Behind the numbers in 2014: Switched On Families

6 July 2015

Reach 50,000 families with informative, fun and practical advice to help kids get the best from the web, while keeping them safe online (measured by unique visits to the Switched On Families website).

How we did:
Switched On Families reached 48,992 families, as measured through unique visits.

We hit our target in early January, with 51,319 families viewing the site by January 12th 2015.

The detail:
When it comes to the web, the Our Digital Future project told us that the public’s number one concern is keeping their kids safe online. Yet while four in five parents with children under 18 felt that they were responsible for their children’s online safety, only two in five parents had taken action to shape their children’s online behaviour.

Many parents told us they would like to do more, but need support and guidance about the best steps to take. That’s the idea behind our innovative customer engagement programme Switched On Families. It provides practical, honest and useful support for parents, grandparents and carers to help their kids get the best from the web, through an interactive guide and online hub with loads of advice for families, by families.

Switched On Families– which we launched in 2014 - is an interactive guide on that provides information on all the big digital issues for families, like who to trust, digital addiction, what to share and how to play nice online. These issues can be complicated and overwhelming for families so we wanted to make our advice really accessible and easy to understand. We also wanted to show the positive side of the web, and how it can help children’s learning and social development. Because children’s experience of the internet will change as they get older, we structured content around four child development stages; ensuring information was highly targeted and actionable for every family.

The resource is open for everyone to use and benefit from – not just our customers – and it includes video content from real families giving their own account of their families’ life online, that parents and carers could truly identify with and use to help start their own conversations. We also launched The Playbook, an interactive web-app using gamification principles, to encourage parents and children to learn about the online world together.

While we fell just short of our target of reaching 50,000 families (we’d reached 48,992 unique visits by the end of 2014), we know that our communications and advice has reached a much bigger audience:

  • The programme has been communicated across a full range of internal touch-points, including 4,500 field staff and over 6,000 sales staff who were briefed on Switched On Families to help spread the word to our customers.
  • We also made the most of our customer channels, with the programme appearing in an online campaign at launch; at point of sale on till receipts; an email campaign to our broadband customer base; on our TV on demand platform TiVO and in welcome emails to all new Virgin Media customers. So far the campaign has engaged our full customer base of 4.8 million and has reached an additional 2 million TiVO users.
  • Our social media metrics show us that Switched On Families content has been spread far and wide  - with close to 9 million impressions on our social media channels and 212,000 engagements on Twitter and Facebook (click throughs, video views, retweets, etc.) – which shows that the advice and tips are being well used.

We’ve also received fantastic feedback about the programme, not only from customers but MPs and experts in the know, such as Vicki Shotbolt, CEO of The Parent Zone, who said "Switched On Families puts Virgin Media ahead of the game – it's the best content I've seen in this space for a long time. Parenting in a digital age is a constantly evolving challenge. The invaluable advice on this site will help empower parents to figure out what works for their family and how to best support their kids as they grow up."

Find out more about Switched On Families and our other key programmes here.

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