sly : marketing

How to market high speed internet service providers


I have two questions for you. I am sure you can provide me with at least one answer, and I want you to be part of the discussion, that’s the reason why I am writing this post. I am looking for answers.

The intro

Don’t look at the headline. Act like you’ve forgotten what this post is really about. Let’s start from scratch.

I am talking about marketing a service you’re using every single day, but like me, you’re probably not thinking about it, it’s just part of what you do. It didn’t use to be like that. It used to be hard.

I still remember the noise when I tried to connect, and I remember being rejected again and again. And I remember the daily frustration. If you’re young, you probably have no idea what I’m talking about.

The What

Today, more or less all companies offering the service are the same. And, they need to be different. Think about it, it doesn’t matter what line of business we’re in, it all comes down to that we need to be different. A business is more than just a logo, if the only thing that separates us from our competition is the white stripes in the logo, the future for the company might not be as bright after all.

The Who

If I have a product suitable for all people, it still doesn’t make sense to target everybody. There’s no such thing. Even Coca-Cola is using storytellingΒ to target different people. Marketing is about building relationships and trust, and the only way to do this is by separating the who and the what, and do different things for different people.

The past

I’m about to reveal the service and the questions. But first…

When we used to order it, it was all about the price and the speed. That’s it. We all wanted it to be cheap, and we wanted it to be lightning fast.

I’m talking about broadband, high speed internet service providers.

The present

I believe that price and speed is not an issue anymore. There are other things that they need to focus on.

They need to go for the edges and explore the limits. They need to find things that are just not done in their business, and start doing it.

But, I’d love a discussion, and I know that you have an opinion (we all use it all the time):

23 responses to “How to market high speed internet service providers”

  1. Carolyn says:

    Speed, cost and reliability are all people care about with Internet service providers. Let’s face it, they don’t come in different colors so what can distinguish one from another?

    In England we had a very bad Internet service provider. They were not only slow and unreliable, they charged you money when you called customer service to report an outage. Needless to say, you were kept on hold quite a while when you called them!

    If I were to do an ad, I would probably try to use humor comparing a bad ISP with my super-duper great one. Perhaps showing someone who proudly finished a crossword puzzle but then show that he did it in the time it took an Internet page to load.

    • I remember a few really bad Internet service providers in Norway as well, now it seems that all are more or less identical. They are all fairly good. And speed, cost and reliability are more or less exactly the same as well. And that’s why I have this question.

      I am looking for a purple cow, and humor is a great way to stand out from the crowd, and then add some personality into company.

      Thanks a lot πŸ™‚

  2. Bill Dorman says:

    Our main options are hard wired phone line and cable. While both are ‘ok’ it is still somewhat like a monopoly and they don’t go out of their way to be outstanding. They talk like they do, but when the rubber hits the road, they leave a lot to be desired at times. Therefore, you can flip back and forth but it really ends up being about the same.

    Like Carolyn said, reliability and speed will sell me.

    • Hey Bill,

      I don’t have many options either, but to me it seems that speed and reliability is more or less identical for the various companies. So I’m thinking that it all comes down to which company stands out from the crowd? I need to hustle to find a solution to this one πŸ™‚

  3. Jens,

    The remarkable might come from exceptional customer service, but like Carolyn said Speed and Reliability are what people care about. With providers, I have little choice between the phone and cable companies and when it gets down to it, it’s often difficult to see the differences, really. But if we were talking about smaller companies or companies repackaging these services it would be all about telling a great story based on their people and instilling a customer service ethic like nobody else. You know? Where the employees are actually proud to work where they do and it shows and they become brand evangelists.

    • Hey Craig,

      That’s very interesting. I have been thinking a lot about how I can help them stand out from the crowd, and exceptional customer service is one thing that I have been thinking about, but I am looking for something more visible, and what you’re saying about making the story – that’s something I’m currently looking into.

      Thanks a lot.

    • Ruth Zive says:

      I agree with Craig – customer service can definitely be a differentiator. These days, people are infuriated by automated phone messages, standardized customer service protocols, and a general lack of heart.r

      • Hey Ruth,

        I am working with an ISP at the moment, and I just love doing the content marketing strategy to help them stand out from the crowd. Customer service will be part of it, and I am working on a way to help them show it and let people experience it not just one-to-one, but understand how others are experiencing it via testimonials .

  4. gabrielle says:

    Actually, it’s good that we have competition here in our place. The company are trying so hard to make their effective as possible otherwise; people will leave the other and try the other one. And of course, they have this offer–it’s quite fast at a very affordable price. πŸ™‚

    • Hi Gabrielle,

      Thank you so much for the feedback.

      Competition is great, and I have been testing various services because of the competition as well, and now I ended up with one that has a lot of speed πŸ™‚

  5. Sergio Felix says:

    Hey Jens,

    Well my man, we just have two Internet Service Providers in town, both are very bad and I normally select the one with the best speed, service and price.

    Sadly, this is not always won by the same company, I think we have changed services about four or five times already.

    So how to make them any better?

    That’s a very tough question… deliver a damn good service and provide awesome technical support and the rest will just come along.


    • Hey Sergio,

      I remember when it was all bad here as well, but now fortunately things have changed and the speed is fairly high and the service is not that bad. To me, the service is probably the way to get ahead of the competition. I always love the personal touch and people contacting me to ask me how things are going and if it’s something they can do for me to make it a better experience πŸ™‚

      I hope you’ll have a better experience with your ISP’s in your town πŸ™‚

  6. Kathi says:

    Your helpful tips seem to be very important for me, I’m a newbie to the blogger scene and honestly I’ve just started my blog about my hobbies, but I have made some resolutions: I want to be recognized as a tech blogger. These tips could help me reaching my goals as soon as possible, thanks for sharing this useful information! I really like your point on the importance of pic sharing, there is so much to learn for me about the world of blogging and search engines… but I think that the most important thing is instead of all the special marketing tricks and strategies – the content. The images you share. And the way you share them. Pinterest and Facebook are the best solutions for that, I think.

  7. Jude says:

    Speed and Consistency is what people aim for. Having a high speed internet is useless when the packet your receive is not consistent. It is most likely the same as having a low speed internet. It happens alot to me.

  8. Hah! Love this, Jens! What a great post and an invitation to creativity.

    I agree they all look the same, but could look different – possibly by catering to activities:

    Like an ISP that cater to the incessant packet-sending of gamers. [ISP Players]
    Or an ISP that catered to the heavy burst torrenting of pirates. [GimmeInternet]
    Or and ISP that catered to the low overall GB but need-for-speed of bloggers. [NinjaNet ISP]

  9. Born27 says:

    Competition in the market can be more advantageous to every consumer, because they can choose as many as what every company offers. Like in internet provider company, other offers an internet service alone, but others offer free internet plus free WiFi service or free cable television service.

  10. gab says:

    these tips are brilliant, they will definataely help me as im new to all this, (finally quit the mainstream office job) hopefully these tips will help me get there quicker, ive got soooo much to learn but at least im doing something im happy with now

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