Is Comcast’s Triple Play Bundle Posing a Triple Threat?

Winning over cable TV customers is no simple feat. Competition is fierce, and leading telecom service providers offer bundled services that balance savings with premium services that consumers want.

Cable provider Comcast recently attempted to leverage its high definition (HD) television service, a technology becoming popular with consumers, with a triple play bundle promotion. Comcast is marketing a HD Triple Play bundle across media channels. The bundle includes free HD service as an incentive to also subscribe to digital voice and high speed internet.

But this made me wonder: is Comcast actually bringing in more people than its competitors and benchmarks to look at bundles online?

Let’s start with the advertising. The online banner ad (shown below) has a clear call to action with the "Learn More Now” button.

In contrast, the direct mail piece (shown below) lacks any next step for customers. I’m consistently surprised that Comcast’s direct mail pieces don’t always have a reference to Comcast.com, and I almost fell out of my chair when I saw this insert. This piece doesn’t highlight Comcast.com or a telesales phone number for customers to call. What is a customer to do?

To explore what people are actually doing online when it comes to cable bundles, I leveraged Compete’s Online Channel Effectiveness intelligence.

First, I looked at what percentage of online visitors do top telecom and cable providers attract to the pages that promote its products, shown in the chart below.

This chart highlights how Comcast (in red) only led AT&T in the proportion of visitors who viewed pages promoting its products. AT&T’s percentage is lower because the provider integrates its wireless cell phones on the same site. Traffic to these wireless pages is not included in this view, which drives the wireline percentage down. Verizon‘s percentage is based on all wireline traffic to Verizon.com and excludes traffic to Verizonwireless.com. But what percentage of those wireline product visitors also viewed the bundle pages on the telecom and cable provider sites?

We’ve already seen that Comcast has been promoting its HD Triple Play online and offline. Even though Comcast is behind competitors and benchmarks in getting visitors to look at the product pages, surely this advertising and the free HD offer are helping the provider perform better in bundle interest, right? Wrong. As shown in the chart below, Comcast trails all of the telecom and cable providers in getting the people who make it to the product pages to visit the bundle pages.

It’s no surprise that Comcast’s overall product and bundle interest penetrations are low when marketing tactics like direct mail do little to promote Comcast.com. Comcast should highlight Comcast.com more in its marketing in order to help drive product interest among both prospects and existing customers. Comcast’s HD Triple Play bundle may be an attractive offer, but it doesn’t appear to pose a threat online relative to the percentages of visitors viewing product and bundle pages its top competitors’ sites.

Comcast is now leveraging another emerging technology by giving away a FREE Dell netbook when consumers purchase a triple play bundle. Hopefully, Comcast will improve its tactics in promoting Comcast.com to help drive online interest, which will become even more important when Comcast starts bundling Wi-Max for an even more online savvy segment.