A Q&A with Lawrence Chan, Managing Director at MyRepublic, a service provider founded in Singapore in 2011. MyRepublic offers broadband, MVNO and enterprise connectivity services across Asia-Pacific.
MVNO Nation: Which channels do you currently use for you advertising?:
Lawrence: We actually use them all. We prefer an omni-channel approach. Our way of thinking it that it’s important to have as many touchpoints as possible when it comes to our customer base, which means there’s nothing from a channel point of view that we can really give up. Doing so would mean giving up a segmentation of our audience.
MVNO Nation: Do you have different strategies for different countries?
Lawrence: Absolutely. In a country like Singapore, segmentations are so diverse. Some people like online, some people like offline. This strategy actually differs from what we do with our Australia and New Zealand business. In these countries, we use much more online and digital marketing owing to the culture and consumption behaviour that comes with it. In Indonesia, on the other hand, we lean heavily towards offline activity. It’s fascinating.
MVNO Nation: Speaking of leaning, you’re focusing on content marketing for your target micro segments, right?
Lawrence: Correct. Good marketing depends on good communication, and the best way to communicate is to tell a story or have a conversation. In an ideal world, we’d do this on a 1:1 basis, but we need a good RIO and the more personal the message, the more expensive it is. You need that balance. When we start creating these narratives, we try to bring everyone into these micro segments. We’re crafting storylines around issues that might be important to them and solutions they might be interested in.
Our content is obviously different across each of our business lines, and it’s also different depending on who we’re talking to. We don’t serve the same stories to mothers and gamers, for example. Instead, we’re talking to them as individuals, but in a cost-efficient manner. Content marketing allows for these approaches.
MVNO Nation: Do you find it difficult to create relevant content?
Lawrence: In my opinion, the more complex your product is, the easier it is to craft messages that add value. But if you go into a highly competitive industry, everyone has full awareness and the issues and solutions have all been considered. A perfect example of one of these spaces is consumer MVNO. Data is becoming a commodity – everyone knows they need it, they know they need coverage, so that content becomes harder to build. This is where you have to get back to basics.
You have to ask yourself – what are people using data for, what are the constants, and then start crafting narratives around that. Focus on how people use your service. Again, thinking about MVNO, are your customers gamers? Are they watching a lot of content online? What kind of content are they watching? How can your technology serve them better – above and beyond your competitors?
Create a story plainly stating what your service can do and that it can help customers do those things better, faster and more reliably.
MVNO Nation: How does spend on channel management differ within the countries that you operate in?
Lawrence: In New Zealand and Australia, managing the channel isn’t expensive, but actually paying to compete with high levels of digital is where it gets costly. The problem with the cost of managing these channels is manpower. You need a dedicated team at all times looking at the opportunities across the day. You can opt not to pay much attention and say, ‘OK, this is my strategy for the year’ and that’s it. But you’re not getting the best return on investment for that. This means that in those markets, we need to find better solutions, which includes exploring offline options.
Places like Singapore and Indonesia are less expensive, partially because the cost of manpower is much cheaper in those areas and also because the strategy is flatter. In Indonesia, a developing country, a lot of the marketing is actually very direct. We do a lot of door-to-door. With this method we don’t have to change strategies often and can benefit from economy of scale.
MVNO Nation: How do you determine the best marketing channel?
Lawrence: At the end of the day it’s all about the numbers of eyeballs and the cost of getting them on your content. These are all very basic metrics. All marketing people are using the same metrics, but it’s the accuracy of these metrics that’s the differentiator.
I think what people should worry about is not what the metrics are, but whether they can get the metrics on a timely basis and whether they are clean. It’s about ensuring the information isn’t biased, that it’s coming in fast and coming in accurate. That’s where a successful strategy lies.