Cable took notice when Glenn Britt predicted that at least one-third of Time Warner Cable’s revenue eventually would come from its business clients—an observation he made at last year’s CTAM Summit in Boston. That prediction left a strong impression, and inspired us to partner with Cisco Systems and CTAM to launch a Commercial Services Case Study Competition. A panel of judges from the industry picked the most effective marketing and sales efforts and technology solutions that MSOs and industry suppliers are using to increase their share of the commercial market. There’s one dominant theme that links the winners of this year’s competition: At some point in the last few years, each of the winning companies figured out that they need to pay more attention to the commercial marketplace. Clearly, that message is getting down to the front lines, as evidenced by the following case-study winners. Cable Company, Marketing & Sales Excellence FIRST PLACE
Cox Business Services
Scott Petre, VP
Building the Kan-ed Backbone, Breaking the Cable TV Stereotype SBC was in the catbird seat in 2003 when the Kansas legislature approved funding for one of its educational initiatives, Kan-ed. The telco was about to cut an exclusive deal that would have the state lease circuits from SBC—and only SBC—for the Kan-ed program. Then Cox Business Services initiated an intense lobbying campaign that ended in April 2004 when 10 vendors getting contracts to provide the Kan-ed backbone, rather than just SBC. Cox wound up securing contracts worth $2.52 million that accounted for about 30% of Kan-ed’s backbone. SECOND PLACE
Cox Business Services
Paul A. Phillips, mktg. dir.
Cox Business Services Wires Las Vegas Health Care Industry As an industry, health care was growing quickly in Las Vegas, with the number of health-care-related businesses tripling between 2002 and 2005. The challenge for Cox Business Services was to find a way to tap into that market. Cox targeted Steinberg Diagnostic, one of the largest health-care companies in Las Vegas, and worked to sell its data services to it. After cutting that deal, Cox started a full-scale testimonial campaign, which brought it a healthy share of Las Vegas’ health-care market. The results speak for themselves: Cox grew its share of the city’s health-care data market share from 9% to 50-plus% in two years. HONORABLE MENTION
Wes Bower, sr. account manager
Winning High-Profile, High-Revenue Customers With Fiber It pays to be a good corporate neighbor. SusCom proved that point in York County, Pa., this January, when it was bidding against a nonprofit competitor that used federal and state grants to offer Internet access and wide-area network service well below market value. In its pitch to four school districts in the area, SusCom stressed service, quality and stability. It hammered home the fact that it is a local company with a long history in the community. And it took advantage of its relationships with the county’s decision makers. The result: SusCom won three of the four districts to which it sent proposals, securing contracts worth $369,000. HONORABLE MENTION
Comcast New England
Sean Flynn, commercial segment manager
Commercial High-Speed Internet Subscriber Growth Realizing that its high-speed Internet marketing to businesses was too reactive, Comcast New England aggressively marketed its 2004 launch of Comcast Workplace. It found success with its direct-mail pitches, which included an "Introduction to Workplace" letter sent to 125,000 prospects and a marketing piece that was shaped like a laptop computer. The system credited these two pieces with increasing response rates by 14% over previous campaigns. It ended 2004 with 5,811 new connects, which more than doubled its customer base and accounted for 38% of the region’s growth. Cable Company, Technology Solutions FIRST PLACE
Carol Rosebrough, VP/GM
Rural America: Saving Lives and Fighting Crime With High-Speed Data A few years ago, if you wanted commercial data services in rural Pennsylvania, you called Verizon. In the northern Pennsylvania market in which it operates, SusCom had no commercial data contracts. That changed when the system committed $30 million to upgrade its network. SusCom got its first break when it convinced Lycoming County to become a client (at $48,780/year) instead of trying to set up its own network. Then the dominoes began to fall: contracts with Susquehanna Health System ($200,000/year) and Penn College ($90,000/year) followed. SusCom’s commercial data income has grown from nothing in 2000 to more than $1 million per year today. SECOND PLACE
Time Warner Cable Kansas City
Steve Tulloh, VP, commercial services
Smart Watch Time Warner Cable took action when 12 people lost their lives during flash flooding in Kansas City in 1998. In the span of 30 days, it set up a flood monitoring system that uses remote cameras, streaming video and Road Runner Business Class modems to monitor water levels. The best result: No lives have been lost at any of the potential flooding sites monitored by the cameras. Time Warner Cable’s fringe benefit: a public relations bonanza. The Kansas City Star ran an editorial praising Time Warner Cable, and the city government ran a story on Smart Watch on a public-access channel. Industry Supplier, Marketing & Sales Excellence FIRST PLACE
Narad Networks, Chuck Kaplan, COO
Advance/Newhouse, Andre Martineau, commercial services director
Stratsoft, Michael Tattersall, CEO
Correlating Commercial Customers, Cable Plant and Economics in the Mid-Market Cable operators and industry vendors believe commercial services will account for one-third of total revenue in coming years. But how much do they really know about the market? Narad Networks, Advance/Newhouse and Stratsoft completed a study in three mid-sized markets (Atlanta, Raleigh-Durham, N.C., and Birmingham, Ala.) that produced several surprising results. For example, the study concludes that cable operators needs to practice "surgical marketing" to target high-value customers. That’s because commercial markets are densely clustered, usually in city centers: 25% of nodes serve more than 70% of commercial business. Should operators get this part right, free cash flow can be predicted by early in the second year, the study says. SECOND PLACE
Nick at Nite
Richard Cornish, dir., Laurel Wichert, sr. mgr.
Nick at Nite & African-Americans Nick at Nite had a problem. More than 29% of its adult 18-to-49 audience in the fourth quarter was African-American. But its on-air advertising did not reflect that trend. Nick at Nite devised an advertising/PR strategy to increase its share of advertisers targeting African-Americans, eventually closing deals with Burger King, Western Union, New York Life, Cendant, Red Lobster, State Farm and Mitsubishi. In addition, it will be one of the few cable networks listed in the Cable TV Bureau’s 2005 African-American guide; last year, only BET was included. Industry Supplier, Technology Solutions FIRST PLACE
Todd McCrum, commercial services director
Hargray Comm.
Ed Heuck, VP, technology
T1 Delivery Over HFC Plant A family-owned telecom company that holds PCS licenses in South Carolina and Georgia, Hargray was paying other telecom companies for T1 circuits to operate cell sites that extended beyond its cable franchises. The company approached Scientific-Atlanta to provide a solution that would allow it to deliver the T1 circuits over its own HFC plant. The results are impressive. This summer, Hargray will have replaced 16 T1 circuits from other telecom companies, saving it $7,200 per month. Hargray signed on two T1 voice customers, bringing in $1,050 per month.

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