Verizon goes local to sell TV service

In Fairfax County, VA, Verizon is trying out something new: grassroots sales and marketing. Verizon executives have recognized the need to adopt a local approach to invade the cable companies' turf, in this case an area served by Cox and Comcast. To further this strategy, Verizon salesmen are walking door-to-door offering the service to residents. The company has also put its logo on pizza boxes and Chinese food takeout containers and given away discounted fuel at a gas station and free coffee to commuters. I even saw an ad for Verizon's FiOS service on a napkin at a bar here in D.C. Turns out Verizon will supply the bar with free napkins if they don't mind the pitch on them.

The battle in Fairfax County foreshadows what's in store for the rest of the country. Even if the video national franchising bill passes (see story below), the war is only half-won. Telcos will have to roll out aggressive local marketing campaigns to steal away cable subscribers.

For more on Verizon's local marketing:
- check out this article from The Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)