Marketing director Jacqueline Tibbotts on the transformation story behind Amplifon-Bay Audiology

  • Strategy
  • November 14, 2017
  • Colleen Ryan
Marketing director Jacqueline Tibbotts on the transformation story behind Amplifon-Bay Audiology

At this year’s TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards Jacqueline Tibbotts, marketing director of Amplifon-Bay Audiology stepped up to collect metal not once, but twice, winning in the Beauty and Health Care category as well as the Transformation category. In this latter category, judges are looking for the best example of where marketing identified and led to the transformation of a market category, brand or entire business. In this case, you could argue that Bay Audiology was successful on all counts.

TRA sponsored this award and I talked to Tibbotts about what transformation meant for Bay Audiology. She told me that when she joined the company in early 2016 she was joining what, by most measures, would be described as a successful company. It was the brand leader and she describes it as “a company that truly lived and breathed its mission: to help people enjoy the experience of better hearing, every day at an operational and philosophical level.”

So far so good, why the need to transform? The short answer is growth.  

The business was not achieving the growth that reflected the business ambition and, as brand leader, that would require category growth.

“I joined the business at a point in time where it was looking for a step up in growth to put it on a new trajectory,” Tibbotts says. 

As her role as marketing director was going to be instrumental in achieving this growth I wondered what Jacqueline’s point of view was in regard to marketing and what if any models and beliefs she held dear. At a time when many beliefs around marketing are being re-evaluated, she acknowledged that some traditional models had not served marketing well.

She talked about traditional models focusing on differentiation, bearing in mind they are brand leaders in the category, being less compelling to her than using the brand’s set of distinctive assets. Bay Audiology’s brand assets were already memorable brand cues, so what was needed was not a differentiated positioning but instead a way of making strong emotional connections with these brand cues. In this, they partnered with Saatchi and Saatchi to develop creative that would communicate the brand vision and make that emotional connection.

Strategy, strategy, strategy

One powerful model did emerge, however, and that is Tibbotts’ strong belief in strategy. Taking the time to thoroughly work through the strategy, sense testing and making sure that the strategy stood up to interrogation was a stage in the process worth devoting time and energy to.

“You have to go through a process which starts with where you are at, your starting point. Then you have to be objective, with no pre-defined outcomes and be very clear on strategy and the rationale for it. It’s very important to know where you are going.”

The process she employed is an exact exposition of JWT London's Stephen King’s planning model: 'Where are we now? – Where do we want to get to? – How are we going to get there?' Though developed in the 60s, King’s strategy development model has survived many philosophical and operational changes across five decades in marketing and is a testament to the power of keeping it simple, focused and directional.

Tibbotts believes that it was getting the strategy right, truly believing in the strategy, and getting buy-in from people in the business that was the cornerstone of their success. Thereafter, she says they used established marketing frameworks judiciously.

“We used a few marketing models to work through the strategy but we were careful not to fall into the trap of 'just filling out templates'. Instead we adapted frameworks to suit our needs."

Despite Jacqueline’s confidence in the strategy, she still felt that she had to take risks in how this was executed. She had to trust her gut and her agency. Believing in the strategy made it a calculated risk and one that paid off.

“Having unscripted responses was a big risk. We were watching the filming in secret… they couldn’t see us… we had to trust the agency. And it didn’t feel like we were making TV ads, it felt like we were watching human stories and listening to the messages of the families. I had tears down my face.”

Where next?​​

King’s model is correctly described as a brand planning cycle because transformation is not a one-off. Everyone I have spoken to about their transformation programme has talked about the momentum that is created, resulting in a continuous drive to evolve and build on early success.

I asked Jacqueline where next, having successfully delivered the 'Emotional Hearing' test campaign, putting the company on its desired growth trajectory.

“It’s not easy. But having a strong strategy makes it easier to build on and we have four beautiful stories that make a human connection. I can’t say much more yet.”

So we’ll have to wait and see.  

  • Colleen Ryan is head of strategy at TRA.  

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

Stoppies tickets on sale now for 6 December event

  • Gratuitous self-promotion
  • November 21, 2017
  • StopPress Team
Stoppies tickets on sale now for 6 December event

The Stoppies voting has officially closed and our sophisticated algorithm is now crunching the numbers and determining the editorial and people's choice victors in each of the categories.

Read more
topics
Beneath the Surface
Beneath the Surface
In this series, brought to you by Microsoft, we talk to a conceptual photographer, illustrator ...
Insight Creative
Insight Creative
Insight Creative specialises in shaping business stories out the core insights that often lie under ...
20/20 (tele)vision
20/20 (tele)vision
Media consumption is changing. But by how much?
The Hot List
The Hot List
Our rundown of the hottest shows, brands and creators in New Zealand media. 1. magazine ...
Cannes Lions 2017
Cannes Lions 2017
All the winners, the shortlists and the drama from this year's edition of advertising biggest ...
Merger Mania
Merger Mania
All our stories on the nation's two failed mergers in one place
Bauer Beyond the Page
Bauer Beyond the Page
When it comes to creating branded content, there are few better in the Kiwi market ...
The Indies
The Indies
Over the course of this series of articles, we look at how always-nimble indy agencies ...
AdRoll on automation
AdRoll on automation
Marketing automation is tipped to eventually become the only way advertising is traded in the ...
Game Changers
Game Changers
It’s all about PEOPLE. Join us as we discuss global insights, ideas and innovations from ...
TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 2015
TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 2015
Celebrating all the winners of the 2015 TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards.
Future Tense
Future Tense
In a new series, StopPress talks to a range of newsmakers currently trying to shine ...
Beyond the Page
Beyond the Page
In conjunction with the MPA, the Beyond the Page series shows how some of the ...
Up Country
Up Country
In conjunction with News Works, the Up Country series talks with some of New Zealand's ...
Sounding off
Sounding off
As part of a content partnership with MediaWorks, we've asked a few of the company's ...
StopPress Podcasts
StopPress Podcasts
We sit down for a chat with industry leaders to find out what they're up ...
voices
news

'You don’t change packaging lightly': Gregg's spices up its look

Ill-conceived packaging rebrands have been known to cost brands millions in lost revenue. So, why is Gregg's taking the risk by changing the look of ...

Next page
Results for
Topics
Jobs
About

StopPress provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

Advertise

Contact Vernene Medcalf at +64 21 628 200 to advertise in StopPress.

View Media Kit