The wireless service provider space is a crowded and competitive one. So for Visible, an all-digital carrier powered by Verizon’s network, the goal is to devise innovative ways to cut through the clutter, often with tongue-in-cheek creative. Look no further than its unlimited “eyebrowsing” campaign, fronted by the brow-endowed star of “Schitt’s Creek,” Daniel Levy, where consumers could literally scroll through a website using their eyebrows. (Not kidding.)
Visible recently developed a campaign that catered to singles, a target market that might find its low-cost, single-line plan featuring unlimited data appealing. Ahead of what’s likely to be an expensive wedding season that benefits everyone but single people, the brand teamed up with Match Group’s portfolio of dating sites to create a registry for singles, featuring gifts like a pair of “Mine” and “Also Mine” tea towels, matching merch for a single and their pet, and a chance to win a gift card to Airbnb for a “Single Moon” of their choice.
We spoke with Visible CMO Cheryl Gresham about the campaign’s brand awareness play, the brand’s plans to build community among its customers, marketing lessons learned from her time at TikTok and how Visible is approaching the industry’s measurement challenges.
Chief Marketer: What inspired the singles registry and collaboration with the Match Group?
Visible CMO Cheryl Gresham: At Visible we have a wonderful single-line wireless service. You can get the same savings that other places give you on family plans or multiple-line services, but here you don’t have to bring a bunch of people with you. You can get it just on your own. One of the things we thought about when we were talking with the Match Group was that so many of us through our lives have been bridesmaids, [attended] bachelorette parties, [given] baby gifts, wedding gifts, et cetera. But if you are single, you are never on the receiving end.
We worked out this idea with the Match Group, which oversees Tinder and quite a few other dating sites, and thought, what if we created a singles registry where people could register for faux wedding gifts that they could get from all their friends and family and loved ones, just like a couple would do, but they can still celebrate themselves for being single? We thought it was a great way to celebrate the single lifestyle, single people and people who need single-line wireless.
CM: How will you gauge its success?
CG: Our main driver is brand awareness. We also love the strategic alignment between ourselves and the Match Group. The brand awareness amongst the community of people who use Match’s dating websites is something we’re going to be tracking as well. And obviously, all the digital elements, as in website visits, how many singles registries are created, engagement rates, share rates, et cetera. And we’ll be fulfilling on the gifts as well.
CM: Talk about Visible’s strategy with creative. The brand always seems to show up with clever, tongue-in-cheek campaigns.
CG: One of the things we love about the Visible brand is its sensibility and simplicity. This category is one of the largest categories of advertising in the country. And a lot of the advertising and communications look and feel and sound very similar. We know from studying Visible members that simplicity and directness are really important. What you see is what you get at Visible. That’s why we got a little bit more tongue-in-cheek and aggressive with some of our paid advertising that’s running in social, [that says] you’re getting ripped off on all these registries. We believe that’s the best way to communicate with our members and potential members. And it’s a great way for us to be able to stand out in this huge category.
CM: You recently led marketing, media and partnerships at TikTok. What are you bringing to Visible from that experience?
CG: At TikTok, there is this idea of showing up as a brand very honestly and openly—all the good things and the bad things. The things that do best—the videos, the creators, the brands on TikTok—are honest, straightforward and oftentimes helpful. It’s a community. For our members—we refer to them as members versus customers—we are building a community here and we want to help one another. We want our community to be able to see that there’s an easier, simpler way to get phone service. They don’t need to go into a store to get the phone service. They don’t need to have a bunch of things bundled into their phone service that they may not really care about.
And then, it’s important to make advertising that is endemic to the channel that you’re in versus force-feeding your advertising into that channel. We’re making sure that we’re showing up in the right way across all the channels. Our communications belong in the channels that we’re showing up in. Back to the singles registry, if you’re going to do something with the Match Group, how do you show up in a place where people are looking for companionship, love, whatever it might be, and show up in an authentic way that feels right for that community?
CM: Can you talk more about how you’re building community at Visible?
CG: One of the things we’re doing is making sure that we’re keeping our members happy. We’ve got a care team that is on-call, all day, every day, to make sure that the needs that they have, or want to know about or need support in, are taken care of. The other thing is we’re looking at developing a stronger community on social and how we can engage with our members. A lot of brands show up in funny, unique ways, but there’s also a care and communal support aspect.
CM: What is your experiential strategy in the coming year?
CG: We did a great event the first week I started here in New York with the Smash Room. We want to continue to bring that direct, no BS energy to experiential events, but like everyone over the past couple years, in-real-life events have been a little bit more challenged. So one of the things we’re looking at is how do we bring a fun event to our members and potential members through digital. As an all-digital brand with no retail stores, we have to live and breathe and do everything in the digital space. We’re looking at more opportunities like the singles registry that live in the digital space that can be “event-ized”… to bring people together, but with a digital experience.
There are two reasons we like that. One, we get to scale and reach more people who can engage with the brand and the experience. And then two, as the pandemic continues to flex and flow, it’s something that we can depend on a little bit more. The pandemic has taught us to be more creative with how we’re looking to connect. What we did many years ago with Red Rocks Unpaused was an example of that in-real-life, experiential moment, but it was also rooted in digital and scaled. So even though you might not be in the state of Colorado, you could still partake in the event. We’re continuing to look at how we can do more of that in the future.
CM: Lastly, I’d like to get your take on how Visible is dealing with the measurement challenges happening in the industry right now, particularly since you’re an all-digital brand.
CG: It’s been a challenge. We are pulling all the levers and resources that we can. Because Visible is part of Verizon, we have great teams within the organization who look at measurement, ROI, mix modeling, et cetera. What we’re finding is, for us, sometimes it goes back to the basics. Did someone have the chance to view your communications and hear it and see it all the way through? That’s a win; that’s something that we prioritize. Needing to build brand awareness, we are in some ways [using] the basics and the fundamentals of what I call “marketing.” We’re measuring our success in some of those fundamental ways to make sure that we’re reaching the right people, they’re having the opportunity to see, hear, engage and interact with our ad, and then, over time, continuing to measure brand health, brand awareness, and using all the instruments that we can to make sure that Visible’s marketing continues to grow.