The Drum Marketing Awards Finalist 2017
AWARDS & MENTIONS:
Changing the direction of a company is never going to be easy. Moving from a managed service-based organisation to a technology business is a seismic shift in both perspective and attitude. This is a story of a business turnaround and how a marketing strategy created unity across an entire business.
Before rebranding to Paywizard in 2013, MGt initially launched in 1998, following the introduction of Open Access Regulations in the EU, to provide independent broadcasters with call centre services to manage their subscribers across all platforms and devices in the UK. MGt provided managed services for high-profile clients such as Sky, BT Sports and Setanta Sports, and provided the telephone and ground support for Digital UK when the UK moved from analogue to digital TV.
For over 15 years, MGt developed a considerable amount of technology infrastructure to streamline the sign-up and payment processes and improve efficiency for pay-TV services.
In 2013, MGt’s business model was under threat: there was a growing trend for moving call centres off-shore or taking them in-house. MGt immediately responded by embracing the value they had created in the ewallet and billing software arm of their business and became Paywizard.
By 2015, Paywizard had become a Software-as-a-Service Subscription Management company, funded and feeling very much like a start-up — and that’s where our story starts. Undifferentiated in a crowded market with dominant players, Paywizard was struggling to be heard. What follows is the journey of how Ratio Creative has made that transformation possible and demonstrates the power of how a clear strategy and core message can anchor the business while also having a significant impact in the market – globally.
People + Technology + Insight = Paywizard.
Finding the difference.
Firstly, we looked internally at the dynamics of the business.
Paywizard was desperately trying to be a technology business, but it was clear that shedding their managed services persona was causing a major congruency issue.
The team was clearly expert in Pay-TV consumers. Their understanding of what it takes to make someone subscribe to a TV service was staggering. Unfortunately, in their haste to become a tech company and reduce their dependency on their call centre business, they had indeed thrown the baby out with the bathwater.
Recognising Paywizard’s wealth of hands-on experience as a significant differentiator, we started to interview the broader team and get to grips with the depth of their experience and their endless passion and enthusiasm for what they do.
It became clear — we had to put the people back into the equation.
Next, we looked outward to the market — both the target broadcasters/content owners and to their end customers. Through the lens of the team’s skillsets, industry knowledge and experience, combined with the technology, we realised that Paywizard could help influence decisions across a number of critical moments in the customer journey. From the point of a consumer making a decision to watch a programme, finding a way to do it, paying and then viewing, right through to deciding to cancel!
These ‘Moments’ were identified across the customer journey and aligned to both the product and human expertise within Paywizard to determine eight ‘Decision Moments’: Find, Join, Consume, Upgrade, Downgrade, Bill, Leave and Win Back.
Each ‘Decision Moment’ was then interrogated internally to draw out the full breadth and depth of experience that supported each moment and to create a roadmap for new product features, services and insight services to innovate within them.
For example, web chat was integrated within the ‘Join’ moment to improve the customer experience and increase the conversion rate. From the outset, the power of ‘Decision Moments’ was clear. Each moment became a showcase to demonstrate depth of knowledge, product capability and insights.
For prospects and customers, it meant Paywizard could speak to them about very specific issues in the customer journey — not just a one-size-fits-all subscription message.
From a marketing perspective, it has given Paywizard a clear and distinctive voice in the market, plus an arsenal of rich, customer-centric content that has been supported by research. The result is a well-fed inbound and outbound marketing machine.
One of the biggest challenges we had to overcome was a lack of product case studies. The ‘Decision Moments’ messaging gave us the perfect vehicle to work around this. The overall communications strategy was driven by thought-leadership — hence positioning the voice of authority with Paywizard, without highlighting a potential weakness.
We validated ‘Decision Moments’ through primary research — a series of consumer and broadcaster focus groups ran in London, Manchester and New York. Further research was also conducted in another six countries to understand if customer experience was a key consumer driver.
This research then became the cornerstone of Paywizard’s thought leadership communications strategy — as a series of white papers — which regrouped the ‘Decision Moments’ into more familiar terms for our audiences e.g. Customer Acquisition, Customer Retention etc.
In the white papers, we delivered to broadcasters consumer evidence of the real concerns of their customers and prospects across each ‘Decision Moment’. A fully integrated communications plan was developed to support ‘Decision Moments’, enabling the systematic delivery of the message both inbound and outbound.
The communications plan included a new website, email marketing and nurture campaign, search engine marketing, PR, and social marketing. A marketing automation platform was installed and integrated with Salesforce to bridge the gap between sales and marketing and make lead hand-off clear. A global programme of events, exhibitions and partner activity also created a significant increase in reach.
“Paywizard as a business had lost its way. A historically successful business that needed to transform to stay competitive, we needed a point of differentiation that was able to capitalise on everything great about our business and make it relevant to a global market. Working with Ratio Creative was a breath of fresh air. It was evident very early on that Ratio Creative understood our business and were able to tease out points of difference — in many cases, things that we had taken for granted for many years. It’s one thing being able to understand what makes us different, it’s another to articulate this into a message and strategy that transcends our entire business. That is exactly what ‘Decision Moments’ has done for Paywizard. It’s not only a marketing message; the concept has been embedded in everything we do, from our technology platform through to our services and insights that we offer to our clients. Decision Moments has been transformative to our business and is now a core part of our strategy.”
– Andrew Burke, Chairman
“As a CMO, it’s important that the people you work with can pick up the nuances of the business and work as an extension of the team. Ratio Creative has shown that in abundance. From a kernel of an idea to galvanising the executive team and board towards ‘Decision Moments’, through to an integrated marketing approach, the results have been astonishing. ‘Decision Moments’ has delivered on every level. My internal marketing team has embraced it and can consistently work within the messaging framework. They are able to push out standout, thought leadership content into the market that consistently delivers pipeline. In fact; it doubled in H2 2016. Our product and technical development teams now think of our value proposition through the lens of ‘Decision Moments’, resulting in award-winning recognition for our subscription platform. Our sales and services teams talk ‘Decision Moments’ and not features and functions, moving us to a needs-based sales engine. We are having conversations with customers and prospects we never thought possible. ‘Decision Moments’ has become Paywizard and not just a marketing message. The work Ratio Creative has delivered has galvanised everyone across the business, giving us a clear focus.”
– Bhavesh Vaghela, Chief Marketing Officer
The results have been spectacular — across the board. ‘Decision Moments’ has delivered for the Paywizard brand and the pipeline. In April 2016, Paywizard won a TV Technology ‘Best of Show’ award at the NAB Las Vegas event for the expanded product feature set, and in the following September at the IBC Europe event they also won a TVB Europe ‘Best of Show’ award. These are two landmark events in the global calendar for the industry and therefore represent significant kudos for Paywizard and are directly attributable to the ‘Decision Moments’ Strategy.