Emerging consumer trends
Severina Pascu, UPC Romania and Hungary’s CEO talks innovation and customer experience
Severina Pascu has been the CEO of UPC Romania and Hungary since August 2013. A graduate of the Romanian Academy for Economic Studies and an ACCA graduate, Severina Pascu is one of the most important Romanian executives, with an extensive experience in finance and business operations.
1. What do you think will drive cable’s priorities for marketing as we look at the state of the industry in 2015?
I expect to see a turnaround towards building sustainable brands that consumers want to partner with. The focus is now on multiple screen experience. Switching from linear to non-linear viewing and addressing the increased need for connectivity. On the marketers’ agenda we should definitely find customer led innovation (with cloud based solutions, SVOD and all around connectivity).
Another important topic is related to priorities: opportunities on topline, secure content to enable market differentiation. We need to deliver our products in a much simpler and easy to understand way for consumers, under a strong brand proposition, build on loyalty – that will translate into more value for all parties – customers, companies and industry as a whole.
We will see cable companies strengthening position on the mobile space, trying to offer complete proposition to the consumers in the home and outside the home.
2. What are the big emerging consumer trends?
As in all industries, the consumer expects full control and this translates into expectations to have access to own relevant and customised content and stay connected all the time. With the even increasing penetration of smart mobile devices it is almost imperative for service providers to enable SSE consumption (TV everywhere) and personalised content access/consumption (SVOD, Catch-up TV).
The future is around personalised and digitalised lifestyle. Studies show that smartphones become top on the indispensable list and this is yet another reflection of our need for connectivity.
3. What are your biggest priorities for customer experience at UPC?
We strive to have customers that LOVE our brand. The journey starts with providing exceptional product experience, and at UPC we make sure that our products respond to the needs of our customers. We need to have best in class customer interactivity, both online and offline. So it is more and more about the consumer staying in a partnership with a brand they love. This is our destination.
4. Where are you innovating most on products?
We are in a fortunate position to have a robust and reliable network which we have built over years, and this enabled us to easily deliver innovative products, whether we speak about entertainment (Horizon products) or connectivity leading in our markets with reliable and strong internet connection. We incorporate innovation in all new products, so that we live by our ‘we constantly innovate’ value.
5. In your view, is the way you tackle customer experience in the Romanian and Hungarian markets unique? How would you describe the typical UPC customer in CEE?
It is unique. I think we have a unique opportunity to build value focusing on customer experience. It is about personalised communications, need based products and services and closing the loop on interactions we have with the customers. Care is increasingly important. Choosing the right content to be offered to consumers is also important. For that, we need to understand better than ever not only the NOW factor but also the biggest trends, as geographical location becomes less important.
6. What does UPC do better than its competition from a marketing and engagement standpoint?
We constantly innovate. We make sure that we lead in product innovation constantly bringing innovative products on the market, from digital TV Horizon, HD launch, apps, Fiber Power speed internet. In a very challenging region, we build a brand for the future. With a competition focused on price, we need to be providers of value for our consumers.
We count going forward on us through our people being able to build strong relationships with our customers. We have built a company culture that helps us deliver that and we know our success lays on the ambition of our people to be the best. Both Romania and Hungary had a turnaround moment that was only possible with our people.
7. What strategies does cable need in order to effectively compete for consumer attention in a hyper-connected world?
Continue to innovate and drive customer behaviour change with our products. Hyper connection is a must for our relationship with our consumers.