Vodafone CMO: Products first, branding and communications will follow

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 23 February 2015

Vodafone is making a product push, as the teleco provider launches a partnership with streaming service Stan this morning, as well as rolling out its sharing plans, which will allow multiple users to share all the services provided in its red plans.

This product focus from the telco is aligned with the vision of new chief marketing officer for Vodafone, Loo Fun Chee for the marketing of the business.

Chee told AdNews this morning: “The key is to continually listen to what the customer is saying to us, so having the pulse of the market is critical,” she said.

“We are not just here to just communicate to people, we are here to resonate with the customer – to really understand what is relevant to the customer. A lot of all the things we are doing, all the products and the services, is really trying to answer the customer's need, so we'll continue to go down that particular path.”

Chee began her role last month after replacing former CMO Kim Clarke, and she explained that working with a challenger brand in the market allows Vodafone to do things a bit differently to get customers thinking about switching to Vodafone.

“One of the things to enable the customer to actually consider us, is we do actually have to bring something new to the table, and only then will the customer want to listen and give us a shot,” she said.

“So everything that we're doing is trying to see how do we actually provide innovation in terms of value, in terms of experiences, and now with content as well.”

Not only did the telco replace its CMO last year, it also appointed a new creative agency with Cummins&Partners picking up a four-year contract to service the business. The agency, established a Sydney agency to specifically service the client.

While Chee wouldn't be led on when new creative would be going out to market, she told AdNews that she and her team are working with the agency to get creative out in the market that focusses on Vodafone's promise to its customers, new and old.

“We are working with them on crafting what is really the proposition of the promise we want to give to the customer. Again, Vodafone is focusing on how we help the customer use their phone to the fullest and to maximise their experience from that point of view.”

Chee explained that Vodafone today is doing things very differently to how it has in the past. “I don't think about the brand as just advertising messages, it's about the real proof points that we bring to the market.

“So today we're here launching share plans – it's not just about data, there's voice, SMS and international calls and roaming. And that to me is a big message to be sending out to the marketplace – coming out with Stan, so we’ve got music and we've got news and now video.”

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