Ones to Watch

CMO50 2020: Renee Garner

  • Name Renee Garner
  • Title Chief marketing officer
  • Company amaysim
  • Commenced role October 2019
  • Reporting Line CEO
  • Member of the Executive Team Yes
  • Marketing Function 6 direct report; 35 staff
  • Industry Sector Telecommunications
  • 2019 ranking New to CMO50
  • Related

    Brand Post

    This year, Renee Garner did something she never expected to be doing as a marketer. "Penning a sassy little love letter to 572 of the amaysim family asking them to hold my hand, and bound into the sunset with a promise to each other that we will do the big things, the hard things, the little things, the courageous things, the ‘what’s right’ things, even if it hurts, to truly show BIG LOVE our customers,” Garner said.

    And on her list of key ingredients to making marketing innovative? Attitude, curiosity and effort. "Build a team with these must-have traits in spades. Galvanise them around the 'big idea' and metrics we will move, and then unleash the collective passion, creativity and smarts to deliver growth with impact. And don't forget the martech, systems and process are all but enablers of ideas executed with smarts,"said Garner.

    Marketing effectiveness

    In FY20, amaysim completed two significant competitor acquisitions: Jeenee Mobile and Ovo Mobile. These deals contributed materially to total FY20 recurring subscriber growth of 33 per cent, an excellent balance between organic and acquisition growth in the financial year. "Both acquisitions were successfully integrated in record time, Jenee within a three-month period and OVO Mobile within two months, and with lower than forecasted churn rates," Garner said.

    "Impressively, the OVO Mobile acquisition was also completed during full remote working. Leveraging a combination of my merger and acquisitions, legal and marketing experience, I led the marketing team through the customer engagement effort resulting in all acquired subscribers now fully migrated on to the amaysim brand, plans, systems and processes," she said.

    Influencing change

    "I believe that brand strategy is the beating heart and spark of any modern company, driving and energising its growth, and igniting its culture. And so, when I joined the company in late 2019 one of my first actions was to undertake a full brand diagnosis, which highlighted that the market had caught up with us and amaysim’s key points of difference had largely been mimicked," said Garner.

    Since inception in 2010, amaysim disrupted the market with positioning as ‘amazingly simple’ with its simple, no contract, great value, customer-orientated sim-only plans. "Customer were not choosing us because they’ve either never heard of us or have a perception that we are cheap, and cheap often raises questions about reliability," she explained.

    "In response to this, I immediately pivoted to upweight brand marketing investment (previously spend focus on promotion/discounting digital marketing), launching our successful ‘acts of amaysim’ socially led brand campaign, whilst kicking off a concurrent brand refresh workstream."

    To underpin the brand strategy work, Garner commissioned new market segmentation, brand association and CVP HCD insights work, which illuminated its problem and its white space to win. "We have now finalised our new brand strategy, with full CEO and my fellow executive’s excitement and support," she said.

    In July this year, the telco finalised a creative agency review process, appointing 72andSunny as its new creative agency. "We closed the March 2020 quarter with an impressive improvement in unpromoted brand awareness now at 22 per cent, and we are now bringing every corner of our business together to introduce Australia to our fresh new brand, launching….shhhh it’s a secret," she said.

    Data-led marketing

    The core principle Garner and amaysim’s CTO, Richard Dean, use to drive the joint marketing-technology plans is speedy adaption of best-in-class marketing technologies to drive highly personalised customer experiences. One technology the brand has invested in this year is a CDP (customer data platform) that has enabled it to develop in several key areas. First is the ability to move faster with a modern technology stack of best of breed tools with increased efficiency and productivity.

    It also allows it to construct and enable a real-time single customer view by combining and enriching all customer touchpoints across platforms and channels for personalised and tailored offers or incentives in real-time. And lastly it democratises data and empowers each team to make data-driven decisions and execute campaigns without the need for manual analysis or cross-team dependencies with full transparency and confidence. "In establishing our new ‘data-supply-chain’, Richard and I have jointly led a cross-functional implementation squad pulling in finance, marketing, CRM, data and analytics, technology, billing and service teams," Garner said.

    "A new battleground, we have had wins and hit some challenges, importantly clocking many learnings relating to effective data structures and architecture, business operating model changes, and use case development."

    "Despite this, and working through this remotely, our initial use case results (automated early renewals, ad suppression, energy funnel abandon cart) are speaking for themselves. In additional our targetable audience growth has increased by 19 per cent, exceeding all expectations. Bring on the next year unlocking the power of CDP - right connection, right time, right message, right channel, and going above and beyond to make things simpler, faster and satisfying for our customers and our people in service of them."

    COVID-19 innovation

    "In March 2020, when COVID-19 first sent Australia into lockdown, we made swift decisions to completely pivot our media buying approach to create flexibility and adapted our marketing and content strategy to be more contextually relevant to the rapidly changing lives of consumers," Garner explained.

    While the brand continued to invest as planned, but with a new customer engagement focus, its number one priority was ensuring customers remained connected and entertained. "We generously and uniquely addressed our existing customers with bonus data; and nimbly birthed our innovative partnership with VICE Media Group with the ‘amaysim at Home’ variety show, offering fun entertainment and respite for our customers," she said.  

    "We have also identified cost of living as a major issue for Australians, and as an essential services provider of both energy and mobile, we believe we can play a big role in helping customers get ahead as in this challenging time."

    The telco has created a new content series with Australia’s cost of living expert Joel Gibson (author of ‘Kill Bills’) with the objective of showing Australians that busting your household bills can be fun and easy. This campaign was hugely successful for amaysim. The content series saw great engagement across all channels and the PR campaign was amaysim’s most successful in the past two years.

    In the March quarter, mobile brand awareness score reached a high of 22 per cent and our NPS rose to 57 (up from 41 a year ago). "We have also upheld our position as 'the least complained about telco' with the lowest number of complaints submitted to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman. In the latest quarter, we reported 0.4 complaints per 10,000 customers," Garned noted.

    "This is an exceptional result and I am incredibly proud of our happy customers, and what the team has delivered in this pandemic."

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