The tangled web of consumer broadband marketing
best broadband deals
In the last 10 days I have had approximately fifteen emails from affiliate relationship managers of the big 5 ISPs with notices of changes to their marketing offers. 6 from TalkTalk, 1 from Sky, 4 from BT and 2 from Virgin. Plusnet haven’t been in touch for 3 weeks or so. I’ve also had one or two generic affiliate window ones.
The headlines from these offers include:
fibre flash sale
unlimited infinity 1 offer
BT Sports Assist Campaign
12 months free Broadband Unlimited without TV plus a £100 M&S or Tesco e-voucher, pre-paid MasterCard or a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4
Unlimited Superfast Broadband £5 a Month For 18 Months + Free Connection
£75 and £125 Sainsbury’s Vouchers and a £5 Unlimited Broadband
Get a £100 voucher when you take out one of these bundles
Bewildering really innit? These offers tend to change most weeks. They have to to some extent because I think the Advertising Standards Authority otherwise looks at them as the norm – a price crash isn’t a price crash if it is always that price.
These offers make the cost of a broadband line to be deceptively low. You have to look at the price beyond the initial offer or contract stage. This isn’t to say that that subsequent price isn’t competitive. The inducements offered to switch broadband provider are however very tempting.
Last week if you signed up with Sky on an initial 12 month contract you could get a broadband package with unlimited data usage for only £14.18 inc line rental – taking into consideration their cashback deal. Similarly BT Ininity 1 (unlimited) was £19.24 inc line rental when including their Sainsburys £125 voucher offer.
Brutal. These companies have to have deep pockets and huge marketing budgets.
The upshot to the consumer is that they have a bewildering complexity of offers to try and choose from. I guess much of the marketing budget is spend trying to be the “last broadband provider that the consumer saw on TV” on the premise that whichever was the one seen last will be fresher in the mind and more likely to be chosen.
The best broadband deals however do change with bewildering regularity and it makes sense for someone making a switch to bide their time, decide what sort of incentive they want (cash, Sainsburys vouchers etc) and wait for the great offer to return.
All good stuff – it’s how sites such as broadbandrating.com et al make their money.
Oh and btw caveat emptor – it isn’t always just about price is it? Eh?
PS it’s a full time job keeping track of these deals.