Q&A: Ben Dowd, O2 business director

Marketing Week spoke to Ben Dowd, O2 business director, about how it intends to convert the market buzz around its #BeMoreDog campaign to a competitive advantage. 

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Marketing Week: How are you going to position O2’s 4G offering differently from EE’s? 

Ben Dowd: Our 800 MHZ spectrum which has been cleared by Ofcom in the last couple of days – hence the reason we’re announcing today – this particular speed will give faster speeds and better in-door coverage [when compared to EE’s]. The nature of this spectrum is that it penetrates through buildings. 

 In the business market we’re going to focus on how this can achieve reach business outcome changes, efficiencies and help them achieve competitive advantages. As part of the launch process we consulted businesses and how they’d be likely to deploy 4G and their redaction was in and around [late] 2013 and 2014. 

MW: And how is O2’s 4G offering going to be presented towards consumers? 

BD: We’re not just focusing on the enterprise segment. The announcement we’ve gone out with today also talks about offering our customers 12 month’s of music content [O2 is not disclosing the full details of the offering until 29 August]. Music will be at the centre of our launch into the 4G consumer world. 

We’re also hoping to launch a 4G, Wi-Fi enabled device that laptops, smartphones and tablets can connect into that can effectively become a pop-up office in outside areas. 

MW: How are you going to build on the ‘Be More Dog’ campaign? 

Our ambition is to go above and beyond what’s already offered in the 4G market and give customers an unique and exclusive range of digital content and experience. We’ve already got quite a lot of content in terms of Priority Moments, etc.  

Also, what’s different about our service  – in terms of how we are launching it – is that we’re offering a consultancy type service with our O2 Gurus both in-store and online that can talk to people about what 4G can do for them. 

We’ve also announced our 4G phone promise which enables people to upgrade to a 4G device by trading in their old device, which again helps people to upgrade to 4G. 

MW: Will your messaging be device-led or services-led? EE’s 4G messaging has focused heavily on speed so far. How will you counter this? 
BD: We’ve got about 20 devices, both tablets and smartphones, that could be 4G-enabled at launch. 

The ‘Be More Dog’ campaign, which has kicked off already, is indicative of how we see it evolving. We want our customers to be more inquisitive and we want to enable the technology to help them with that. 

We’ve always been quite an insight-led company and through technology we want to discover more about our customers. We also want to disrupt, that’s the essence of O2 wants to do. 

MW: Will we see more animals in your ads? 

BD: I think the [cats and] dogs are working quite well for now. It’s helping us to see a lot of interest. 

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