What is Quadplay?
Quadplay is the merging of landline, mobile, broadband and television services into a single customer offering. 2014 saw several big mergers and acquisitions in the UK Media and Telco market as companies look to position themselves as multimedia providers. Virgin Media took the lead and other providers have quickly joined the market. Analysts have been eager to highlight concerns around competition, customer service and agility to change, while also referencing the large returns Quadplay could bring. This article explores why companies are pursuing Quadplay, what the key dangers are and our 5 top tips on how to overcome them.
Why are companies pursuing Quadplay?
- Customer Experience – Customers now demand content anytime, anywhere. The UK leads the world in mobile data usage and with growth in internet and mobile traffic continuing unabated Quadplay can be seen as ‘giving the customer what they want.’ Customer experience (CX) improvements can augment Quadplay to drive sustainable top-line revenue growth. CX improvements create a virtuous circle, increasing customer engagement and brand loyalty, leading to greater consumption across all platforms. It is this virtuous circle that has led to executives targeting Quadplay. . Results like AT&T achieved in 2014 when revenue from its U-verse service grew 28% after improvements in the TV and Internet service provider (ISP) product experiences show what is possible.
- Data – There are potential big payoffs for the providers if they can capture the whole customer spend as the ‘me too’ effect takes hold. Quad play providers will have a wealth of customer data, giving them incredible insight into people’s viewing and browsing habits and blowing open the door to upselling and engaging customers in more high-value services
- Revenue – Customers who take up the Quadplay offer will be consuming a wider range of services, across multiple channels. More services means more revenue per customer. As customers become more valuable and Quadplay companies have a richer source of data about that customer, they should be able to offer them tailored services and offers to keep them happy and engaged
- Relevance – Previously these companies have been caught out by the fast paced moves of the market (mobile data, online streaming/Netflix, etc.) There is no sign that the pace of the market will slow, or become any more predictable, and so Quadplay could be seen as their response to this, trying to ensure whichever way the market moves, they’re covered and will continue to remain relevant
Who are the key players?
Comcast is leading the way in the US. However, analysts predict only 13% of households will take a Quadplay package by 2016. The US shows that results will not be achieved overnight
What are the Dangers?
- Customers will expect increased levels of service from Quadplay companies, meaning these companies will need to truly integrate, focus on delivering what the customer wants and ensuring a positive customer interactions across all platforms. Evidence showing, 15% of bundled television customers, looked to switch in 2014 compared to 8% of regular customers shows that if companies don’t deliver what consumers want they will have little hesitation in leaving
- The integration challenge (culture, people, technology). Merging these huge companies will provide big organisational challenges, both from the perspective of aligning organisation structures (roles and teams), with the associated loss of people, and combining company cultures. Companies will face a challenge in determining which of the merged entities solutions to use, or whether to define their own, new solution, while managing the uncertainty of their workforce
- Specialists will have lower overheads and can focus their investment on one thing , rather than spreading it across many things (Fibre-optics, 4G network, etc.), giving them the ability to be more agile and responsive. In a market where the focus is always on the latest technology, this could be key
5 TOP TIPS TO MAKE QUAD PLAY SUCCESSFUL:
- Have a clear vision – Quadplay will create huge companies, with ‘fingers in many pies’ – the danger here is that some will stretch too far and become average at everything. Get clarity of purpose and a strong vision of what you will excel at and what you will use partners & suppliers to provide. Media & Telco companies have for many years lead the way in ‘unbundling’ their business models, you need to ensure you don’t recreate the confusion that existed before
- Build Lean Processes – These mergers will create some of the UK’s biggest companies; this has traditionally tended to lead to stagnation. You need to make sure you are set up to evolve and adapt with customers. As customer expectations dynamically increase in line with technology innovations so do company operations. Companies need to quickly identify the key processes and look to make sure these processes are lean and able to be adjusted at pace.
- Map End-to-End Customer Experience – Customer Experience will become more difficult to track as customers interact with products across previously separate companies and expect the same standard of customer journey. We have found the only way to effectively create a coherent customer experience is to map the process end-to-end. This allows you to identify pain points and create a unified experience for the customer.
- Use Data Wisely – Maximise the increase in customer data in everything your company does. There are many opportunities to unlock revenue from targeted and tailored advertising and tailored customer content, but this is reliant upon companies using their data in a very mature manner. Personalisation can cause customers to get annoyed if they receive poorly timed or targeted advertising.
- One EVP – An Employee Value Proposition or “EVP” is the promise an organisation makes to its people as an employer: “If you come and work for me, this is what it’ll look like.” A merger has to result in both an external customer facing brand and an internal employee facing brand. Investment in a People Strategy will result in “one team” faster, which is ready and willing to make your Quadplay venture a success.
 Ofcom Consumer Experience Report 2014