CMO50 2022 #3: Andy Morley

  • Name Andy Morley
  • Title Director of marketing A/NZ
  • Company Uber
  • Commenced role July 2020
  • Reporting Line APAC CMO
  • Member of the Executive Team Yes
  • Marketing Function 34 staff, 8 direct reports
  • Industry Sector Information technology
  • 2021 ranking New to CMO50
  • Related

    Brand Post

    Having spent 10 years building his FMCG marketing credentials across Arnott’s and Diageo, most of us would have expected Andy Morley to take a senior role in another FMCG or multinational organisation. 

    “Instead of following the traditional path, I took a role without a team, budget or clear role of marketing in a small emerging startup called Uber. It proved a good decision,” he says.

    It’s this kind of professional bravery Morley is incredibly proud to be fostering across his marketing team today. He cites the shift of a third of the team from consumer focus towards growing driver and delivery partners as a recent example.

    “This was a new skill we had little experience with. But with bold strategies and creativity, we've been able to make a huge impact and rebuild our earner base, ensuring everyone can get a ride or food delivered when they need,” he says.

    Leadership impact

    Morley is the first to admit bravery itself isn’t easily formed. “It comes from culture, and is built on a foundation of psychological safety, teamwork and capability,” he comments.

    “My proudest leadership accomplishment has been building this culture of risk-taking and teamwork against the vision for Uber marketing to be ‘the bravest, most impactful team where everyone can do their career defining work’.”

    A series of initiatives have helped on this front. One Morley points to in his CMO50 submission is building a culture of trust and teamwork by inspiring the team to create their own values and culture plans, then execute them. This resulted in creative sharing sessions to social events, insights discovery workshops, gratitude rituals and even ‘matchy’ outfit Tuesdays.

    “I built an all-encompassing capability program that elevated marketing skills and knowledge across the team, including insights, strategy, best-practice executions and specialist capabilities,” Morley says. “Weekly programs helped the team more confidently back their judgement and influence stakeholders, helping them to be braver.”

    Celebrating risk-taking by signposting it has been another critical element in the mix. Just look at the launch of the annual Cinco-de-Mayo bravery event, inspired by Uber’s biggest campaign failure, when the team accidently distributed a very significant amount of promo codes via a Facebook Live activation.

    “We have celebrated all the bold work and failures from the previous year. Additionally, I have established a culture of sharing work early with the group, and extra efforts to recognise great post-campaign assessments for failures,” Morley says. “The focus on culture has created an incredible team environment, with overall satisfaction of 96 per cent, the highest at Uber, and a team who continue to push for bolder work.”

    Innovative marketing

    Such boldness can be seen in the work Uber pursued when faced with its first driver and delivery partner supply crisis. As Morley puts it, there were a host of challenges: Tackling social stigma, battling the most competitive labour market on record, bringing a campaign to market in less than three months and executing 100 per cent locally.

    “The intense labour market conditions created a gap in earner supply, which threatened our reliable product experience promise. I led a cross-functional effort to pivot priorities and build a program to step change in Australia and set a playbook for global scale,” Morley says.

    Insights were gleaned via survey data, earnings assessments and nights riding around the city in Ubers “to get under the skin of the problem”. The resulting headline, Morley says, was that while Australia feels sorry for gig workers, gig workers don’t want Australians to feel sorry for them.

    A new platform to demonstrate how Aussies could be earning in their spare time was realised. The full-funnel program challenged perceptions of earners by using cut-through creative campaigns, a broad selection of influencer content and PR to elevate their identity. Behavioural science also informed improvements to the onboarding experience.

    The result was Uber’s most successful earner acquisition program globally, with an immediate first quarter lift of signups of +24%, brand lifts of +5.5 per cent. “Even the ex-PM was considering it,” Morley adds.

    Data-driven maturity

    Given the data at his disposal at Uber, it’s perhaps surprising to hear that in the balance between data and gut in marketing, Morley believes 80 per cent should be gut.

    “While data is value in helping build insights and some measurement, the science is becoming more complex and imperfect, forcing a stronger reliance on gut,” he says.

    Yet a lean headcount and a fast-moving business model had left Uber historically opting for mass marketing approaches over sophisticated targeting. Morley knew the part art, part science approach to marketing needed recalibration towards the data end of the spectrum.

    “And when we were faced with launching a new membership program Uber One, with more targeted relevance, I got excited,” he says.

    The problem was getting consumers to pay for Uber discounts in advance. To convince consumers they’d save money by signing up as early adopters of Uber’s membership program, Morley’s team leveraged Uber’s rich data sets to form segmentations that drove strategy, targeting and tailored user engagement.

    “Investment was prioritised to high incentive offers towards the audiences with mid-rationality, while focusing on pure awareness and savings messages with broader cohorts,” he says. Data was used in targeted digital channels, with geographic data tapped to plan and execute offline channels such as out-of-home. Behavioural science principles were additionally factored in to budge consumers to purchase.

    Within just a year, retention is over 90 per cent - higher than Prime, Morley notes - demonstrating the benefits of capturing the right audience.

    “The marketing campaign metrics had the highest uplift of any campaign in 2021, and the data-approach and execution tactics have now been adopted globally,” he says. “While Uber needs to continue to mass market, this program is inspiring us to rethink our strategic approach. Not only was this investment effective, it was also more efficient with higher ROI while minimising wastage for other audiences.”

    Customer-led thinking

    Using data and localisation to tap the zeitgeist also came into play when Uber decided to help 50,000 small restaurant operators during the last two years of the pandemic.

    “We flipped the narrative to support local favourites. Through a series of initiatives and campaigns, we inspired over 4 million Aussie eaters to try a new local favourite, shifted the share of market from national brands to SMBs by XBPS, gain +5pts in brand preference by increasing perception that ‘Uber has the best selection of local restaurants’,” Morley says. “Most importantly, we provided more opportunity to local business in a time of real need.”

    A flagship initiative marking this change was the ‘Eat Local’ campaign. Uber enlisted notable Australian talent such as Mick Fanning, The Rubens and Mimi Elashiry and asked them to share local favourites in their own respective suburbs. Dynamic ads were then leveraged to personalise social in feed content, inspiring customers to try top local Eats in their area.

    “We personalised OOH creative for every suburb to get millions of eyeballs on local restaurants. All this inevitably drove mass awareness for over 3000 local businesses through paid marketing channels,” Morley says. “To further drive demand for these local businesses and get our customers trying something new, we also invested in big promotional offers and scaled visibility of these across our huge database and social channels.

    “Finally, we demonstrated our passion for supporting local restaurants through an important act. After hearing the iconic local eatery, Indian Home Diner, had its busiest hours taken by the local government, we rallied the community through a Rave 2 Save fundraiser, petition and awareness campaign to help them. We’re super proud we were successful in influencing the government to reinstate their critical 3am licence.”

    Commercial acumen

    It’s no surprise leading the marketing team in a data-driven tech business requires a relentless focus on data-driven ROI too.

    “While this sounds simple, it’s both a blessing and a curse and requires constant bravery to back the work and put hardcore measurement plans in place to prove impact,” Morley says. “All this while inspiring leadership to back the balance of the long and the short.”

    Morley points to the strategy around the iconic ‘Tonight I’ll Be Eating’ platform as a case in point. Over the last 12 months, the ambition was to drive acquisition of the late majority family audience, and to increase average basket sizes by fuelling more sharing occasions.

    “Proving the effectiveness of the brand work would need a lot more than a BLS so I personally pitched to our global data science team to run a market level test for this campaign,” Morley explains. “The logic is simple enough: Match eight 'dark' control cities with 'treatment' cities of comparable size, demographics, operations and market share.

    “Then simply don’t run our campaign in the matched cities to provide a like-for-like comparison of what our brand work does for business metrics. This enables us to isolate the campaign’s impact from any other factors.”

    Being brave was undoubtedly worth it, Morley says, noting The Wiggle’s Family campaign provided unprecedented uplift, all 100 per cent attributable to the campaign. It also had the highest ROI for a brand campaign to date across Uber Eats APAC and achieved a +28 per cent uplift in organic family acquisition, +3.5 per cent uplift in revenue and +5 per cent in average basket sizes.

    Business smarts

    Stakeholder influence and management is something Morley is clearly good at, and it’s served him not only as a marketing leader, but to help the Uber business to improve engagement across the wider organisation. Morley admits Uber’s organisational structure comprising three lines of business, specialist functions reporting globally, and regional teams representing locally make it challenging to build a local culture.

    “After a record low engagement scores, I decided enough was enough and rallied the A/NZ leadership team under one goal: Being the best team and business in the country.”

    Having volunteered to chair this forum, challenges Morley set out to tackle included work-stress, engagement, trust and connection. “We had to bring the magic back, and I drove the leadership team members to have accountability for 15 programs to elevate the experience,” he says.

    A headline phrase was ‘Be inspired and have fun’. “We had to bring the fun back. Ping pong tables aside, we set up monthly fireside chats with inspirational leaders, championed informal connections via corporate speed meetings, revamped all our internal comms and the office experience,” he says. “We invested in culture and social clubs who could define and drive the culture ongoing.

    It was equally critical to build pride in working at Uber. Ways Morley set to achieve this include investments in brand and reputation actions, championing a diverse and inclusive team, improving individual connection and visibility across the local teams and initiating, sponsoring and helping implement a Reconciliation Action Plan.

    Third was ‘Make it easy to work at Uber’. “We are identifying and fixing bureaucracy pain points, setting consistent decision-making features, supporting cross-line of business transitions and more,” Morley says.

    Results over the past 12 months since the group took full ownership of these workstreams include +11pts in team satisfaction, +8pts in engagement, voluntary attrition reduced by 30 per cent and Uber A/NZ externally accredited as ‘A great place to work’.

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