Optus set to overhaul rewards program

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 11 November 2015

Australia's second largest telecommunications provider, Optus, is readying the launch of a revamped rewards offering.

The telco currently has a movie ticket rewards program, Yes Tickets, which according to its website is expiring on Sunday (15 November), with the business also understood to be preparing to roll out a marketing push around the initiative.

AdNews understands that the launch could be as early as Monday next week, with an Optus spokesperson telling AdNews: “Optus is evolving its customer loyalty program because we know that our customers value different things.

“We’re working on the best way to bring a range of rewards that makes sense for them including discounted movie tickets; money can’t buy experiences and better access to entertainment.”

The move would come as the business continues to bolster its additional offerings for customers, such as its deal with streaming powerhouse, Netflix, its partnership with Cricket Australia to give customers access to the 70 scheduled cricket games across the summer, and its surprise acquisition of the exclusive Australian rights to the Barclays Premier League for three seasons, pipping incumbent rights holder, Fox Sports, at the post.

The business has remained quiet as to what it is planning to do with the digital and television rights for the league, but it would seem likely the rights would play a role in the new loyalty offering.

Optus rival, Telstra, has had a strong focus on loyalty since 2013 when it launched its own offering, Telstra Thanks. Ever since, it has been ramping up the offering to include movie, music and sports rewards for customers.

The success of Telstra's program saw its brand value increase to US$12.7 billion in the last year, according to Millward Brown, which saw it enter the research firm's top 100 brand list for the first time in 2015.

Optus has been mulling over ramping up its sports and music offerings for customers for some time, with it rumoured earlier this year that business was set to go up against Telstra for the digital sports rights for the AFL and NRL.

Optus chief executive, Allen Lew, previously said: “We have to start to get involved in digital media of various sorts, and I think sports rights is but one.

“So yes we'll be looking at it, but we'll be looking at it in a hard-nosed [way] and what are the advantages it brings us in this market and ... strategically how it fits in with how we want to be in the eyes of our customers."

Optus is currently involved in on the biggest pitches of the year, with both media and creative agencies fighting it out for a piece of the telco's $40 million dollar account.

It is thought that Optus has been working with loyalty agencies TLC Marketing and Aimia Marketing. It also appointed agency The Works to its direct account in February of this year.

All agencies contacted declined to comment.

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