year your Board of Directors requested that we form a Research Committee to help drive and oversee market research that will be delivered to the membership at no charge as an additional benefit of membership.  The research will consist of two types:  1] Internal – where we continue to poll the BMMA membership on a variety of issues as we have done in the past (e.g. modems, WiFi, etc.); and 2] External – we will survey outside of the membership (consumers, SMB, etc.) on broadband service related issues. Results will be shared with participating companies and at our face-to-face meetings. 

Andrew Edwards of Tbaytel agreed to chair the committee, and the following individuals have volunteered to participate: Les Kirchman, Actiontec; Mark MacMurtry, Bell Aliant; Colleen Camicia, Frontier Communications; John Chenoweth, Global Mentoring Solutions; Craig Hern, Harrisonville Telephone; Myra Pacubas, Hawaiian Telcom; Dianna Linton, MTS; and Jack Smith, North State. Let us know if you would like to join this committee.

Accomplishments: Last April, the research committee polled the BMMA membership to determine potential topics of interest for research. This summer the Research Committee launched a BMMA member survey covering the following issues: non-pay, broadband retention and packages/upgrades. Results highlights were presented at the Fall Workshop in Montreal, and full reports were distributed to participating companies. 

Over the Top (OTT) also bubbled to the top as a topic of interest. The committee agreed this will involve an online consumer survey. It may also involve “internal” research to determine what the membership can share from studies they have already done.

Next steps. The committee met recently to determine how to develop a survey on OTT, resulting in actionable items for the membership. Several committee members are thrilled about the topic as they are in the process of determining their OTT offers. The group brainstormed an extensive list of potential topics and ultimately is interested in knowing what consumers will want from their provider…how the provider can add value.  Next, the committee will narrow the scope of this research and then will submit potential questions to be included in the consumer survey.

Upcoming BMMA Events

BMMA 2015 Annual Meeting

March 17, 2015 – Atlantic Beach, FL (Jacksonville)
Co-located with ResearchFirst’s IPTV Symposium (March 16) and Broadband Services 2015 seminar (March 18 – 20)
Details will be posted in the coming weeks

Monthly Hot Topic Calls

November 4: TELUS on Putting Customers First at the First Step
November 18: Ericsson on TV & Media 2014 Consumer Insights
December – TBD
January 27 – Executives Perspectives on Broadband for 2015

We thank the following companies for leading call discussions this year:

Bell Canada
Frontier Communications
Dapper Goat Social Media
SynacorIf you have an interest in leading a discussion or recommending a topic, please let us know.

BMMA 2014 Annual Meeting Highlights

The BMMA Annual Meeting was held last March in Scottsdale, AZ followed by the ResearchFirst Broadband Services 2014 seminar. The entire week was a terrific success! Co-Chair Matt Apps of TDS Telecom kicked off the meeting with an introduction to the BMMA and a warm welcome to all new participants.

We’d like to thank our Broadband Seminar SponsorsActiontec, Alcatel-Lucent, Calix, and Synacor.  Through your support we are able to continue bringing these quality events to the membership.

Board of Directors Election

Please join us in congratulating our 2014-2015 Board of Directors:

Matt Apps, TDS Telecom 
Dianna Linton, MTS
Jack Yovanovich, Frontier
Communications (Treasurer)
Andrew Edwards, Tbaytel
Michael Gondar, Actiontec Electronics 
Andres Tovar, Cincinnati Bell 
Tom Zanoli, GVTC (Director)

BMMA 2014 Best in Class Marketing Awards

Each year the BMMA recognizes teams and companies that demonstrate innovation or excellence in marketing broadband services. Ellis Hill, BMMA Executive Director, presented our 2014 Best-in-Class Awards to MTS (Provider Award) and Actiontec (Vendor Award). Below is a brief summary of each. Details may be found in our PR Web press release.

MTS: “MyRemote”

MyRemote is a presentation framework application for the Mediaroom IPTV platform, which allows a TV customer to customize certain buttons on their remote control to perform different functions that greatly enhance the TV experience, especially for those with disabilities. One of the main drivers to enhance and offer this service to our customers was the need to provide a simple way for users to find and toggle on/off accessibility features like Described Video Service (DVS) and Closed Captioning (CC). Remote Control Customizer is a client side application that resides on the Set Top Box and is configurable on an individual set top box basis, so every set top box can be customized with a different combination of functions by the end‐user.

Actiontec: Whole Home Wireless Portfolio Campaign

Actiontec launched their WCB3000 MoCA-based network extender. However, instead of simply marketing this as a single product, Actiontec chose to emphasize the overall concept of Whole Home Wireless with the goal to extend the home wireless network to areas of the home that previously didn’t have a strong wireless signal or a signal at all. Actiontec also launched a free companion app for Android and iOS (Apple) devices which allows consumers to check the wireless signal in any area of the home, identify dead spots, and determine where to install their extender to get the best coverage in their home.

Roundtable Sessions

Andrew Edwards (Tbaytel) led our Social Media roundtable. He kicked off the discussion by doing a read-out of the Social Media member survey results that the BMMA launched to its membership in February. The survey covered which social media members are engaged in currently, how they are used, staffing, successes and challenges. Most companies agree that it is difficult to gain revenue from these avenues but that they are important for connecting with customers and creating brand awareness. Measuring the effectiveness of campaigns is a key challenge.

In the Product Profitability and Strategy session, Matt Apps (TDS Telecom) raised a number of issues for some great product roadmap discussions covering: separate DSL & fiber products and strategies; separate TV data and non-TV data products; limiting data speeds allowed to be bundled with TV; aggressive, bundle TV-data pricing; and PON products.

BMMA 2014 Fall Workshop Highlights

The BMMA Fall Workshop was held this September in Montreal, QC, followed by the ResearchFirst IPTV Fall Symposium. Both were well-attended, successful events in a wonderful, unique location! Co-Chair Dianna Linton of MTS kicked off the Workshop with an introduction to the BMMA and a warm welcome to all new participants.

We thank our Fall Workshop Sponsors – Radialpoint and Calix – for supporting the BMMA and this event.  We also thank our IPTV Symposium SponsorsAlcatel-Lucent, Calix, Ericsson and ZyXEL.  Through your support we are able to continue bringing these quality events to the membership.

Roundtable Sessions

We had amazing topics to discuss at the Fall Workshop covering three Research Committee readouts (non-pay, broadband retention and packages/upgrades), a broadband collateral review, successful marketing campaigns, gig deployment updates and home network management.

Brian Ragsdale of Windstream kicked off the session with a read-out of the BMMA member survey results covering Broadband Packages and Upgrades. There was a lot of discussion around which HSI may be offered with which bundles. For instance, campaigns encouraging customers to add video may involve promotions with a higher speed broadband bundle. For several, they are finding customers would rather pay more for stand-alone than to take a bundle with voice.

No one from the audience had an OTT – broadband bundle although several are exploring this. One company without an IPTV product had partnered with Roku two years earlier to offer a streaming service bundle with Hulu, but are no longer doing this; Hulu is not a full TV solution. Someone shared that Rogers and Shaw are partnering to launch a Netflix-type OTT service called Shomi, which will launch in November. As content owners, they will have a clear advantage.

Ellis Hill, BMMA Executive Director, led the member survey results read-out covering Non-pay. Of reporting companies, Non-pay Churn average 19% of Total Churn, a significant amount. Sample initiatives that companies have implemented to improve non-pay or slow pay include: credit card payment required; shorten treatment process with consistent steps; reduce treatment dollar thresholds to catch customers sooner; charge deposits to new customers; raise late payment fees; “soft disconnect.”

Tal Schierau of Radialpoint did a fantastic job of leading our discussion and member survey results read-out covering Effective Broadband Retention Tactics.  The survey covered measuring the customer experience; reasons for disconnects; use and effectiveness of various retention tools; loyalty programs; and the save desk. In terms of measuring the customer experience, most companies use phone and/or email surveys, and a surprising result was that only 4 of 10 companies are using Net Promoter Score. According to providers who responded to the survey, the top three customer satisfaction drivers fell into price or value, customer service or tech support, followed by product performance. The top dissatisfaction driver was clearly product performance.

Around 20 retention tools were reviewed and scored according to their effectiveness. All eleven responding companies found the “menu of credits” somewhat or very effective. Another surprising result was that only 3 of the 11 companies currently have a “save desk”; however, all three graded them  “Very effective.”

Kelly Welch of Cincinnati Bell and Jack Yovanovich of Frontier Communications led our collateral review and advertising panel. They both shared extensive examples of their printed materials, online and broadcast (radio and TV).

In her presentation covering Marketing Campaigns, Shelley Forester of MTS did a great job presenting an overview of considerations for effective marketing campaigns (advertising must be interruptive; stick with a likeable style; less is more – keep your message simple; content must be adaptive; and credibility is a must) followed by a case study of their “No surprises” campaign (we won’t surprise you with 
Internet overage charges) and finally a discussion of how effective the particular campaign was.

Matt Apps of TDS Telecom shared details of their 1Gbps x 400Mbps service launch, Fiberville, at the end of May 2014 in Hollis, New Hampshire. It was only available with TDS TV and included unlimited remote PC support and professional installation. While Hollis is a small community, TDS was able to claim first with Gig service in New Hampshire and did press around this with Calix and Actiontec.

Geoff Burke of Calix shared a larger picture of Gig launches through out North America, including who has launched or has plans to, the consumer adoption curve and demand. Gigabit services have transitioned from a novelty to a full-blown phenomenon. Winning strategies and best practices have already emerged – but each needs to be adapted to the market landscape faced by each service provider. This session explored the latest lessons from the field, and frameworks for successful deployment. 

Ellis Hill, BMMA Executive Director, shared results of a recent study covering Home Network Management Capabilities. The study included responses from 12 telco providers covering their current capabilities and interest in having a “dashboard” that allows customers to view and distinguish the devices on their home network, and to view/track/manage internet speed and usage.

Your BMMA Marketing Committee,

Janet Sczech, GVTC – Committee Chair
Allison Brausen, Calix
Brett Cousins, SaskTel 
Dianna Linton, MTS Allstream
Greg Owens, Alcatel-Lucent
Jack Smith, North State Communications
David Thompson, ZyXEL
Tom Zanoli, GVTC 
Lisa LaBorde, BMMA 

More To Explore