O2 diversifies its offering to target new markets

Mark Stevenson, head of O2 segment marketing division
Mark Stevenson, head of O2 segment marketing division

LONDON - O2's head of sponsorship and events, Mark Stevenson, has been promoted to head the mobile operator's new segment marketing division as it steps up its assault in non-traditional categories.

Stevenson starts in his new role this week, and will oversee all marketing activity focused on differentiating O2's customer propositions. He will report to Peter Rampling, head of consumer mobile.

The operator is aiming to diversify from a traditional mobile company into a 'leading home services provider'. Stevenson will be responsible for products across the consumer space, including financial services and broadband.

Stevenson said that the new division was created in recognition that O2 had to meet changing customer requirements. The company could extend into further categories.
'We'll be looking at new suitable areas to move into and where consumers want us to be,' he said. 'O2 has the permission to operate in other areas because we are a young, trendy brand, and have a very loyal customer base - other mobile operators choose to focus purely on a mobile operation, but we can offer a very different proposition.'

O2's foray into non-traditional channels stepped up a gear in 2006, when the operator signed a sponsorship deal with AEG to rename the former Millennium Dome as The O2. Since reopening it 2007, O2 has used the arena to enhance consumer loyalty through its Priority ticketing operation.

Having benefited from growing customer numbers, the operator last year bought the title sponsor rights to Academy concert venues across the UK.
Rather than relying solely on music, however, it has also developed Priority ticketing within sport. It has continued to operate the 'Blueroom' at Twickenham stadium, England's rugby headquarters.

In the summer, O2 further differentiated itself from its competitors with the launch of a personal financial services brand, O2 Money, in partnership with NatWest. The venture includes two pre-paid Visa cards, exclusively available to O2 customers.

O2, owned by Telefonica, has also recently launched an online app store called Litmus. Although the site is currently in Beta, it connects customers with developers to create apps. It has also continued to drive promotion of its family diary device, The Joggler.

In September, the company announced it was restructuring its commercial marketing team, and was expected to cut 10% of employees.

Although O2 is currently reviewing its digital account, Stevenson said that the new segment marketing division team would use existing agencies such as VCCP and Archibald Ingall Stretton.

 

 

 

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