AT&T Starting Customer Reward Program With Discounted Movie Tickets, “Tailored Offers”

Image courtesy of Mike Mozart

There’s only so much room for a company as large as AT&T to grow its businesses. Pretty much everyone in the country has a cell phone already, so the only way to attract new customers there is to keep poaching customers from Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint. Meanwhile, over in TV-land, DirecTV is huge but cord-cutters are legion. So what’s a giant corporation to do? Give customers presents, of course.

To that end, AT&T announced a new program today called “AT&T thanks.” The customer reward program, they say, will “go where other carriers can’t to show our customers how much they mean to us.”

At launch, for the summer, the program is focused on entertainment. All AT&T customers can get buy-one-get-one-free movie tickets for Tuesday showings if they buy through They can also get pre-sale access to some shows and events if they buy tickets through Live Nation. And last but not least, AT&T also promises “unique content” for “select DirecTV subscribers.”

Given, again, that the markets AT&T mobile and DirecTV operate in in are very crowded (“mature,” as they say), customer perks may just provide the edge they need in order to retain subscribers. It’s not a bad idea, if you’re not inclined to do something like cut prices.

The important part, though, is something AT&T adds after they describe their launch benefits:

“Additionally, AT&T thanks will be launching private offers just for you. These limited-time, surprise offers for AT&T customers will include tickets to live events, device and accessory perks, data giveaways, and more. As the program evolves, offers will be tailored to customers based on their services and packages with AT&T.”

Translated out of Happy PR Speak and back into English, you can read that as, “AT&T will be using personal data you generate with us to specifically market first- and third-party offers to you directly.”

If you buy sports packages from DirecTV, perhaps you’ll start seeing e-mails offering you tickets to certain games. If you do a lot of video streaming on your wireless phone, perhaps you’ll start getting movie ticket offers more often. And so on.

The metaphorical devil is, of course, in the details. AT&T explicitly offers wireline customers a discount in exchange for certain kinds of usage data. Previously, they’ve had no plan in place for a way to monetize that data or use it in marketing. Now, it seems they may.

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