March 15, 2022
Charter Communications has tapped into its advertising unit to provide a lift to new small businesses that are rebounding from the ongoing pandemic while also managing the more recent challenges of rising inflation and persistent supply chain constraints.
To help small and midsized businesses (SMBs) absorb some of these blows, Spectrum Reach, Charter's advertising unit, has launched a promotion that offers new Spectrum Business customers $1,500 in free TV advertising. That promo covers all new Spectrum Business customers in most Charter markets, including New York and Los Angeles, that subscribe to Internet, video and voice or take Charter's relatively new mobile service for commercial customers.
Figure 1: A Spectrum sign at a Charter facility in Greenwood Village, Colorado.
(Source: Kristoffer Tripplaar/Alamy Stock Photo)
So, how many spots does that get a new SMB customer? A Charter official tells Light Reading that the number of spots will vary on the type of campaign a small business wants to run. However, Spectrum Reach will help each participating business customize an eight-week campaign based on their needs, the official adds.
And for SMBs in need of a TV ad, Spectrum Reach has teamed up with Detroit-based Waymark to create customized 30-second commercials for free that can be used for their respective TV campaigns.
According to the fine print, the offer applies to qualified SMBs that have not been a Spectrum Business customer in the last 30 days or a Spectrum Reach advertiser in the last year. Charter is offering the free TV advertising promo through August 28, 2022.
SMBs wade through pandemic woes
Charter is pitching the TV ad promo as SMBs around the country report that they are still feeling impacts from the pandemic that caused some businesses to shut down temporarily. Many are also dealing with associated inflation and supply chains constraints.
According to a Goldman Sachs survey of 10,000 small businesses conducted in January, 79% of small business owners are concerned about the ongoing impacts the pandemic, including new variants such as Omicron, are having on their business.
About 37% of those surveyed said they've been forced to temporarily close or scale back operations due to recent COVID-19 cases. A large majority (86%) of small business owners also said that broader economic trends, including inflation and supply chain issues, are having a negative impact on their operations. About 19% identified supply chain constraints as their most significant issue.
The business services units of Charter and other cable operators have also felt some of the pain during the pandemic, resulting in slower rates of revenue growth. But there are recent signs of growth and stability. Charter's SMB unit pulled down $2.14 billion in revenues in the fourth quarter of 2021, up from $2.05 billion in the year-ago quarter.
Coming out of Q4 2021, the SMB segment is doing "well and steady," Chris Winfrey, Charter's chief operating officer, said on the company's latest earnings call. "Despite everything that would suggest there might be some pressure there, we're performing well in SMB."
— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading
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