Magazine article Marketing

Campaign Casebook: Broadband for Scotland

Magazine article Marketing

Campaign Casebook: Broadband for Scotland

Article excerpt

Scottish Enterprise boosted broadband access by coupling education with community action.

With such a large rural population, telecom operators had been relatively slow to provide broadband in Scotland. This was hampering the development of the country's economy, which made raising levels of coverage a priority.

Instead of offering operators incentives to convert their exchanges, the Scottish Executive decided a more efficient way of boosting coverage would be for consumers and businesses to register their interest with operators. A campaign to spur this highlighted broadband's tangible advantages.

Faster download speed was identified as a key attraction, dramatised by a piece of research that showed that 20% of Scots had suffered 'internet rage' while waiting for a download from dial-up access. This theme was developed in PR activity, and picked up again in TV work, using the slogan 'Don't get mad, get broadband'.

The campaign tapped into a seam of local pride by publicising the number of registrations that individual towns and villages needed to muster to get broadband in their area. 'In many cases this meant getting a huge percentage of people signed up - perhaps 150 out of a village of 300 residents,' says Alan McIntyre, marketing director at Scottish Enterprise, the body charged with carrying out the programme. 'The message was very much don't let your village miss out on the benefits,' he adds.

Questions answered

Local 'advocates' were helped by field marketing teams, who distributed leaflets and were deployed in supermarkets or health centres to answer questions and sign people up.

E-business demonstration centres were set up to show broadband off to businesses. Once people had experienced its speed, they often registered their interest on the spot.

Central to the campaign's success was the perception of impartiality.

Although consumers and business people were directed to their local operator to register their interest in broadband, all communications emphasised the generic benefits of the technology. There was no particular brand message, but plenty of answers were offered about the more confusing aspects of the technology. A website (www.broadbandforscotland.co.uk) was particularly important in this task, as was a 16-page magazine distributed as a supplement to newspapers.

McIntyre believes the campaign's real success lay in producing high coverage levels so quickly. …

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