Telstra's rebrand smashing rivals: Buckman

By By Paul McIntyre | 21 September 2012
Telstra chief marketing officer, Mark Buckman.

A year after Telstra launched its massive rebranding effort, chief marketing officer Mark Buckman has disclosed new figures showing consumer perceptions toward the telco brand have improved significantly along with a 50% year-on-year cut in the telco’s cost of reaching audiences.

Buckman told AdNews this week that Telstra’s consumer tracking on brand consideration had hit a six-year high and the company had extended its leadership position against the number two-ranked Optus since the rebranding campaign was launched last September.

“We’ve now widened the gap to 19% between us and our nearest competitor which is Optus,” he said. “There are 30% more Australians now considering Telstra for their next purchase of a telecommunications service or product than there were a year ago. That’s a phenomenal result.”

Buckman stressed it was not just the rebranding that was responsible for the improvement in Telstra’s brand tracking – he also credited the product and customer service overhaul the telco was continuing to deploy for delivering the dramatic improvements.

He also hinted the telco had seen major cost savings across its brand communications investment, although he played down suggestions it had come purely from driving down media rates.

“I’m really happy with the improvement we have seen in the effectiveness of our communications,” he said. “We have halved the cost to reach each person in the past year.

The way we look at it is cost per effective reach point. Over the last 12 months we have halved that so it costs us half as much to reach the same amount of people as it did a year ago.”

When asked how those savings had been achieved, Buckman said: “You’re asking me whether we have beaten the crap out of media? There is no doubt we’re always looking to extract greater value from every dollar we spend.”"

However, Buckman claimed better advertising rates were only part of the story. In the past year, Telstra had also seen a marked rise in the number of people identifying communications correctly from Telstra – up from 50% to 95%.

“So there is an effectiveness component to that which says our advertising is working better,” he said.

“The second aspect is a shift in the mix of how we’ve gone to market. We’re definitely more forensic in our targeting in both online and direct and the digital use of those channels. And of course we continue to look for efficiencies and effectiveness in the use of more traditional media.”

This article first appeared in the 21 September 2012 edition of AdNews, in print and on iPad. Click here to subscribe for more news, features and opinion.

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