SaskTel's Mike Woolley Discusses Direct Marketing in Saskatchewan
SaskTel was the Sasquatch of Saskatchewan. For years, the communications giant dominated the province's long distance and local phone markets. But competitors started to muscle in on its Regina-based territory like the Montana bears that cross over from adjacent Glacier National Park. So the company had to rethink its business strategy and direct marketing mix and, clear through 2009, is continuing to adapt to the rugged, changing communications environment in Western Canada.
A leader in the wireless and high-speed Internet markets among Saskatchewan's million inhabitants, SaskTel is a fast-moving underdog in the broadcast competition. A few years ago, the century-old company began supplying Saskatchewanians with television over the Internet and, more recent still, speeding up communications with its customers after buying improved database management technology from Cary, N.C.-based software company SAS.
Mike Woolley, SaskTel's manager of marketing intelligence, talks about the journey.
Target Marketing: How is SaskTel employing direct marketing to reach out to its customers?
Mike Woolley: We do pretty much all channels. We have our own call center. We do in the neighborhood of 18,000 to 20,000 calls a month on. We contract out to a third-party call center that's based in Saskatchewan, and they're taking on about that same volume, maybe a little bit more. ... Then we have our e-mail channel. ... One of the companies that's part of the SaskTel holding corporation has an e-mail engine, so we're using them to broadcast out e-mails to customers. And, of course, we're doing the direct mail.
TM: How have the touchpoints in SaskTel's direct marketing strategy changed in the past five years?
MW: It's ramped up a little bit more. We certainly didn't use e-mail as often as we [do now]. ... But we certainly use as much of the call center, outbound calling, and as much direct mail as we used to. The numbers are bigger, but mostly just because of the one new channel.