Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mission Statement, Market Segmentation

Last summer, a door-to-door salesman came to my door and offered me a great deal on a Comcast internet and phone bundle. Yes, the deal was for only six months, but he assured me that, when the six months ended, I could sign up for another promotional rate, and I'd still save lots of money over Verizon. Tonight, I got my new Comcast bill in my e-mail, and my 6-month promotional rate is over. My new rate is more than twice the promotional rate.

I used the chat feature to contact Comcast customer service, and I asked Marvin, the chat analyst, what he could offer me. He offered me about what I had been paying for Verizon. I asked him for something better. He gave me something $5 better. I asked him, "What is Comcast's Mission Statement?"

There was a long pause. After a few minutes, the chat feature indicated that the analyst was typing. He indicated that this was a new question for him. So I explained to him what a mission statement is, and that every company has one, and it should guide the decisions of all of the departments.

Apparently, there is a major disconnect at Comcast. They had a wonderful promotion to attract price sensitive customers, but now that they've got me, they really can't please me. They don't understand my aspirations. This is not Marvin's problem, and Marvin cannot do anything about it. The problem stems from much higher up. Marvin did not know what Comcast's mission statement is, he cannot fulfill it.

This is a good example because it directly addresses what we have been discussing in class. Comcast needs to communicate its mission statement to all of its employees and contractors. Their objectives and goals should be consistent with that mission, and their portfolio of product offerings should help them meet those objectives.

If the corporate level does a good job with those items, the marketing team can effectively fulfill its function. Without clear direction at the corporate level, the marketing team does not know what customers it should seek. Comcast needs to segment the market and choose its segment before it begins a promotion cycle. If Comcast wants to target price sensitive customers, we are a huge market, but management within Comcast must plan on how Comcast will keep us happy after our promotional period ends. If Comcast does not want to target price sensitive customers, then it should not run promotions to attract us. This has led to a bad outcome.

In the end, I told Marvin that I'm just not part of Comcast's segment.

Becky Stevens
Section G


  1. I looked up Comcast's Mission Statement, they actually call it their Credo:

    "Comcast will deliver a superior experience to our customers every day. Our products will be the best and we will offer the most customer-friendly and reliable service in the market."

    It's as I suspected, low prices are not part their strategy. They want to differentiate on quality. That is perfectly legitimate, but someone needs to inform their marketing department. I didn't sign up for screaming fast Comcastic internet, I signed up for phone and internet for less than $50 per month. If they can't keep offering me a really low rate, they won't be able to delight me.


  2. I think your situation is similar to many of our peers' situation in the sense that we all got convinced to "try out" Comcast for the low price. I had the intention of switching providers after the promotional period was up, but didn't ever get around to it. Now I'm paying over triple what I paid for the introductory offer, which is not easy to swallow. However, do you think that Comcast has decided to market its product this way? In other words, while it may seem that Comcast has not thought through how to maintain its customers, that it actually has by getting its customers hooked on the service that they will not switch even when the price goes up? Just a thought...

  3. Sorry, forgot to sign my name on my comment.

    -Karlyn Kurokawa, Section E