EE goes it alone with direct marketing programmes & ditches affiliates
EE who are my mobile service provider have announced the closure of their EE home broadband affiliate programme. This means that they are likely to disappear from most comparison websites as there will be no incentive to push their products1. We will also be ditching them on Broadbandrating.com. Whilst we have a neutral policy on who we push – we let the data decide – we do want the ability to earn commission from sales generated through our site. They had already pulled the plug on any TV related commissions. These are the most lucrative with most ISP affiliate deals.
Broadbandrating.com in part uses Social Media Sentiment Analysis to decide who is the best provider of the moment. EE, with only around 750k subscribers is the smallest of the ISPs we monitor. In practice they had very few people tweeting about their broadband services which is likely to be a reflection of the general level of interest in the product.
Add to this the fact that EE’s Twitter account is unable to support any enquiry regarding broadband (they have been very useful to me re mobile) and direct you at an email address. It’s very poor. We are told that the decision to pull the plug is based on a “commercial decision … due to budget constraints”. Suggests cash could be tight at EE. This communications market is brutal and needs lots of free dosh to keep bringing in new subscribers whose loyalty by and large has to be bought.
To me this all points to the EE brand disappearing post BT acquisition, at least in respect of broadband. It’s such a weak proposition. The mobile play is a different kettle of fish.
I don’t think that network operators can lead with mobile if they are trying to sell broadband. Makes you wonder what the O2/3 team and Vodafone plans might be. I can only see TalkTalk, Virgin Media and BT in the game and TalkTalk have a bit of spending to do before they can really be players. More likely that they will be bought, assuming they have the appetite for that.
1 We will be launching business broadband services on broadbandrating.com during 2015. Not many business broadband providers participate in affiliate marketing schemes but this will not stop us pushing their services. We assume that there will be other means of generating cash