CMO interview: Placing a bet on marketing's customer-led future at Tabcorp

Chief marketing officer of Tabcorp, Claire Murphy, talks about the group's new centralised and strategic marketing function, the shift to customer centricity and her brand strategy

Claire Murphy, CMO, Tabcorp
Claire Murphy, CMO, Tabcorp

Brand building

At the same time, rejuvenating Tabcorp’s core brands has been and will continue to be a focus.

One of Murphy’s major achievements to date has been repositioning Keno through a new brand campaign platform that emphasises the game’s link to having a good time. In its latest financial report, Tabcorp noted the Keno business has since returned to growth, with revenues up 4.8 per cent in the year in the most recent financial year.

“Keno was a brand that was untouched for some time, and research revealed we had a wide demographics playing, but the perception was it was for old people,” Murphy comments. “We started with a core insight: It’s a game people play to make the night better, or the ‘cherry on top’ entertainment. So we started with brand promise of Keno making good times great , then started with a campaign platform called ‘let’s play’.

“We wanted to interrupt the perceptions of Keno and ask people to have a second look at it.”

Murphy’s second sizeable brand campaign launched in August and is aimed at elevating the group’s core TAB proposition by accentuating the key brand pillars customers value most. The ‘We love a bet’ campaign platform kicked off with two executions across TV, digital and out-of-home and are designed to remind customers of the brand’s longevity while bringing to life the social moments people share when they make a winning bet.

The first creative, featuring sporting legend, Mark Geyer, includes a 1990s flashback, while the AFL-based creative looks back to 2013. Present day executions will come out shortly.

Murphy says her and the recently promoted deputy COO of wagering worked together on a full competitive review of the wagering market and found the market was both cluttered, as well as homogenous in terms of voice.

“There was an opportunity for TAB to lift out of the clutter and take a strong leadership position in the market,” she explains. “Internally, we also did an honest audit of what we had communicated in the past and realised we hadn’t been celebrating the things making TAB unique and special. For example, having an omni-channel presence, Australian heritage, and we create social currency – we can move beyond pushing a button on an iPhone to something you can share with friends.”

Again, Murphy says it’s about approaching marketing from the customer’s point of view. “They wanted to love TAB again, and were looking for a brand to act as a lighthouse,” she says. “TAB has been around a long time and facilitated special moments in people’s lives. But we’re also innovative and about future focus and tomorrow as well.”

The next step will be launching a new Tabcorp brand, which Murphy says is designed to move the parent company to a more purpose-led approach.

Through all of this, Murphy is looking make use of a range of channels and highlights the Sky broadcast network as a key area for further opportunity to better leverage content.

“We’re also looking at the role of screen versus second screen, and social in our content play,” she says. “The good thing about our category is it’s rich in terms of content. We want to engage and still be on brand, and create that important dialogue with customers and the community that’s critical.”

Role of the CMO

When it comes to the attributes CMOs need to take up such a customer-led position, Murphy says it’s vital to move the discussion beyond marketing and comms to conversations where marketing as function contributes to the strategy of the business.

“That’s about how to shift conversations to customer metrics, beyond just standard business metrics, and how we own them as a marketing team, then how we jointly own as a business,” she says.

Murphy also stresses the importance of a strong collaboration with IT, particularly given the importance of digital as a customer-facing channel, and says her relationship with her CIO, Kim Wenn, is “fantastic”.

“We have to be super collaborative in our approach between our teams,” Murphy adds. “If we take one message from the way we work as a business, it’s with the spirit of collaboration to get the best possible outcomes for customers and the business.”

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