Nailed It: DMNews speaks with Phil Bellaria, VP of retention and loyalty marketing at Charter Communications Inc.

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Nailed It: DMNews speaks with Phil Bellaria, VP of retention and loyalty marketing at Charter Commun
Nailed It: DMNews speaks with Phil Bellaria, VP of retention and loyalty marketing at Charter Commun

 

Q

Live It with Charter targeted high-value customers and rolled out last July.
 Why did Charter Communications launch a loyalty program?

 

 

A

Everyone in telecom is looking for ways to reduce churn. This is a good way to stand out a bit to our customers and provide extra value to them while we deliver service.

 

 

Q

How does Live It with Charter work?

 

 

A

Members accumulate points based on use of Charter services, and there are a number of ways to spend them. Twice a month we have a redemption period. We also have sweepstakes, which drive the most engagement. We work with
our programming partners to obtain unique, experiential prizes, like a tour of the Yankees' dugout with the YES Network.

 

 

Q

Who is your target customer?

 

 

A

There is some danger if you exclude certain customers, but we are definitely targeting high-value customers. While the program is open to any customer, we actively market to the highest value — such as people who purchase triple-plays (bundled phone, cable and Internet) — in order to acquire them as members.

 

 

Q

How do you promote the program?

 

 

A

Direct mail and e-mail are the main tillers. We use Live It e-mails and the Live It Web site, as well as periodic direct mail and a banner presence on Charter.net. We're also getting
a Live It presence into our migration mailings, acquisition mailings, purchase materials, and video on demand.

 

 

Q

How has the program evolved since the national roll-out?

 

 

A

Originally, redemption periods were once a quarter, and now they're twice a month. We've added a newsletter to the program, a discount service, and the scale and scope overall has become broader.

 

 

Q

What results has Charter seen so far
 that lead you to consider this program 
a success?

 

 

A

Almost 6% of our customer base is in the program; we are currently at 340,000 members. We've seen two primary benefits: members spend more than non-members, and their churn rate is lower than non-members'. We've seen a double-digit percentage reduction in churn. We have also seen a significant bump — in the single digits in terms of percentage increase — in spending among members.

 

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