Verizon FiOS MDU marketing drive targets young professionals

Having continually honed its FiOS MDU installation processes, Verizon (NYSE: VZ) is expanding its "hyperlocal" marketing and awareness effort for its FiOS TV and Internet offerings to target young professionals in New York, Philadelphia, Dallas and Los Angeles.

Verizon believes professionals between the ages of 25-39 are prime candidates for FiOS since the majority of this age group not only live in MDUs, but they also are large consumers of social media and Internet. On average, this group spends about 14 hours on line a week.

With no plans to penetrate new markets with FiOS outside of existing agreements it had already made with various towns and cities, the new initiative is centered on increasing penetration in its existing footprint.

To date, Verizon's FiOS services are available in over 2 million MDUs in parts of 12 states, including the District of Columbia. The service provider has forecast that nearly half of the FiOS lines opened for sale in 2012 will be in apartments and condominiums.  

Chris Anderson, director of consumer marketing for Verizon, said that while the initial drive for the FiOS rollout centered on marketing single family homes in its respective footprint, it realized that the MDU market represents a growing opportunity for the service provider.

"Now we need to get lower to the ground and more market specific to push some of these other aspects of the customer opportunity," he said. "MDU is a unique one because the lifestyle of an MDU person and how entertainment plays a role in that."

Anderson added that while the MDU segment "has different life stage groups, including families, boomers and younger people, but we found that our core segment skewed younger professionals living in these urban environments that had a very different persona."

While this segment will purchase video and voice services, the main driver here will be on touting broadband service, one that this age group uses to not only for social media, but also for viewing online video on their PCs and TVs.

The service provider did not have to look to far to create this new campaign as it will leverage the same elements it used in the hyperlocal campaign it conducted in Washington, D.C., including digital advertising and social media engagement, in addition to out-of-home advertising and local events with prospective customers. It will try to reach potential MDU consumers in areas where they often go to like gyms, restaurants, bars, movie theatres, malls and transit centers with digital advertising.

"It's about being where they are," Anderson said. "They're in gyms; they're in bars, and restaurants and going to movies."

In a gym, for example, they developed digital units, either video or signage. This effort complemented with the ability to reach prospects through digital points of contact that are connected with programs such as MapQuest as they plan out their transit routes in a city like New York or D.C.

"It's a one-two punch between digital presence in those high indexing site environments that align with their behaviors and their patterns of doing things they like to do and being present at those transit stations or a particular movie theater," Anderson said.

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