AT&T is a company that provides long distance telephone services in the United States and is the largest provider in the sector. Furthermore the company provides in internet access services and digital television services. The company also provides digital subscriber lines. The company boats as being the largest provider of wireless services in the United States with a total of over 85.1 million wireless customers and more than 150 million clients nationwide. The company was founded in 1983 under the name of SBC communications Inc. the company later changed its name in 2005 to AT&T after the acquisition of “Ma Bell” AT&T corporation. Apparently the AT&T name was already a household name in American and as a result the company resorted to the name. In the New York Stock Exchange the company trades with the iconic name “T” which apparently stands for telephone. Currently AT&T comprises of the eleven original Bell Operating Companies and the original long distance section. The company has its headquarters in downtown Dallas, Texas. In 2008 the company was awarded at the Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards for the development of coaxial cable technology. AT&T is a company that has undergone most of the challenges and successes common with huge corporate. The company has managed to overcome the challenges and curved a niche for itself in the telephone industry.
The major strength for the company is that it has managed to curve a very strong niche in the telephone industry coupled with the recent acquisitions that have further strengthened its position in the market. The acquisition has also ensured that the company provides a wide range of services. The company has also managed to take advantage of technological advances which led to the removal of its payphones.
The major weakness for the company is that it is operating in sensitive sectors that are prone for misuse by customers for instances when the Pearl Jam band performed a song that was being broadcasted by AT&T and some of the lyrics were criticism to George Bush. The company subsequently had to censor the broadcast. As much as such actions may be necessary in protecting a company’s image, it may also jeopardize the reputation of the company among consumers. Therefore the company is faced with the challenge of ensuring that it provides services with regard to the needs of consumers and at the same time protecting the company’ image.
The opportunities available for the company is that it has enough capital and influence to engage in acquisitions that will give it an almost monopoly status in the sectors it engages in. furthermore the company has established itself as a household name in America.
The apparent threats that the company should brace itself for include law suits. Furthermore the company will need a lot more effort to explain to consumers its reason for certain censor or restrictive actions.
The latest advertisement venture by AT&T has been the utilization of direct mail as a way to appeal to customers in a more personal level. Customers form a very important aspect for the success of any company and it is important that at all times the company strives to ensure that customers are satisfied. Apart from just increasing the customer base it is also important to retain the already acquired customers through satisfaction. Customer satisfaction should be conducted in an analytical system because it should be based on customer opinions. The first step in obtaining customer views is not just placing suggestion boxes or handing customers questionnaires (although they are important) but it should entail creation of a platform where the company and its customers can communicate. The second step should involve the creation of s sense of belonging amongst customers so that they may feel free to air out their opinions. Direct mail would be one of the best stating point in the creation of the platform mentioned above. Direct mail is more personal and involving. The direct mail should be customized in a way that it will invite the customers to provide their views and the company can use the data obtained in its road to attaining overall employee satisfaction. However one major drawback of using direct mail is that it can be overly expensive.
The initiatives taken by AT&T to maintain the company image via providing restrictions in certain areas for instance censoring certain programmes broadcasted or providing access to telephone conversations of consumers to intelligence by various government agencies may have not gone well with consumers. Already there are complaints from media groups in the U.S who argue that the restraints imposed by the company are being conducted in an unfair manner. Such sentiments are not uncommon and should not be dealt with impulsively. This is because complaints may arise due to personal reasons that may at times contradict the policies of the organization and it is advisable that the company stands by its policies. On the other hand consideration of such complaints may also be important because it may reflect the areas that the company needs to adjust in order to ensure customer satisfaction. Such a venture requires that the company obtains statistics from customers which can only be efficiently obtained when a platform is created. The statistics can then be analyzed and hopefully they may used as a point of reference when implementing the ad campaign. The objectives of any ad campaign fall in two categories, it may be directed towards informing consumers of a new product in the market via branding or it may be aimed at publicizing an already existing product. AT&T ad campaign falls in the second category aimed at achieving customer satisfaction and it therefore important that it is conducted in an effective and efficient manner.
Ad campaigns are expensive ventures for companies and in most instances reflect the cultures within an organization. Therefore it is important that when they are conducted they should be conducted in a prudent manner in order to capitalize on the objective and minimize on the expenses. The major area of consideration is that a company should consider the strengths weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the process of initiating an ad campaign. Another area of consideration in this perspective of improving customer satisfaction is by establishing a platform for interaction so that customers can air out their views. The recommendations for the ad campaign are that it should be a starting point in creating a platform for interaction. The second step that the company should ensure that it utilizes the platform created to obtain opinions from customers and using the information obtained as a reference point in implementing its objectives. As outlined customers constitute an important part of an organization and it is important that their needs are continuously met if a company wishes to stay in the market for a long time.