Calix and the art of great marketing

Earlier this week, Calix hosted a multi-day virtual marketing session for its broadband service providers. Following on from his successful face-to-face session in Las Vegas a few weeks ago, Calix’s ConneXions lectures over the past few years have been a premier starter and model on how to run a project well. think. event for distribution partners.

Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Calix is ​​a cloud, software platforms, systems and services company focused on communications service providers. The company recently reported revenue of $ 172.23 million in the third quarter of 2021, up 14.43% from the third quarter of 2020. The bulk of Calix’s customers are broad-based service providers. Relatively small band (BSP) with 250,000 subscribers or less. This detail on Calix’s core set of customers is vital as it provides ample rationale for why “turnkey” marketing is essential to its overall mission.

This particular three-day virtual session focused on these topics: Marketing, Engineering and Operations, and Customer Support. Technical training was also provided at the end of the first two days, an obvious necessity given the plethora of announcements of hardware and service offers that Calix has unveiled in recent weeks. While it is impossible to recap everything that was discussed at this event, I will let brevity prevail and focus on the notable areas that jumped out at me.

Circles of Success Sessions Set the Benchmark for Calix Channel Partners to Reach

One of the most remarkable aspects of the ConneXions conferences is that the sessions have an intense ‘learning by doing’ orientation. ConneXions ‘Circle of Success’ sessions bring Calix customers together to share best practices and user recommendations. While Calix can facilitate presentations, attendees propel this element of event. The topics that were explored during these sessions focused on Marketing Acquisition Strategies, Proven Customer Retention Strategies, KPI Reports (provided by Calix Support Cloud), Network Architecture Considerations and ( most important in my opinion), understanding how to deliver the ultimate Wi-Fi. Fi experience to customers using Calix Gigaspire, U6 and U5 router solutions.

In the opening session, a great example of “best practices” came from Calix partner Nate Palmer, Vice President of Marketing at CentraCom. This telecommunications company serves the central, northern and western parts of Utah. Palmer has convincingly demonstrated how CentraCom was able to market Calix solutions to add a personal touch to its subscriber base to improve Net Promoter Scores (NPS), repair and retain customers and improve its overall competitiveness.

Additional presentations on “Circles of Success” were conducted by Triangle Communications and Jade Communications, with similar stories of how Calix solutions have been able to streamline and optimize their marketing engagements with subscribers. The consistency and consistency of these partners’ presentations speaks volumes about Calix’s overall go-to-market strategy, which focuses on personalization. One size does not usually fit everyone in the broadband space, and Calix partners know that.

The Potential of “Managed Wi-Fi” to Eliminate the Direct Threat to Consumers

Last week, Calix launched new capability for its broadband support providers that could be a game-changer and improve the “Managed Wi-Fi” value proposition for subscribers.

Specifically, Calix now offers its BSPs the ability to measure an overall “experience” score through its CommandIQ application, which allows subscribers to manage and control every facet of a subscriber’s connected home experience.

Why is this so important? This new “experience” score implements Calix’s vision that explicit quantified data can convince subscribers to upgrade their broadband speeds and wireless equipment for an uncompromising home connectivity experience. This capability will have enormous appeal so that even the smallest BSP can win against traditional direct-to-consumer competitors such as Netgear, Eero and Plume.

It is important to know that this capability is only possible because it is enabled by Calix Support Cloud and allows the BSP to understand the entire subscriber experience, from the actual premises of the subscriber to the access periphery. This offering has broad implications for homes and small businesses, as it provides insights that reduce technician deployments, increase customer “first call” resolution rates, and detect new cross-selling opportunities.

Congratulations to Calix’s marketing team for partnering with comedian Gerry Dee

While I don’t usually comment on the specific entertainment personalities a company uses to promote their brand, I will make an exception with Calix’s engagement with comedian Gerry Dee, with whom the company announced a marketing relationship last September. .

A comedian who reminds the late great actor Charles Grodin and nerdish father figure of Ty Burrell on the smash hit Modern family; Dee is the perfect personality to provide discreet commentary on the challenges families face every day in their connected homes. Gerry Dee’s Calix selection is brilliant, in my opinion, because customers don’t want to be disparaged.

More than just a spokesperson, Calix has produced several humorous spots that talk about the challenges 21st century families face and how Calix can make the wireless lifestyle in today’s households safer, more productive, reliable and secure. I suspect this is the start of a long-term relationship because Dee does a great job capturing the joys (and frustrations) of today’s connected lifestyle at home. Humor wins.

Some final thoughts

One of the things that struck me during the opening speech was Calix CMO Matt Collins’ introspective comments on the state of the communications industry. Noting that marketing is a huge challenge for every participant in the communications space, Collins was transparent in commenting that the industry overall has some of the lowest Net Promoter Scores in the tech space. This kind of humility is rare in the tech space, and Calix knows a lot more work needs to be done to improve subscriber satisfaction and create upselling opportunities for BSPs.

Robust, secure, and flawless home wireless connectivity is far too elusive for many homeowners and small businesses. At the same time, technological “ingredients” like WiFi 6 (and more recently Wi-Fi 6E) and mesh networks promise to unlock the potential of new usage models in an immersive way without compromising security. As I noted last week, the recent infrastructure legislation passed last week has a significant broadband component that should create additional tailwinds for the entire communications space.

Events like ConneXions underscore Calix’s commitment to the BSP community by helping them increase the value of their customer engagements and deliver exceptional customer experiences. As stated at the beginning of this article, most of Calix’s BSP customers are small and do not have abundant marketing resources. Essential “turnkey” marketing programs are an essential and necessary part of Calix’s commitment to its partners. This latest ConneXions event is positive proof that the company’s mission continues unabated.

Mark Vena is the president and senior analyst at Silicon Valley-based SmartTech Research. As a tech industry veteran for over 25 years, Mark covers a variety of consumer technology topics including PCs, smartphones, smart home, connected health, security, PC and console games, and streaming entertainment solutions. Mark has held marketing and sales leadership roles at Compaq, Dell, Alienware, Synaptics, Sling Media and Neato Robotics. Mark has appeared on CNBC, NBC News, ABC News, Business Today, The Discovery Channel, and other media. Mark’s analysis and comments have been posted on and other well-known news and research sites. His comments on the mainstream tech space have appeared repeatedly in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, TechNewsWorld, and other news publications.

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