1. MARKET SITUATION
In the evolution towards a mature SOHO market all players have followed more or less the same strategy as their residential counterparts: bundling, specifically bundling more products and services into one combined SOHO-offer (1P (P = product), 2P, 3P or 4P per client).
Although a better economic climate raises the total number of independents in Flanders to new heights, the telco market shows strong inertia. Generating massive flux seems a mission impossible for all players. The lack of diversification among the bundle-offering contributes to little movement on the market.
Each year, Telenet's business division 'buys' its growth in marketing share and extra revenues at a higher price. Telenet Business had to break this unsustainable pattern of slow growth at increasing marketing cost to realize a long-awaited breakthrough on the SOHO market. On top of that, at the end of 2016, Telenet Group started rationalizing marketing costs and decided to lock Telenet Business' maximum marketing budget for 2017 at the same level as the marketing budget of 2016. In consequence, Telenet Business was confronted with a simple yet major challenge: how can the business division of Telenet grow without spending more money on marketing?
Instead of shouting their message, Telenet Business decided to truly start acting as a business partner. Everything came from a simple believe. Namely, that investing in the business of their clients, by really helping them with digitization, will accelerate growth for Telenet Business.
Telenet Business set a new standard for B2B marketing in the telecom category by going back to the essence of what marketing is really about: creating added value by genuinely understanding and fulfilling the needs of its customers. Moreover, this case is not just about creating value for Telenet Business, but for society as a whole. By helping SOHOs to grow their digital business, the Digital Acceleration contributed to solving a real problem in Flemish society: getting small business owners on the digital highway.
So how did Telenet Business become a true business partner?
Thanks to 'The Digital Acceleration' a switch was made from branded selling to a branded service for all SOHOs, not just Telenet Business clients. It was the first project in which the 'real business partner-promise' spoke louder than words by actually investing in the business of SOHOs. Telenet Business commits itself to helping self-employed and small businesses to turn digital challenges into opportunities. With the help of 15 freelance digital experts, Telenet Business started organizing free and personalized, one-to-one coaching sessions for entrepreneurs in Flanders. Exemplary cases were transformed in video content by the experts. All content was placed on the 'Digital Acceleration'-website, YouTube page and other channels. The sessions were also taken to a bigger audience in one-to-many sessions for all members of organizations such as Bouwunie, Horeca Vlaanderen, Transport&Logistiek etc...
Secondly, Telenet Business transformed its whole marketing-communication approach. Instead of making products the hero, small business owners became the main protagonists. This was brought to live by the new baseline "With a little help from Telenet Business". Because, in essence, small business owners themselves, and not connectivity products, are the real hero's that make the difference in business success. Time had come to acknowledge that the impact of better connectivity is rather limited, and that Telenet Business can only offer a little help in order to do better business. That's why, Telenet Business decided to make the entrepreneurs the center point of all its communication.
Telenet Business more than doubled its market share growth in 2017 versus 2016 thanks to innovative marketing thinking. Consequently, Telenet Business achieved a significant increase in its marketing effectiveness. For the first time in three years it is growing the business, without spending more on marketing versus the previous year. On the contrary, it is making significant savings in total marketing spent while still growing in market share.
In one sentence: in 2017 Telenet Business is doing more with less, and isn't that what efficiency is all about?
Oh, and one more thing…
Due to the great results, Telenet Business decided to make 'The Digital Acceleration' no longer a one-off marketing project but an integral part of its marketing proposition. That's why, the initiative will be expanded significantly to more entrepreneurs and experts across a wider geographical area in Belgium for at least the coming three years.