OBJECTIVE: TO MAKE
FIBER OPTICS POPULAR
Midday, a few steps from Place Aristide Briand in the center of Lorient, a town of 58,000 in Brittany. A team from Bouygues Telecom is finishing up the installation of large blue and white blocks emblazoned with #ILOVEFIBRE that will be impossible for passers-by to miss. This is part of the fiber marketing campaign that also includes checking eligibility, conducting a contest on social media, and generally engaging with the public. “The fiber business must be promoted locally. Here our aim is to introduce ourselves to future customers,” explains Régis Van Brussel, business development direc- tor at Bouygues Telecom. The operator is doing this with a new strategy of marketing and communications specifically adapted to areas where it has little or no presence.
The local teams are also preparing actions with a focus on personalization. “We are adapting all our marketing tools specifically for the areas that we are targeting,” says regional manager Marion Legrand. “For example, we have put bread bags with the town’s name on them in the local bakeries.” In the Lanester store, a few kilometers from Lorient, digital display screens show a map of the Morbihan department indicating the coverage rates of the Bouygues Telecom network. A “marketing factory” is making this agile approach possible. Van Brussel explains: “We have worked with the Network teams at headquarters to coordinate and automate the local actions in order to be as effective as possible commercially when an area gets coverage. Each week, 50,000 more households become eligible, and through our actions we’re able to reach 50% of them within a very short time.” That is a key objective for Bouygues Telecom in this new fiber market. “In the fixed segment, we are the number four operator. Fiber is helping to increase our market shares,” points out Legrand. In front of the #ILOVEFIBRE installation, Laurence and Florence are checking whether their homes are eligible or not. “I’ve wanted to have fiber service for a long time, and as soon as I’m eligible, I’ll sign up,” says Laurence. “It’s the most practical and the least expensive,” adds Florence.
More than 1,000 kilometers from there, in Corsica, the Club Bouygues Telecom in Ajaccio is opening its doors. Located on the main shopping street in the imperial city, it is the pride of its co-manager Frédéric Mossé. “After opening the Club in Bastia in 2017, we arrived here in the spring of 2018. Bouygues Telecom had been absent from Corsica since 2013.” The Crozon project 1 finds a perfect symbol in the “Beautiful Island,” where Bouygues Telecom has made a lot of progress with its mobile network. “In Corsica, our 4G coverage has increased from 55% to 97% of the population in two years,” says Vincent Borychy, Bouygues Telecom’s local business development manager. “We needed to open stores to become better known, to reassure our customers, and to change Corsicans’ perception of Bouygues Telecom.” As in Brittany, the key in the 4G market is name recognition and reputation.
1. The pooling of Bouygues Telecom and SFR’s G networks in medium-density areas will be completed by mid-2019.
“Out of 325,000 inhabitants, we have 20,000 customers,”notes regional manager Julie Guérin-Bouchet. “So there’s a lot of room for growth. People are waiting. They’ve felt they have very few alternatives.” Having stores is essential to developing good relations with customers and being aligned with Bouygues Telecom’s overall sales strategy. It is an indispensable component of a strategy based on multiple channels, that is, physical, digital, and telephone. In fact, while the B&YOU 4G fixed plans with no commitment are sold only on the web or by phone, 65% of Sensation plans, which have greater added value for the operator, are purchased in stores. “Our customers feel supported today,” adds Mossé. “In the past, they had to send their products to after-sales services in Toulon or Nice.”
GOING OUT INTO THE FIELD, MEETING OUR CLIENTS
And there is no intention of stopping now: a second store will open in Ajaccio in early 2019. “We have opened eight stores in France in 2018,” notes Borychy. “A total of 37 million people, or 57% of the French population, live in a Crozon area. We have to let them know we’re there, offering them an extensive, high-quality network." Bouygues Telecom is therefore implementing a local marketing and personalization strategy in phase with the rollout of its mobile network. “We reach out to get to know our future customers by participating in marathons, music festivals, and other local events,” says Borychy. “Just recently, we launched a pilot operation in the southwest using customers as ambassadors to speak with prospects over the Internet. Who better than our customers to talk about their experiences in the place where they live.
At Ajaccio, Vincent, Julie, and Frédéric are talking with Karim, the Club’s manager, about upcoming marketing activities to boost traffic in the store. “Let’s put the emphasis on the 4G Box. It’s an innovative offer that highlights our new mobile network” suggests Karim. “Eighty percent of our fixed sales are with the 4G Box. Our customers find that it’s better than the other boxes on the market.” Vincent is convinced: “Talking with the teams on the ground is crucial to the success of our actions. That’s why we’re implementing this local strategy.” Even if there is a long way to go, the Bouygues Telecom teams are confident. In 2019, all the sparsely populated areas of France will be covered by the operator. “Growing Bouygues Telecom’s mobile business depends on our being successful in the Crozon areas,” concludes Vincent. “We’ve got great days ahead of us.”
THE NO. 1 OPERATOR IN RURAL AREAS
Bouygues Telecom’s Crozon project is paying off. In the annual quality of service survey conducted by the Arcep (the French telecoms regulator), it ranked number No. 1 among mobile operators for its voice, text, and data services in rural areas. These are areas that have cities with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants.