I stumbled upon the freshest anecdote about the importance of marketing strategy and planning. Telstra released a TV commercial, The Magic of Technology, on YouTube last Sunday. The advert itself is a poetic and musical genius that hopes to awaken one’s inner wizard. But, will its magic work this time?
Check out the ad below!
MY NEWSPAPER DOESN’T LIE!
No, it doesn’t. This marketing campaign does emerge from a long-drawn backdrop of network outages, website blockages, accusations of wrongly marketing themselves as sponsors of the Aussie Olympic team, undecidedly nipping in and out of the controversial same-sex marriage bandwagon, and the list tirelessly goes on.
HOLD ON! WHAT HAS MARKETING STRATEGY AND PLANNING GOT TO DO WITH THIS?
Here is a brief introduction!
As simple as this may sound, Business Victoria suggests that a marketing strategy is a blueprint that involves departmental elements in providing direction to marketing. This process should culminate in delivering your ideas, in the form of goods and services, to customers. Or, delivering goods and services might be incidental to an initial objective of displaying a revamped corporate image.
In turn, a marketing plan is a reference document that helps you execute the marketing strategy. A plan helps you define a set of objectives, scrutinize the resources you possess, and design a way to implement the strategy you decided on.
BUT WHERE DO I BEGIN? You ought to swot your SWOT…
Quite a tongue twister, that! Over the expansive history of business management and analytics, an umpteen number of strategy tools has cropped up, and many are still relevant in today’s fluctuating times. Many popular fancy abbreviations come to mind, like SWOT, PESTEL, SPECTACLES, etc. In particular,
SWOT analysis is one of those straightforward tools that has persevered through testing times. Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT in full) are identified and evaluated, courtesy of this tool.
Let’s get back to the Telstra saga!
In his parliamentary report on the organization, O’Leary (2003) introduced Telstra as an erstwhile government department which would later be privatized in three phases commencing in 1997. Hence, Telstra enjoys significant historical prestige. From the onset, they created a strong customer base and amassed resources galore to champion research and development of 3G and 4G networks.
Unfortunately, over the last few months this year, they have been facing strong flak over multiple network wobbles at the expense of millions of irked Aussie subscribers. These failures were attributed to human error and technical negligence.
MarketLine’s SWOT analysis (2016) for Telstra, too, claimed that despite spearheading research efforts into 4G network and enjoying competitive advantage in their vast spread over global markets, their average revenue per subscriber is dwindling. You and I can now connect the dots as to why this is occurring.
TELSTRA’S MARKETING IRONY
Keeping in mind the above SWOT analysis, Telstra released a well-designed TV commercial (above) and a print media campaign (right) last Sunday. In her article for The Age dated 18th July, Lucy Battersby observes that the organization is endeavoring to market a new company image, from one that merely sells monthly subscriptions to one that offers magical experiences through technology. By doing so, they also wish to connect with users at an emotional, personal level.
The irony here is that, as they try to better customer service against reported outages, Telstra has laid off hundreds of customer service jobs Straya-wide, reports Battersby.
WHAT’S THE TAKEAWAY?
Every campaign you bump into, whether like the one in the dailies by Dick Smith flashing their closing-down sale, the one on TV by Finish that insists a heartbroken wreck to buy their dish-washing detergent after a breakup, or even this recent rebranding endeavor by Telstra, is a result of a company’s marketing team churning out creative marketing ideas at the boardroom. Corporate philosophies, practices, policies and products get the mechanics of marketing strategy and planning rolling. The resulting strategy and plan must either deliver your goods or services to insatiable customers, showcase a new corporate image, or any such objective(s).
If you observe Telstra’s standing on the ASX, Battersby notes in the article, their share price has risen by 9% over the last month and a half. It may seem like ‘The Magic of Technology’ has indeed played out on the stock exchanges.
But, being in its infancy, only time will tell whether or not their new customer-oriented marketing strategy will reap fruits; whether Telstra succeeds in finding my inner wizard, or yet another disgruntled subscriber!
Yogesh K. Sewani
O’Leary, G 2003, ‘Telstra Sale: Background and Chronology’, Department of the Parliamentary Library, retrieved 19 July 2016.
‘Telstra Corporation Ltd. SWOT Analysis’ 2016, Telstra Corporation, SWOT Analysis, pp. 1-8, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, retrieved 18 July 2016.