Optus stepping back from mass advertising

Optus marketing boss Michael Smith has outlined plans to reduce the telco's reliance on mass communications, while flagging up to ten times more investment in one-to-one messaging.

Speaking with AdNews, Smith spoke of the company's new focus on customer retention, rather than aggressive acquisition.

He described a plan to create a “premium around customers” and argued a large part of the process would involve an increase in one-to-one communications.

“There's a bunch of useful one-to-ones, like MMS, and any other sorts of messages to customers. The investment in that whole one-to-one portfolio will grow five-fold, ten-fold in the next 18 months, but relatively it will be a lot less costly than buying a 30 second block in 60 Minutes or Underbelly:Badness.

“It will be interesting to see what the bigger unit media do in response to this, but I won't be alone in this, and presumably lots of others are doing the same thing. I don't think the big stuff will disappear, as I still want to talk to my customers in macro media. Also, I'm in an enviable position because I have such direct capability with my customers through our own network.”

Smith said the shift in marketing focus would “not necessarily” change the overall marketing budget of Optus.

See last week's edition of AdNews (7 September) in print and on iPad for the full interview.

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