Michael Weening, to my amazement, has delivered for Calix's modestly sized customers a marketing program with the sophistication I would expect from a giant company. In some ways, the Calix suite is even better than Verizon's.
Michael introduced Calix's Revenue Edge in a perfectly timed presentation that reminded me of Steve Jobs. The only thing missing was the sweater. For every key point, he brought on stage a client who was able to confirm the results.
Calix's program emphasizes extraordinary service for each customer, including a new Wi-Fi 6e router with effective cloud management.
The Revenue Edge is a deep suite of marketing tools, which uses the extraordinary information that phone companies have on their customers. It integrates commercially available demographic data from nearly every US household to target prospects for service and upgrades. (Yes, there are privacy issues raised.)
At the Calix ConneXions event in Las Vegas, Weening brought to the stage customer after customer who talked about the results. Calix issued press releases claiming:
- CityWest Engagement Rates for Email Marketing Soar 262%
- CTC Telecom Cuts Call Volumes by 37 Percent and Truck Rolls by 34 Percent
- SCTelcom Achieves 30 Percent Reduction in Truck Rolls and Trouble Tickets
- Net Promoter Score for United Communications of +72
The company made a dozen more claims like that. I would normally ignore this as puffery, but I heard it directly from many Calix customers.
I'm not a marketing expert so normally would not write a story like this. I also got to see the software and marketing materials. It was all integrated with Facebook & Mailchimp and put the demographic information to excellent use. To the extent I can judge, it lived up to the hype.
The customers were enthusiastic, although some grumbled about the fees. These companies are not usually big spenders on marketing. I'm confident they will get value for money.
After the event, Michael wrote me
Our mission goes well beyond building a network. Our pivot over the last 4 years has been all around partnering so that even the smallest BSP can act like they are a “giant” … competing and winning. Which they are doing, thanks to all of the investment they are making in their fiber networks and the solutions that ride on top of that. That strategy starts with helping them understand their subscribers and markets (marketing cloud supported by our customer success teams) … running their call centers to provide the best experience and getting amazing solutions into the market FAST.
It is an exciting time as 11+ years of pursuing a vision and ~$1B in investment has finally come to fruition … now it gets really exciting!
... If you are speaking about insights, having come from a big telco, I would say this better. The problem in big companies is that marketing segmentation and analysis of data is usually run by teams of data scientists. Data scientists protect access to that data as they demand that everyone come to them to gain insight on where to run a market campaign, or where to build the next fiber network
What marketing cloud has done is democratize the access to the data and make it so that a line marketer, in a small BSP, can do that work with points and click (supported by the marketing customer success team), thereby launching campaigns fast in an automated way thanks to the integration into MailChimp, Facebook and HubSpot.
If you are talking about the content that they can customize with their brand …. Matt and Scott come from IBM, D&B, and other world class companies and are – in essence – becoming the marketing support teams for our customers, allowing us to create amazing content and campaigns for Instagram, Facebook or what you saw with Gerry Dee – our move into viral videos for them to brand. It allows a small rural BSP to look like they Verizon .. that absolutely is our goal … although in this case, as I mentioned in the beginning, it ultimately so they have the bullets in their gun to take on Amazon EERO and Google Wifi and anyone else who is trying to put their brand in the home, and stop them COLD.
I've known Michael for several years as a smart, very competent executive. At this event, he emerged as one of the very best in the worldwide industry.
Important note: Calix paid for our hotel & meals at the event