Gabey Goh
Jan 21, 2016

Malaysia’s U Mobile expands marketing ranks to disrupt telco landscape

MALAYSIA - Challenger telco brand U Mobile has started the year with a new addition to its marketing team and an expanded agency roster as it continues an aggressive push for a bigger slice of the local market.

Jasmine Lee
Jasmine Lee

Former AirAsia head of marketing Schrene Goh has joined the company as head of marketing communications, brand and digital, marketing division.

The company has also appointed TBWA as its creative agency for its postpaid-services business, awarding the account in December last year after a pitch process that began in August. BBDO, the company's creative agency since 2013, will focus on the prepaid-services business.

“We have been very fortuitous to have BBDO as our agency for both the prepaid and postpaid business for three years,” Jasmine Lee, U Mobile’s chief marketing officer, told Campaign Asia-Pacific. “They have done great work for us, culminating in a Kancil award win for a U Card campaign."

John Teoh, managing director of BBDO Kuala Lumpur, described U Mobile as a valued partner. “The team has enjoyed working with this dynamic company over the past three years and we have achieved many milestones and great success together,” he added. “In 2016, we look forward to continuing our focus on the work, helping to deliver real growth and business results for U Mobile.”

Lee said that the company decided to expand its agency roster because its range of products and services has "grown exponentially" over the past few years.

“As such, our marketing needs have grown in tandem,” she said. “When we were planning for this year, we thought it would be a good idea to add another agency, as we do foresee our marketing needs to keep growing.”

Aaron Cowie, group CEO at TBWA Kuala Lumpur, said that the team is passionate about the U Mobile brand and “excited to get started.”

“We will be working with U Mobile to continue challenging the status quo and to behave in new and unexpected ways,” he added.

New year resolutions

In a statement, U Mobile CEO Wong Heang Tuck said that the company has been growing at “phenomenal speeds” and is always looking for talent to play a role in “further elevating U Mobile’s image” with its stakeholders.

As the number four telco in the country, U Mobile was reported as having 3.5 to 4 million subscribers at the end of 2015's third quarter. Most notably, it managed to sign up 2 million new customers via its ‘Vision 2 Million’ campaign, which took place in late 2014.

Lee declined to disclose the company’s annual marketing budget or spend, adding that the company does not disclose the breakdown of its business’ operational costs.

Asked what the priorities for the brand will be in the coming months, she said that as a “data-centric telco”, U Mobile puts great investment and emphasis on providing the best data experience to customers.

“Our marketing mix is very much reflective of that business strategy,” she said. “Over the years, we have been increasing our digital investment, and this year we are looking at 35 percent of our marketing expenditure going into this channel.”

Lee said the company is definitely looking to refine its marketing expenditure in the future, and in 2016, will continue to live up to its reputation as a challenger brand: “One that is determined to roll out products and services that are unheard of so our customers can reap maximum benefit from their mobile experience,” she added. “On the brand front, we want to be admired for changing the landscape so that the full potential of data is made available to our customers."

 

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