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The Great #NBN (Marketing?) Fail

February 22, 2012

From 'NBN Co Truck national tour' image gallery

For anyone who believes that marketing adds little value to business, it’s worth reading Nick Ross’s NBN article/rant on the ABC Technology and Games site (‘The great NBN fail‘).  Essentially, Nick vents his frustration with the poor effort that has been made in marketing and communicating the benefits of Australia’s national broadband network rollout: “In a nutshell, Labor and NBN Co’s failure to explain the NBN’s benefits is undermining the entire project.”

I made a similar point in a blog post last year – ‘Putting a Value on the NBN‘ – where I concluded “the real need at the moment is for government bodies,  industry and community groups, with a vested interest in seeing the NBN rolled out,  to quantify where possible the benefits the NBN will bring to their area of operation.”

Nick writes: “The lack of information in the public or media domains means there’s virtually no positive coverage of the NBN at all. It’s also resulted in the deployment being politicized and people choosing who they want to believe rather than basing their opinions on all the facts. The blame list is long and leaves few politicians, NBN employees and media people untouched but the underlying cause is that the NBN is currently the victim of what must be some of the worst marketing in the history of Australia.” [my emphasis]

The focus so far in NBN marketing has been on technology ‘speeds and feeds’, which areas are being connected and when, and how the NBN works. When you are trying to justify a $43 billion infrastructure spend, you’ve got to show people the big picture as well.

I read in one of the comments to the article (287 at last count!) that Todd Sampson’s Leo Burnett ad agency had won a contract to ‘sell’ the NBN. With the incredible impact of the Earth Hour concept, that at least sounds like a step in the right direction.

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