Following numerous years of offering cost effective international calling solutions through bolt-on and international SIM products, O2 introduced its first international calling app World Chat in 2015.  As a major player they believed they had the scale and brand recognition to offer a distinctive proposition at a price point that would be highly competitive whilst creating a more user-friendly digital product. In particular they could offer consumers the opportunity to utilise their high-quality international calling system, which is run through a satellite connection.

Good Growth were engaged to support the World Chat team to develop the sales proposition and innovate the way the product accessed the market. Additionally, we were asked to support the development of a robust commercial model against which the team could decide whether and how to scale up the product into a significant revenue stream. A secondary goal was to work on customer acquisition not just to increase the velocity but also to reduce the cost.

The Challenge

The business challenge was clear: sell the proposition better and improve landing page performance to enable O2 to decide whether, and if so how best, to scale up the product into a significant revenue stream.

Good Growth were commissioned to increase customer conversion and reduce acquisition costs for World Chat using their trademarked ‘Engagement to Action’ process, Google AdWords, challenger landing page designs and iterative changes to web proposition based on customer insight and data. O2 were looking for both learning and insight into improving sales effectiveness in this highly competitive market and an improvement in commercial performance such that the costs of the engagement were covered by increased revenue.

One of the drivers in selecting our team was our proven ability to work with complex organisations and the associated challenges of mapping through brand, compliance, legal and web development/IT constraints, in ways that deliver fast turn-arounds and can make a commercial impact.

The Response

A core element of our response was the development of a separate microsite for the product. The logic for the microsite was to help the product team develop and deliver fast, agile responses to customer insight. This approach enabled the product to break free of brand constraints and the product team in World Chat to move at pace: working around potentially inflexible internal processes in order to generate immediate campaign learnings/results and customer insight.

The approach we developed aimed to:

  • Sell the proposition better to inform customers of the key benefits and product differentials to encourage conversion:
    • Create new sales copy to highlight key sales messaging in comparison to free to use competitor services
    • Create new challenger landing page design – using an alternative O2 colour palette and page template
  • Provide sales effectiveness agility:
    • Remove potentially clunky IT or web development constraints through the use of a microsite
    • Quick to fulfil test & learn activities to enable iterative and collaborative changes to design, proposition and functionality based on data and customer insight
  • Understand size of market online:
    • What is the scope for a product such as this?
    • How can World Chat grow at pace?
  • Build a cost per acquisition model to inform the client on whether they could reduce their cost per acquisition and to develop a marketing model for a scaled-up marketing investment:
    • Enabling future confident investment in channel
    • Allowing an understanding of revenue and subsequent ROI / ROAS
  • Test currently unused digital marketing channels

We created a new, radically different challenger landing page and wrote engaging sales messaging based on market research. This was designed to inform users about the product differentials against key search terms prevalent in the market. The microsite was simple and hosted within WordPress. This provided a low cost, efficient and adaptable solution – which required an initial investment by O2 of under £2,000 (including design).

As a ‘paid for’ product, World Chat competes against free to use, often lower quality services, so it was clear that in order to sell the product to new customers, especially customers willing to spend money to have a call of assured quality, we had to align our copy closely with the key benefits of the product: competitive call rates and excellent call quality.

Fig 1: Landing Page Comparison

By refreshing visuals, our design provided a friendly, distinctive and innovative landing page (using alternative colour palettes) that were much more in keeping with the kind of product market in which World Chat competes (see fig 1). In order to drive traffic to the site, we chose Google AdWords, which enabled us to source in-market audiences looking for the solution offered by World Chat.

By using our business process, ‘Engagement to Action’, we ran a test & learn process on ad copy, campaign targeting, and landing page effectiveness. This process (see fig 2) reviews data and customer performance using web analytics, heat maps, click maps, surveying, and extensive competitor analysis and its outputs are test & learn hypotheses based on customer and data insight.

Fig 2: Good Growth ‘Engagement to Action’ process

During the engagement, we also exploited different digital channels including Google’s Universal App advertising platform (enabling us a quick way to generate app users on Android). This involved creating separate country specific landing pages including a Polish language version of the site which was used both for AdWord campaigns and other offline marketing activities targeting Polish residents in the UK.

Client Product Manager, Elizabeth Ponsford, believes the value from Good Growth’s work started from the rigorous process of our data analysis, which helped O2 understand “things about their market that they had not previously known”.

Elizabeth was especially impressed with Good Growth’s knowledge of digital assets, as we were able to help O2explore new advertising channels, most notably Google AdWords which become O2’s strongest performing marketing campaign to date”.

The continuing success of Good Growth’s work resulted in the extension to a second engagement phase, where the focus was on reducing CPA and increasing conversion rate, experimenting with introductory offers to improve the return on marketing investment. Additionally, we developed rapid adjustments to the sales execution in response to feedback from customers who did not download the app: the most significant being the insertion of a query function to look up calling rates. This offered the customer a search function that was powered in the back end by an Excel spreadsheet with call rates for c.240 countries. Providing a local cost, innovative test within days and the ability to fully launch within a couple of weeks.

What is Elizabeth’s summing up of the experience? She is delighted with our emphasis on rigorous testing, as we were able to “unearth findings about O2’s competitors and customers’ needs that strongly influenced O2’s marketing and positioning”. Following Good Growth’s strict test and learn strategy, Elizabeth was impressed with our development of a new sales website for World Chat that was “not only hugely dynamic and engaging, but was also remarkably cheap to build.” To sum up the impact of our work with O2 World Chat Elizabeth stated “overall, we have been very impressed with the way in which Good Growth have immersed themselves in our world and they very much feel like an extension of our team.”