This is an entry in our new “Meet the CMOs” feature, looking at the top marketing executives in the nation’s biggest telecom companies. These are the executives who oversee multimillion dollar advertising budgets and are charged with raising their company’s brand profile.
CMO: Jay Roth
Bio: Roth oversees Dish’s national marketing, advertising, analytics and consumer insights efforts. He joined Dish in 2016 from JPMorgan Chase, where he oversaw marketing initiatives for the company’s consumer banking division. The former University of Dayton baseball team captain and his division produced a 10% annual growth rate over the last five years of his tenure. Notably, Roth’s purview doesn’t include Dish’s virtual MVPD platform, Sling TV.
How much money does the company spend on advertising? Dish spent $335.7 million on advertising in 2015, according to Kantar Media, as it sought to seize market share amid a wave of cable-industry consolidation. Last year, however, Dish’s ad spending dropped 11.4% to $297.4 million.
What’s the company’s marketing message? With customer satisfaction surveys showing strong negative perception of the broader pay TV industry, Dish is positioning itself as the operator that listens to the consumer. In February, Dish launched its “Tuned In To You” campaign, featuring an unnamed, salt-and-pepper-tinged character actor, the “Spokeslistener,” touring the country, playing caring nurturer to the nation’s abused telecom service survivors. Dish said the spots address a fundamental disconnect with customers that is endemic to the broader pay TV business, which has experienced across-the-board poor results on customer satisfaction surveys.
“Our new ‘Tuned In To You’ promise is rooted in our heritage of listening to customers and developing new solutions to industry pain points,” Dish said in a statement. “This is our rallying cry that has been adopted internally, cementing our companywide commitment to listen. It is also portrayed in our advertising through Dish’s Spokeslistener character, who acknowledges common customer frustrations and provides meaningful solutions.”
What’s the company’s advertising strategy? “We focus on integrated marketing efforts that deliver a consistent and relevant message across many customer touch points we have with households,” Dish said. “Over time, we’ve become more targeted and data-driven in our tactics. Our goal is to be where our customers are, especially when they are at the point of considering switching TV providers. Dish promotes numerous direct marketing tactics nationwide across TV, radio and digital channels.”
Is the company’s advertising successful? Dish’s linear satellite TV platform has been in steep decline in recent quarters, losing 1.04 million customers in 2016, according to Leichtman Research. In the first quarter of 2017, Dish lost another 143,000 subscribers.
Accordingly, it’s tough to say the company has been getting a lot of ROI out of its campaigns.