Data-Based Marketing and AP Capacity Management for ISPs

Data-based marketing webinar recap blog header

Preseem and Ping Marketing Webinar Recap

We recently co-hosted a webinar with Evan Galvin, CEO of Ping Marketing, to discuss how regional operators can manage access point capacity and use data to add more subscribers and grow their business.

Along with his marketing expertise, Evan brings tons of experience as a WISP operator and former owner of XL Broadband in the Chicago area. After selling his WISP, Evan founded Ping Marketing as an ISP growth agency that helps with lead generation, digital, social, consulting, and more. During the webinar, Evan and Gerrit Nagelhout, CEO of Preseem, covered a variety of topics, including:

  • Understanding AP Capacity and its impact on subscribers
  • How to find undersubscribed APs and target those areas for sales and marketing
  • How to fix capacity issues on overloaded APs
  • Demand generation and marketing tactics for ISPs

Read on for a recap of the session, or jump straight in and watch the full webinar here.

Access Points and How They Affect ROI

Gerrit began the webinar with an overview of Preseem’s Quality of Experience (QoE) platform and its evolution from traffic optimization to a tool that provides proactive management of the entire network, with benefits for the whole organization and its subscribers. Some of the problems that Preseem helps solve and that Gerrit spoke to include:

  • Identifying network bottlenecks, backhaul issues, Access Point or equipment problems
  • Getting to the ‘why’ of any issues that are occurring, e.g. which CPEs are causing issues, is it an RF issue or in-home Wi-Fi, etc.
  • Providing data to help sales and marketing identify specific areas where new subscribers can be added

Gerrit then showed how the status of Access Points is color-coded in Preseem to show where capacity is available or where the AP is oversubscribed and in need of attention and action.

Graphic showing access point status colors in Preseem and what they mean

He also pointed out that, for those Access Points that are in the yellow or red band, Preseem’s new Automatic Access Point Capacity Management feature can help. We call this feature the ‘easy button’ for AP capacity management because it automatically controls bandwidth to ensure subscribers get a great experience, even during peak times. You just set it and forget it.

Gerrit also showed how Preseem’s AP scores help your Access Network Operations team answer questions like:

  • Which APs are delivering a poor experience?
  • Which CPEs need to be improved to free up airtime and add capacity?
  • What APs have poor RF conditions?
  • Which APs can (or can’t) handle more subscribers?

Low Latency Means Happier Subscribers

Next, Gerrit chatted about how overloaded Access Points lead to a poor subscriber experience. This happens when bandwidth usage on an AP is pushed to the point that it crosses a threshold where latency increases and ‘good put’ declines.

Because the AP is taking in more data than it can transmit, packet buffering occurs and this is what causes high latency. As a result, the customer experience is affected negatively, and your support team starts seeing more complaints. Again, Preseem’s Automatic Access Point Capacity Management feature can help with this immediately.

Automatic AP Capacity Management is the solution to access point congestion

Find out more about this feature and how it can help ISP sales and marketing teams hyper-target areas for growth and sync up better with your network operations crew.

Gerrit also spoke about Preseem’s subscriber-level and AP-level shaping capabilities. Subscriber shapers optimize the experience when a plan speed is reached, while AP shaping effectively reduces the subscriber plan speed to ensure APs don’t get congested.

The Benefits of Business Intelligence

Evan then took over and spoke about how business intelligence tools like Preseem can help regional operators make data-based decisions to help forecast for the future and grow the business. He also mentioned the importance of audience segmentation to help personalize your messaging, e.g. you might approach marketing to a mobile home park differently than an MDU or new subdivision. As well, Evan spoke about how data can help your financial planning strategy and boost your customer satisfaction scores.

For any ISP that’s looking to grow, Evan recommends a five-step approach: collecting data from all sources (e.g. Facebook, Google), understanding what the data is showing, establishing goals, creating a go-to-market strategy, and finally executing your plan. As an example, Evan showed how data from Preseem can be turned into a business intelligence resource.

Example of data-based approach to marketing for ISPs

In the case shown above, Evan explained how knowing the capacity of each access point in your network can help you create a model for future growth. If you know how many subscribers you can add, then you can work out how long it’ll take you to reach that capacity and how much revenue you’ll earn. With this knowledge, you can then plan out how many techs you’ll need to hire, what new equipment you’ll require, etc.

Marketing Tactics for ISP Growth

Evan said he recommends marketing to your entire service area, rather than focusing on just one tower. This helps you see where the demand really is within your territory. It’s also helpful to market to adjacent areas so that you can find nearby hot spots for potential growth.

Collaboration between your sales, marketing, and network teams is crucial to setting your operation up for success. Tools like Preseem can be used to unite these teams. For example, by knowing where capacity or demand opportunities exist, you can then target those specific areas for marketing and infrastructure upgrades. This helps maximize your ROI instead of using a scattershot approach.

Evan also provided advice on segmenting your audience, reconnecting with previous leads, sweetening your referral program, and other targeted marketing tactics that you can use to grow within a specific area. Tried-and-true methods like yard signs, door hangers, mailers, and highlighting your status as a local company are also effective ways to increase awareness and get new business. For broader campaigns, digital advertising campaigns on Google and social media platforms are a great place to generate leads at a low cost.

Example of data-based approach to marketing for ISPs

Every touchpoint, including seeing your branded van driving through the neighborhood, helps keep your company in the minds of potential customers when they’re thinking of changing providers. Once you have customers in the door, communication and follow-ups are important to keep your subscribers happy and build ongoing loyalty.

Evan said that the most important step in executing your marketing plan is executive buy-in—your campaign is unlikely to succeed unless everyone is on the same page. For example, the marketing team should let the sales team know where they’re advertising so that they can be prepared for a potential surge in leads.

One final tip from Evan: When you’re launching a new site or have a site with the capacity to add more customers, make sure to take a video showing people where you are and letting them know that you’re providing service to their area. Evan said that this kind of personal and localized message can be “such a game-changer” and will dramatically increase awareness locally.

Watch the full webinar, including the Q&A with the hosts below. For more marketing insights from ISP experts, read the recap of our recent Best Practices for Success webinar.

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