Subscriptions to Rural Telecom are $35 for NTCA–The Rural
Broadband Association members; $135 for nonmembers. To
order or for questions about a current subscription, email
Change of address should include recent mailing label and new
address with ZIP code.
4121 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1000, Arlington, VA 22203
Email address: email@example.com
Publisher: NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association
Chief Executive Officer: Shirley Bloomfield, firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Communications: Laura Withers, email@example.com
Editor: Christian Hamaker, firstname.lastname@example.org
Copy Editor: Ashley Spinks
Graphic Design by Ferro+Ferro Graphic Communication,
Printed by Global Printing, Alexandria,Va.
Rural Telecom, established in 1981, is the quarterly magazine
published by NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association, a
nonprofit, cooperative corporation formed in 1954 under the
laws of the District of Columbia.
NTCA’s Mission: NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association
works on behalf of small broadband providers who are working
on behalf of rural America.
NTCA represents more than 800 small, rural, locally owned and
operated broadband companies in the United States and
abroad, as well as state and regional telephone associations
and companies that are the suppliers of products and services
to the small and rural broadband industry. Our readers are the
managers, directors, attorneys and key employees of these
broadband companies as well as consultants, government
officials and telecommunications experts.
NTCA Board of Directors, General Counsel
and Chief Executive Officer
President: John Klatt
Vice President: Kevin Beyer
Secretary/Treasurer: Allen R. Hoopes
Central Region Commercial: Doug Boone
Cooperative: Ron Hinds
North Central Region Commercial: John Klatt
Cooperative: Kevin Beyer
Northeast Region Commercial: Mike Grisham
Cooperative: Barry Adair
Northwest Region Commercial: Allen R. Hoopes
Cooperative: Don Bitz
Southeast Region Commercial: H. Keith Oliver
Cooperative: J. Frederick Johnson
Southwest Region Commercial: Russell Moore
General Counsel: Don Richards
Cooperative: William P. Hegmann
Chief Executive Officer: Shirley Bloomfield
Statements of Opinion and Fact are the individual views of the
authors and not necessarily the positions of NTCA, its officers,
directors, members or staff.
© 2018 NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association
Editorial, advertising and subscription offices: Periodicals
postage is paid at Arlington, Va., and at additional mailing
offices. Postmaster, send address changes to “Rural Telecom,”
4121 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1000, Arlington, VA 22203-1801.
By Christian Hamaker, Editor
“It’s easy to make good decisions with good data.”
That quote from Dean Carter, marketing manager at
Pioneer Telephone Cooperative (Kingfisher, Okla.)—part of this
issue’s cover story on data-driven marketing (“The Power of Data-Driven Marketing,”
p. 18)—had me nodding along as I read it, and it got me thinking about the effective
marketing I’ve encountered as a consumer. What messages garnered a response
from me? And how did advertisers know how, when and where to reach me?
Those answers can be mysterious at times from a consumer perspective, but
as our cover story shows, businesses are turning marketing into a science, refining
their techniques for targeting messages to current and potential customers. The
rise of web analytics, savvy email programs and workers who know how to employ
new technologies has made marketing more data-driven—and more effective.
At home, I’m on a two-year contract for landline phone and internet service.
When the internet connection is due for renewal and I receive a rate-hike notice, I
call the provider to see if I can negotiate my way out of the price hike. I once could,
but the company has changed tactics. I now usually accept the $5-or-so monthly
fee increase in exchange for increased upload/download speeds. The provider’s
data allows it to see my family’s increasing usage patterns (multiple kids with
devices that compete for capacity), so it knows I’ll likely take the offer. And I do.
An “old-fashioned” phone call isn’t the only way companies have succeeded
in getting me to buy their wares. There’s also social media—a “dynamic platform
that allows for quick response time and is much less expensive than traditional
forms of marketing,” according to Bethany Chinadle, vice president of customer
operations at Triangle Communications (Havre, Mont.), as quoted in our cover
story. I spend a lot of time on Twitter, and that’s where, last summer, a national
newspaper I follow on that platform got me to click on its promoted offer: a 50%
discount for a year off the price of the paper’s print edition. The company surely
knew how quickly I was using my limited click allotment on the paper’s site
each month. A paid subscription would get me unlimited clicks. I just needed an
incentive to subscribe, and the paper’s promoted tweet did the trick.
So, that was a marketing success, at least in the short term. But a funny
thing happened after I received unlimited access to the paper’s site. I stopped
visiting as frequently as I once had. Though the paper hadn’t declined in quality,
once I knew I could access its articles freely, the desire to do so dissipated.
My year-long subscription to the paper ends in late July. I wonder, with the
data the paper has gleaned about me in the past 12 months, what special offer
might come my way when I contact the company to cancel—and whether,
through their data-driven marketing, they’ll have enough new information to
make me an offer I can’t refuse.
A Promoted Tweet
Shows How Marketing
Tactics Are Changing
Rural Telecom (ISSN: 0744-2548)
Quarterly, Vol. 37, No. 3