O2’s 21 million customers makes it the biggest telecoms company in the UK. Larger, as we learned last week, than its former parent BT (19.4 million landlines). There is no doubt that, like all businesses, O2 faces its own set of challenges right now – our news story on page 4 alone confirms that. But what’s interesting is the nature of O2’s structure as a business and how it equips the senior management to deal with such challenges. For O2 is led, truly led, by marketers.
The first advert to use the music of Bob Dylan, which brought our food, travel, pharmacy, bank, insurance and funeralcare businesses under one brand, is without doubt the umbrella marketing success story of 2009.
Cutting prices is and has always been seen as a short-term solution that devalues an established brand and is detrimental to its long-term image and profitability.
It is refreshing to hear that high-street banks are seriously addressing how they can effectively use their online presence to match their product offerings to customers’ goals (Bank websites need stronger connection, MW last week). However, it is vital that banks now take a multichannel, 360 degree approach to prospective and existing customers and not underestimate the value that a truly customer-centric approach can yield.