Business Media & Marketing

Monday 18 December 2017

Marketing people: Ann-Marie MacKay

Director of products & marketing, Sky Ireland

Ann Marie MacKay, Sky Ireland.
Ann Marie MacKay, Sky Ireland.

John McGee

With over 700,000 subscribers according to Nielsen figures, Sky Ireland is upping the ante with the recent launch of a no-subscription online offering called Now TV and the introduction of a new customer loyalty programme. Ann-Marie MacKay talks to John McGee about its latest initiatives.

How has the recent launch of Now TV panned out for the company?

Now TV has been received fantastically well. We know there is a growing segment of the market that is looking to consume content in new ways, whether it is over a range of devices or having flexibility in terms of not being tied in to a contract.

We know that there are hundreds of thousands of people in Ireland who are watching content but who have not signed up to a traditional pay TV service. There’s also a cohort of people who cannot access great Sky content for one reason or another, either via satellite dish or cable.

Sky has just introduced a new loyalty programme: how will it work?

Sky VIP is the first tenure-based loyalty programme in the TV and broadband sector. There’s something for everyone, but the longer you’ve been a customer, the better the rewards become.

Customers can join Sky VIP by downloading the My Sky app to discover the range of personal rewards available. On joining, all customers can access a free welcome gift of a Sky Store movie and find out their membership tier, based on the length of time they’ve been with Sky.

The four tiers are Silver, Gold, Platinum and Black. Each tier gives even more new benefits, as well as access to the rewards in the previous levels. Customers who’ve been with Sky the longest will also be able to access all of the exclusive rewards and benefits on offer. The new loyalty programme will offer hundreds of thousands of free tickets to all customers, including top sports events such as GAA All Ireland finals, the British Masters and the Premier League, exclusive preview screenings of the latest films and prize draws for money can’t buy experiences like the chance to visit filming locations of Game of Thrones.

Historically, customer loyalty in this competitive market has been non-existent. Why is this?

A lot of industries are focused purely on selling and delivering products. Improving customer experience and leading innovation is very important to us but it’s important not to lose sight of what matters to customers — and it’s clear that customers want to be appreciated.

What are the marketing challenges you face with a launch like Now TV?

Like any new product launch, the challenges are delivering to market, driving awareness of the new product, landing the benefits of the new product quickly and ultimately hitting targets. Managing a portfolio of brands ensuring you get the correct messaging and targeting is key. We were in a fortunate position though in that we could take on board learnings from the UK and apply them to our launch, allowing us to gain traction quickly.

Sunday Indo Business

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