TDS Telecommunications: Competitive Analysis

Part
01
of five
Part
01

TDS Telecommunications: Competitive Analysis 1

All requested details regarding TDS Telecommunications including its overview, digital marketing tactics, offers, messaging, differentiators, what customers like, and target market has been filled in rows 3-10 of the attached spreadsheet.

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

  • TDS Telecommunications was found in 1969 in Madison. It delivers TV entertainment, phone services, and high-speed internet services to its customers.
  • The company offers free installation of internet service along with a 30-day money-back guarantee to its new customers. Additionally, it also provides a 2-year price lock offer for new customers.
  • TDS Telecommunications is using social media, and blogs as their digital marketing tactic to connect with its customers, readers and prospects. They share their latest news, tips, and information using the two unique, and distinct blogs called TDS Connect Blog and TDS Connect Business Blog.
  • TDS Telecommunications holds a 54% market share in broadband alone and a 33% market share of video.
  • The company has been mentioned several times in Forbes lists, including Best Employers for Women, America's Best Employers For Diversity, and Best Large Employers.
  • Through its marketing campaigns, TDS is sending a message for the installation of high-speed fiber-optic especially to villagers and also conveying that TDS is committed for providing its customers' superior speed internet both now and in the future.
  • The company's target market is rural, suburban, and metropolitan communities across the US including California, and others.
  • Its subscriber base size is more than 1.2 million along with 2,80,000 customers with TV, broadband, and phone service. The target market is a demographic mix of upper-middle-class residents.
  • The customers of TDS Telecom like the customer service, speed, and ability to connect to several devices to the internet at a time.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

We commenced our research by reviewing the official website of TDS Telecommunications including its press releases, and other sections along with several company analysis databases like Forbes, Stop The Cap, and Telecompetitor. Through this research, we were able to gather all requested information regarding the company overview, its digital marketing tactics, messages through campaigns, differentiators, target market and offers. To determine what customers like about TDS Telecommunications, we analyzed review sites and gathered the most common reviews to infer customer likings. After searching through all the above databases, we came to know that the target market is a demographic mix of upper-middle-class residents. However, there was no information available regarding age, education, and other demographic terms.

We then attempted to look for research publications, surveys, and case studies conducted on the company. We were hoping to get any relevant data on the consumer base of the company including gender, age or similar. Following the same, we searched through several research databases including Research Gate, Research Guides, Marketwatch, and others. Unfortunately, none of the databases focused on the consumer base and yielded non-relevant information since the majority of the databases focused on the financial market of the company.

As a last resort, we looked for the annual reports, investor relations reports of the company hoping to get any commentary or statistic on the customer base relating to the demographics. Unfortunately, no report mentioned any relevant insight. We also searched through several private companies' databases including Forbes, Statista, Investopedia, and others but either we got the same results as encountered previously or non-relevant information.
Part
02
of five
Part
02

TDS Telecommunications: Competitive Analysis 2

CenturyLink has about 4.8 million broadband subscribers, as of December 2018. The requested details on CenturyLink have been entered into rows three through ten of column D of the attached spreadsheet.

CENTURY LINK

  • With its headquarters situated in Monroe, Louisiana, CenturyLink operates as a provider of distinct communication services, cloud and security solutions, and network services to the US and international market. Currently, the company employs approximately 55,000 full-time workers.
  • As reported by Yahoo Finance, CenturyLink has about 4.8 million broadband subscribers, as of December 2018.
  • CenturyLink has several offerings for its customers, including a package containing download speeds of 20 Mbps, 80 Mbps, and 100 Mbps for monthly prices of $50, $55, and $65. It equips its customers with 24/7 tech support and anti-virus protection. Also, CenturyLink has a package for phone, TV, and Internet services that costs $109.99 per month.
  • Regarding its digital marketing tactics, CenturyLink integrates social media, digital advertising, and social selling best practices, which involves their merchants becoming educators and guides to customers. The company's implementation of this digital marketing approach led to an 83% rise in digital engagement.
  • Through its marketing campaigns, CenturyLink emboldens individuals to take part in its digital transformation strategy.
  • What differentiates CenturyLink from its competitors is that it services over 60 different countries around the world and has operated within the communication and technology sector for over five decades.
  • CenturyLink's target market includes enterprises, residential users, and small to medium companies within the international market and the United States.

Research Strategy:

For this request, we leveraged information from business and news sites, such as TeleCompetitor and the company's official website. We consulted these sites as they offer comprehensive information about the company.
Part
03
of five
Part
03

TDS Telecommunications: Competitive Analysis 3

The requested details regarding Spectrum has been entered into rows 3-10, column E of the attached spreadsheet. A summary is provided below.

SPECTRUM

  • Spectrum, the brand name of Charter Communications, provides TV, internet and voice service.
  • Charter integrates technology and entertainment, facilitating communications which connects over 28 million residential and business customers in 41 states.
  • The company's target market is residential, small and medium business, and rural customers.
  • Spectrum offers its internet customers the opportunity to save up to 40% on their monthly bill on the purchase of Samsung Galaxy S10.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

We commenced our research by reviewing the official website of Spectrum including its press releases, and other sections along with several company analysis databases like Forbes, Adweek, and Telecompetitor. Through this research, we were able to gather all requested information regarding the company overview, its digital marketing tactics, messages through campaigns, differentiators, target market and offers. To determine what customers like about Spectrum, we analyzed review sites like Trustpilot and gathered the most common reviews to infer customer likings.

After searching through all the above databases, we came to know that the target market is a demographic mix of residential, small and medium business, and rural customers. However, there was no information available regarding age, education, and other demographic terms.
We then attempted to look for research publications, surveys, and case studies conducted on the company. We were hoping to get any relevant data on the consumer base of the company including gender, age or similar. Following the same, we searched through several research databases including Research Gate, Research Guides, Marketwatch, and others. Unfortunately, none of the databases focused on the consumer base and yielded non-relevant information. The majority of the databases focused on the financial market of the company.
Finally, we looked for the annual reports, investor relations reports of the company hoping to get any commentary or statistic on the customer base relating to the demographics. Unfortunately, no report mentioned any relevant insight. We also searched through several private companies' databases including Forbes, Statista, Investopedia, and others but either we got the same results as encountered previously or non-relevant information.




Part
04
of five
Part
04

TDS Telecommunications: Competitive Analysis 4

EarthLink is a major player in the United States Internet and Security Services industry and provides internet protocol infrastructure services to various medium and large enterprises with a mission to offer great customer experiences to its customers. All relevant information has been documented in column F, rows 3-10, of the attached spreadsheet.

EarthLink

  • Established in 1994, EarthLink is one of the leading providers of IP infrastructure and services to enterprises, medium and large businesses, and over 1.5 million American residents in the United States.
  • The company is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. EarthLink provides data security and privacy products and offers services such as premium email, web hosting, and internet access.
  • EarthLink sets itself apart from its customers through its offerings and quality of service. The company prides itself of earning the Fastest Internet Speeds award in 2019 by BroadBand Now. EarthLink is considered to be a market leader by offering its customers unlimited data, secure connections, and high-speed internet.
  • The company’s customer base includes internet users, web users, startups, companies of various sizes, and households that require internet access. Currently, the company provides internet services across 42 states and covers 14,303 zip codes with the largest coverage in New York, Texas, and California. According to Broadband Now, EarthLink DSL internet services are available to over 169.5 million Americans and the company’s fiber services are offered to over 22 million people in the United States.

Research Strategy:

To obtain the required information, we began our search by looking into the company's official website; press releases; social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn; media reports on websites such as Forbes, Telecompetitor, and the HuffingtonPost; and company profiler websites such as Bloomberg and Crunchbase. A thorough search through these channels provided us with the company's details such as offerings, benefits, digital marketing tactics, overall messaging, competitive advantage, and target market. We then looked into internet services review websites such as Broadband Now and TopTenReviews to analyze what EarthLink's customers say about the company. All relevant findings have been documented in column F of the attached spreadsheet.
Part
05
of five
Part
05

TDS Telecommunications: Competitive Analysis 5

DISH offers many benefits to customers, maintains an active presence on digital channels, and is very focused on customer service. All the requested information is included in the attached spreadsheet and listed below.

Findings

1. Overview

  • DISH Network provides satellite service through its satellite TV, interactive TV, and audio programming services.
  • The company is listed among the Fortune 250. DISH's annual revenue exceeds $13 billion.
  • According to the company, it's "the fourth-largest pay-TV provider."
  • DISH's programming offerings include the following networks and channels: Premium movie, specialty sports, international programming, regional cable, national cable, receiver systems, and local broadcast.

2. Coupons, Discounts, & Benefits

  • DISH offers a variety of benefits and discounts to customers, which are listed below.
  • DISH offers is a same-price guarantee for two years.
  • DISH offers "exclusive deals for activity duty military and veterans, first responders as well as customers aged 55 and older."
  • DISH is currently providing limited-time offers that include the channels NFL Network plus its Red Zone channel.
  • For select offerings, DISH gives an option for a $0 down payment.
  • DISH offers bundled packages that include internet plus TV for a reduced price.
  • Select TV packages are available, which include "free voice remote" and "Smart HD DVR."

3. Digital Marketing Tactics

  • Many of DISH's digital marketing tactics are implemented through social media, which include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
  • On Twitter, the vast majority of DISH's posts are short TV show clips and videos. Those video clips appear to be used for two main purposes: (1) For humor/entertainment and (2) To promote new/upcoming shows/events.
  • Another digital marketing tactic that DISH uses on Twitter is the use of consumer polls mainly about sporting events and TV shows, which then show the results. For example, one poll asked: "Will Auburn pick up the upset over Oregon in Jerry’s House tonight? Watch tonight on ABC at 7:30PM ET."
  • From our review, the posts on Facebook appeared to involve the same content as Twitter.
  • On Instagram, the vast majority of DISH's posts are videos as well.
  • Some of the videos on Instagram differ from those on Twitter, such as a focus on event highlights. For example, a few of the videos were daily highlights from a concert called Faster Horses 2019.
  • As with Twitter, DISH also uses humor as a digital marketing tactic on Instagram through its posts. An example of such a post states: "Anyone else ever think, 'Why does my dog care more about this show than I do?'"
  • Though DISH uploads videos to YouTube, it does so to a limited extent. From our review, it appears that between approximately five and 10 videos are posted each month, though sometimes less often.

4. Marketing Campaign Messaging

  • DISH recently shifted its marketing campaign messaging away from price and instead "focus[ed] on price" to 'develop a meaningful relationship with consumers.'"
  • DISH's overall brand platform is "Tuned In To You." That overall brand platform is still currently used on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • One example of a specific campaign that was part of the "Tuned In To You" platform was a general market one titled "Spokelistener" which aired on TV.
  • The messaging of the Spokelistener campaign communicated the benefits that DISH offers "to new and existing customers."
  • DISH is reportedly pursuing a Spokelistener 2.0 campaign and having a new campaign created that focuses on "small-town America" through a strong connection emotionally "that appeals to the unique values of small-town America."
  • The overall messaging communicated on YouTube, reflected in the page title, states: "Watch it all on the go." That title appears to reference the fact that YouTube is about watching videos.
  • The overall messaging communicated on Instagram, reflected in the page title, states: "TV, movies, sports — we love them all. And it’s another reason we’re Tuned In To You." That title appears to reference the "heart" button on Instagram which is used to like a post.

5. Competitive Advantages/Differentiato0rs

  • According to DISH, the company has "the most HD channels nationwide."
  • DISH offers 24/7 customer support online and by phone, which differs from many providers of cable TV that usually just provide weekday, online customer support.
  • DISH's DVR receiver, Hopper 3, is another competitive advantage for the company. Hopper 3 has been described as "truly an impressive device" and it can store "500 hours of HD video." That storage amounts to 833% more "and 250% greater than their biggest satellite provider DirecTV."
  • The company "offers over 270 international channels broadcast in 28 different languages making for the widest selection for any nationality."

6. Target Market

  • DISH's subscriber base size, as of the end of June 2019, amounted to "12.032 million pay-TV subscribers in the U.S."
  • The company's subscriber base for HBO is mainly situated in areas that are rural and have limited access to broadband.
  • DISH's coverage area spans the entire U.S., as the company has "customers in every U.S. Zip Code" and its "technicians [are] able to reach any home in the U.S."
  • Another aspect of DISH's target market pertains to decision makers for multiple dwelling units (developers and apartment owners), specifically with regard to its DISH Fiber video and WiFi offering.

7. What Customers Like

  • Customers really like DISH's customer service. That is demonstrated by the fact that in 2018, "DISH earned J.D. Power’s highest accolade: #1 in Overall Customer Satisfaction among all TV providers."
  • As another source stated, "DISH has excellent customer support and has won awards for their high level of consumer satisfaction in the past."
  • A DISH retailer listed the following five things about DISH that customers like: (1) The "variety of service contracts," (2) the savings over the long-term, (3) it's HD services, (4) the number of channels (over 200), and (5) the option to buy a receiver, instead of monthly lease like many companies do.

Your Research Team Applied the Following Strategy:

We compiled the above information about DISH by consulting its website and reading many articles about its services. We also reviewed its social media channels and analyzed the content there with regard to the company's digital marketing tactics. Some of the sources we used included The Tech Reviewer and Market Watch. Together, this research process provided us with all the information we sought in analyzing DISH's competitive advantages.
Sources
Sources

From Part 02
Quotes
  • "CenturyLink, Inc. provides various communications services to residential, business, wholesale, and governmental customers in the United States and internationally. The company operates in two segments, Business and Consumer."
  • "Further, the company offers voice services; voice over IP services; and managed services comprising network, hosting, cloud, and information technology services, as well as leases and subleases space in its office buildings, warehouses, and other properties. As of December 31, 2018, it served approximately 4.8 million broadband subscribers. CenturyLink, Inc. was founded in 1968 and is headquartered in Monroe, Louisiana."
Quotes
  • "Chris says that one of his biggest goals in leading digital transformation at CenturyLink is to help sellers become teachers and guides to buyers. Sellers have to understand their buyer’s journey and learn to provide resources they need in order to make buying decisions. On this episode, Chris explains the impact of social selling training his teams received from Vengreso to make them more effective at buyer engagement and through a digital first approach."
Quotes
  • "There are already speculation on Wall Street that CenturyLink might try to find a buyer for their rural networks. After looking at the problems experienced by Frontier and Fairpoint after buying rural telco copper networks one has to wonder if there is a buyer for these properties."
Quotes
  • "The consumer business saw a 1.3% year-over-year and a 2.7% increase over the previous quarter in broadband revenues. While the company lost subscribers purchasing speeds below 20 Mbps, it gained subscribers purchasing higher-speed services."