What it took to rebrand the Yahoo7 business

We talk to the marketing leader in charge of delivering the Verizon Media Business B2B and B2C rebrand in Australia

Anny Havercroft
Anny Havercroft


Up next: Havercroft's last three lessons in building a local B2B marketing brand off global roots

Get close and personal with global

The marketing function, meanwhile, needed to better integrate and collaborate with global counterparts. At the same time, local marketers had a steep learning curve getting their heads around distinctive B2B and B2C brand messaging and approaches.

What helped is a very clear company strategy from the top, led by the managing director. Work was also embraced as a professional development opportunity, particularly when it came to internal rebrand work.

“It’s not just looking at external customers and actions, but taking an internal audience through the whole journey,” Havercroft said. “We also did a lot of collaboration work with our global counterparts, more than we have ever done previously. That was part of becoming a 100 per cent wholly owned business, instead of servicing two shareholders.”

In addition, striking the balance between BAU and growth was vital. “This is a job on its own and we had our own day jobs. You have to keep BAU going as it is key to delivering against goals, targets and so on,” Havercroft said.  

“One of the biggest lessons for me was around how to maintain momentum while changing the name of the business. It was so important we got organised early in the year on the plans from a consumer perspective… so that could just roll through as we worked on the rebrand.”

One of these was Yahoo Finance’s first-ever consumer campaign in 2018, entitled ‘Making money work’. The digital and out-of-home activity helped retain momentum around the brand with customers.

“We could show customers it was BAU, and we could show the growth in our consumer brands. Yahoo Finance has gone from 10th to sixth position in the last 6-9 months [based on Nielsen data] as result of this investment behind it,” Havercroft said. “They’re seeing the proof points as well as the rollout of the new business name.”  

Mixing big brand thinking with tactical executions

With the rebrand unveiled in January, Havercroft’s next step is an industry initiative supporting young marketing and agency talent through training and recognition. Launching over coming weeks, the program will ask senior leaders to nominate their top 10 per cent of talent, and see Verizon Media Business supplying training programs to build their professional credentials.

“This is about refocusing our position as building brand, people and love and customer professional brands,” Havercroft said.  

“We have other business-focused initiatives we will take to market in Q2 and Q3, where we’ll be talking about our editorial and adtech solutions more. That’s more of a product and editorial story, as opposed to industry-wide training initiative. So we’re mixing long-term brand building with shorter-term opportunities.”

Havercroft’s main measures of brand success include Net Promoter Score (NPS) and customer satisfaction, which help showcase perceptions of Verizon Media Business and its consumer brands against the rest of the market.

“We will have commercial results we’ll review as well. That combination helps show levels of success,” she said, “The feedback since launch has been overwhelmingly positive, so we know the message has resonated and landed with customers. It’s important now to build and have consistency through the next long while.”

Knowing as CMO when to lead and when to wait

Of course, as a local marketing leader of a global brand, there’s an element of unknown and things Havercroft can’t control.

“Where you are a lead marketer in a country and you’re plugged into a global system, there are things you have to just wait and see on that our out of your control; then there are things to shape and make your own. It’s experience and wisdom to know which one you need at any given time,” she commented.

“The media landscape is interesting both globally and in Australia. Sometimes you have to wait and see what comes down the pipeline, then make calls and decisions based on what is best for your company, people and customers locally.

“Sometimes you wish you have more input, but that’s not my role. My role is localising it and making things work in Australia. It’s an interesting journey but also the wonderful thing about being part of a global business – the things you can control, and the things you have to live with.

“And it’s about standing up for the things important to your market… the global approach has to try and fit everything and everyone somehow. It’s the lowest common denominator. That’s where we then get to use our magic by turning something global, and potentially generic, into something interesting, engaging and compelling for our market.

“My job is to sprinkle that gold dust and make it compelling.”

Check out more of our rebrand stories:

 Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu   

 

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