May 10, 2023 by Naylor Gray

The Subscriber Experience Was Top of Mind at Marketer Summit 2023


Naylor Gray

Area Vice President Content and Brand, Calix


The simplest questions sometimes have the most nuanced answers. The second annual Calix Marketer Summit in Austin, Texas asked such a question. And marketers around the country came together to discuss their ideas and put their own spin on the answer.

The question: How do Broadband Services Providers (BSPs) optimize the subscriber experience?

Everyone agreed at the beginning of the session that subscriber experience starts with a fanatical focus on every subscriber, a commitment to community, and alignment between communication and support. But this was simply a recommitment to the tenants of subscriber experience marketers defined in 2022. How would this year’s summit further the cause?

This year’s keynote speaker Ann Handley began to answer that question by showing how influential brand voice is on the subscriber experience and how marketers need to be intentional in their approach to language.

Ann is Chief Marketing Officer at MarketingProfs, an award-winning keynote speaker, and the author of the Wall Street Journal best-selling book Everybody Writes. She kicked off the half-day event with an engaging discussion on brand voice and its meaningful impact on how customers or subscribers view a brand. In an ecosystem where most people engage with marketing online, your brand voice needs to have a perspective, it needs to be well thought out, and above all it should be human.

After her Keynote address, Ann walked marketers through a brand voice exercise to get the creative juices flowing. Marketers answered simple questions that helped define their marketing point of view and how that POV translates into brand voice. Web copy, email, and social media posts often build a subscriber’s initial view of what kind of experience they should expect from a BSP. And so the first half of the Marketer Summit was spent understanding how voice, tone, and language act as the first impression in the subscriber experience.

Best Practices Panel Focuses on Subscriber Innovation

Next up, Calix’s Bridget Watkins, Area Vice President of Customer Success, led a panel discussion on driving subscriber engagement through innovation. Elizabeth Brown, Marketing Manager at PTCI spoke at length about the transition from “your parent’s internet provider” to a new strategy that can woo younger subscribers, including events for gamers and more targeted marketing opportunities. Stuart Gregory of Bulloch Solutions spoke about the need to engage subscribers in new and innovative ways. Bulloch Solutions provides educational information that they distribute from a fully functioning ice cream truck and the company invites the community to their office to experience new technology firsthand while enjoying ice cream. Finally, Russell Kacer, President of YK Communications discussed ways to make every step of the subscriber experience easier for their members. Russel focused on ways that YK Communications builds community involvement, including an ice cream truck of their own!

Redefining Subscriber Experience Again and Again

Last year, we asked BSPs to define the subscriber experience. This year, we went deeper, with a workshop that centered on enhancing those principles with new technologies that can replace traditional bundles in favor of connected products. During a time when fiber builds and new competitors are knocking on a BSP’s door, marketers can offer managed services that deepen and enhance the subscriber relationship and reduce churn.

By the end of the half-day summit, it was clear that while the simple, yet complex question of how to optimize the subscriber experience is different for marketers depending on their community, many of the foundations do not change. Offer innovative solutions that meet the demands of your subscribers, leverage personalized digital marketing to offer those products to the right person at the right time, and deepen your ties to the community you serve.

Be on the lookout for the next iteration of Calix’s Defining the Subscriber Experience eBook soon. The marketers at this year’s summit helped us enhance last year’s grassroots attempt at creating an industry-wide definition of the subscriber experience. This year we are going back to the drawing board to understand how marketers can lead the change and what new technologies can get them there.

Can’t wait until the new eBook arrives? Download the 2022 Subscriber Experience eBook today