Sky and the digital revolution
A Sky case study

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Page 5: Marketing strategy

Sky 4 Image 5The advent of digital satellite has made it possible for Sky to improve its market position. From the launch onwards, the marketing objectives have been to create fresh demand for Sky, to position digital satellite television as the market leader and to make sure that potential customers fully understand the product’s benefits. The marketing strategy has extended to establishing a unique positioning for SkyDigital in the minds of non-subscribers.

SkyDigital set out to create an event around the launch and to fulfil the marketing objectives through a large scale advertising campaign involving television, radio, posters, magazines, newspapers and the internet. However, advertising in itself is not sufficient to drive consumer understanding of the new product. The campaign and communications have become an integral part of SkyDigital’s marketing mix embracing public relations (PR), sponsorship and consumer promotions, in-store marketing, branding and direct marketing activities.

Widening the target market

The target market for SkyDigital includes everyone, as almost everyone watches television! Therefore, it remains imperative to tailor Sky’s marketing messages to different segments of the population. Although the core audience remains the ‘family unit’, with SkyDigital, different features and benefits have different levels of appeal, so it is necessary to communicate these different options to the various target audiences. For example, some of the things digital will offer:

  • Films - to film lovers, young couples etc.
  • Home banking (interactivity) - to busy, career-minded people
  • Documentary programmes – to retired, nature-loving people, as an educational tool etc.

SkyDigital – marketing and sales

The ongoing mission for Sky’s marketing and sales is to drive subscription growth (i.e. more buyers), encourage loyalty and retain customers. With SkyDigital, this becomes a two-tiered mission:

  1. To generate new digital customers (i.e. people who are not current Sky subscribers).
  2. To encourage current Sky subscribers to move from analogue to digital.

Sky has a great history of generating sales through innovative and creative marketing, and this is set to continue. (See graph).

In order to drive sales, Sky is continuing its partnership with and commitment to a group of major high street retailers including Comet, Currys, Dixons and Granada. In addition, Sky has a well-established direct sales operation publicised through an easy to remember number.

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