Love for Life
For many years, the Tata Sky set-top box was part of our lives. An extension of the TV, it delighted us with news, movies, cricket matches, live coverage of events, and much more. For the 2 TVs we had in our house, we paid about Rs 10,000 a year. And then one fine day, Tata Sky was gone. Just like that. I would have thought that they would have noticed. They didn’t.
In the years that I was a customer, all I got from them was the monthly statement mail. Towards the end of the subscription period, I would get a warning on the TV – I don’t recollect getting an email requesting me to continue. Nothing else in between. And after I didn’t renew, nothing even after that. It was like I didn’t exist and it made no difference to them whether I was a customer or not. Of course, Tata Sky has millions of subscribers – more than 20 million. So my presence and absence probably made no difference to them.
The question is: what could Tata Sky have done to retain me? It is not that the Rs 10,000 would have made much of a difference, and not everything on Tata Sky is available on OTT platforms. Imagine if Tata Sky could have become a habit in my life – like my morning cereal. They could have sent me recos about movies and shows, weekend schedules with the best offerings, suggested content on NatGeo or Discovery, and so much more. All it would have cost them is about Rs 15 a year to keep my relationship active and alive. Maybe the ‘friendship’ would have at least made me think before deciding to walk away. Maybe, just maybe, I would have continued.
Tata Sky is not unique of course. As I explained earlier, most brands are not thinking creatively about Attention Messaging. They are not using the identity info they have to build relationships. This is where the mindset shift needs to happen in the top leadership and marketing departments of brands. Discussing churn numbers and increasing acquisition budgets is not the solution. Stopping churn in its tracks (“stop loss”) by leveraging the ideas of Attention Messaging is.
It is time for Attention Messaging to have a seat at the table – just like Adtech and Martech. Attention Messaging is what will power tomorrow’s brands. It is just sending push messages by the dozen to inboxes; it is about thinking about attention, habits, deeper relationships and friendships. Financial rewards and gamification are just the icing that brings in an excitement in the thrill – like surprise gifting that we do to family and friends we care for. Attention Messaging must become the next C-suite agenda. Done right, it can nurture a lifetime of love between brands and customers – but only if it works both ways.