How amaysim worked out how to do the right thing during COVID-19

Mobile virtual network operator's chief marketing officer talks about the values and team approach that's helped the brand navigate the crisis

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Of the many trends in marketing content that have emerged through 2020, one of the most common has been displays of empathy. But how well those messages landed probably had more to do with how people felt about the brands to begin with rather than the quality of the communications themselves.

Because just as you supposedly can’t fake sincerity, consumers are also likely to see through any false displays of emotional concern.

For mobile virtual network operator, amaysim, its ability to play the empathetic card during the height of the COVID-19 crisis owed much to decisions taken earlier in its life, not just about the positioning of the brand, but about the culture of the organisation that gives rise to it. According to amaysim chief marketing officer and CMO50 2020 One to Watch, Renee Garner, this can be seen in the culture days that the organisation regularly holds.

“We have full days as a team where we talk about values and what they mean,” she tells CMO. “What does ‘doing the right thing’ actually mean for us and our customers, and how far would we be willing to go o resolve something for a customer?

“It is something that sets us apart, and it is not just something you can say you can do. It starts with the culture and your people.”

These discussions have given rise to policies such as ensuring customers are always on the best deal, even when what is being offered is better than what they originally signed up to.

“We are a very empathic organisation and that is why our NPS is at 55, and we are the least complained about telco,” Garner says. “We go by far above and beyond in responding to our customers’ needs and addressing their concerns and resolving issues if they arise, but also surprising and delighting them.”

Speaking on the eve of the announcement of her company’s acquisition by Optus, Garner described how those sentiments were now being reinforced in a new campaign based on the message ‘little sim, big love’.

She says the goal is to go beyond the previous position of being ‘amazingly simple’ by expanding the promise amaysim makes to customers. But rather than calling it a brand repositioning, she describes the new campaign as an evolution.

“Simple is absolutely important, but it is table stakes now,” Garner says. “We have clear insights from our customers that they care about cost of living, so we have to keep bringing things to them that help them get ahead, both in mobile, and in the rest of their life. And brands need to think about how they are going to help their customers through this next challenging period.

“When we say to the world ‘we will do this’ we can’t let anyone down – not that we ever did. But it is one thing to say it, the other thing is to say it. And we need to step up and do it.”

One example of this behaviour in action is an offer that amaysim made to customers this year that saw them given access to free video content from Joel Gibson, the author of the cost saving guide Kill Bills!

“We brought our customers all that content as a part of being with us because we knew at the time our customers needed help with saving money,” Garner says.

That campaign also proved to be the most successful PR campaign that amaysim has run for the past two years, with a reach of greater than 16.7 million.

The little sim, big love campaign is rolling out now across offline and digital channels, and will be followed by a second wave that Garner says will take a disruptive and cheeky tone.

“We are playing on this idea of big love in a very flirty and playful way,” Garner says. “So there is going to be a lot of spunk and personality that comes out, because the world needs a bit of personality as well.”

But while the new campaign sounds like an evolution of the existing marketing strategy, Garner says it is actually the external expression of the culture that already exists within the organisation.

For this reason she describes it as an inside-out evolution.

“We look at market insights to inform a white space, but we have started ‘with what do our people want to be famous for?’,” Garner says. “We started there, and this idea of empathy and love and care and going above and beyond came out so strongly, because that is what our people are proud of.”

This week, Optus announced its acquisition of the 10-year old, ASX-listed amaysim for approximately $250 million. Once approved and completed, the mobile virtual network operator will remain as a standalone brand under the Optus umbrella.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia.

 

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