Diego Osuna, Sr Manager, Integrated Marketing Strategy at T-Mobile, will be one of the key speakers at our upcoming Portada Live – in New York City and virtual – on Thursday, September 29 next week. Check out the six steps you need to take into account for successful segment marketing, according to Osuna.
In 2021, T-Mobile spent approximately 2.2 billion U.S. dollars in advertising in the U.S, according to Statista -this figure likely includes non-advertising related marketing expenses-, making the telecommunications giant one of the top advertisers in the U.S. With Hispanics over-indexing in telecommunications services, T-Mobile directs a substantial part of the overall marketing budget to engage the Hispanic consumer.
As a leader in T-Mobile’s postpaid Integrated Marketing Strategy team, Osuna works with channel partners across marketing and beyond, to build a common vision and develop an actionable marketing strategy. His responsibilities include Hispanic, Military, 55+, and emerging segments. Segment Marketing is a marketing term that refers to aggregating prospective buyers into groups or segments with common needs and who respond similarly to a marketing action. To Osuna Segment Marketing, “is fundamentally a process of discovery and distillation of deep consumer needs, which the marketer bridges with product or service messages and channel strategy selection. In that sense, it isn’t a dissimilar process to a general marketer.”
Segment Marketing Steps: 1. Develop Specific Marketing Muscles
According to Osuna, to do this process right as a segment marketer “you need to overdevelop a few specific marketing muscles. First, you become a student of the segment, the company, and the brand. The second muscle is persistence and cross-functional capabilities. Segment markets are ongoing efforts, they aren’t solved by a one-and-done effort, and as such, they require extreme cross-functional alignment in focus and intent, so the effort becomes muscle memory for the organization.”
2. Build Fundamental Insights about the Segment and the Context of the Brand
Osuna starts with the premise that he needs to build a foundation of fundamental insights that impact this segment. “Alongside developing a full-view picture of the segment, you want to understand the context of the brand and where it stands in relation to the segment. Finally, I also want to assess the organization’s readiness to market to the segment effectively, considering that marketing is just one lever in go-to-market success,” Osuna notes.
Osuna emphasizes that “the thing is that every time you dig in beyond the surface, like what we face in Hispanic marketing where we can divide the population in a number of ways, these other segments are very complex and diverse. Take for example what we call 55+. Well, 55 plus in the US is about 90 million people encompassing 4 Generations from GenXers, to Boomers to Silents to the Greatest Generation. As much as we want to build a marketing plan that encompasses all the segments, there is a huge difference if you’re 55 vs. 85, if you’re retired or still working, married, or living alone, if credit is high, or if your financial situation is shaky.”
Join us at Portada Live on Sept. 29 where we will delve deeper into Segment Marketing in the session:
THE ONE-MILLION-DOLLAR-QUESTION: Engaging the Evolving Hispanic Consumer
Speakers: Diego Osuna, Sr. Manager Integrated Marketing Strategy, T-Mobile and Guillermo Pérez, Chief Creative Officer and Brand Strategist, Digo.
3. Segment Marketing: Combine Qualitative and Quantitative Research
Osuna is a big fan of combining quantitative and qualitative research to get a feel for the segment. He notes that when he was working at General Mills, he used to spend a lot of time in ethnographies going into people’s houses to observe empty nester couples having breakfast and talking about how they approach their daily breakfast ritual. “You can internalize so much in a couple of home visits that are difficult to absorb, at least for me, by just reading research decks. More importantly, the qualitative can help you formulate better questions to make the most of your investment in bespoke quant research,” Osuna asserts.
4. Understanding the Brand and the Company’s Go-to-Market Capabilities
According to Osuna, “as fun as the challenge of understanding the segment can be, I think marketers need to be very realistic about the position of the brand and the company’s capabilities in relation to the segment. Your CMO may aspire of going into a new segment and dominating it immediately, but you might be advised to ask for patience in terms of building something that is sustainable over time.” Osuna notes that he once did some work for an insurer that was very interested to grow with Hispanic customers; “I spent a lot of time with their marketing team on the ground building a marketing plan. To their credit they understood that without distribution, that is having Hispanic agents in their sales network, they were going to be limited in making an impact, no matter how much they spent on the marketing side.”
5. Articulate the Capability Gap
Once you have assessed the position of the brand and the company’s capabilities in relation to the segment, Osuna says that it is important to “articulate the capability gap against yourself and against competitors and empower cross-functional channel partners so they can work on their own capabilities and plans. In other words, you need to work through others.”
“It takes patience, consistency, and a spirit of continuous tweaking and improving to win in Segment Marketing. I like to say segment marketers are the marathoners of the marketing world,” Osuna concludes.
6. Segment Marketing Activations: Examples
In terms of the current post-Covid environment and how he is activating against the heterogeneous Hispanic segment, Osuna notes that it needs to be understood that many of our consumers have had a one-two punch of pandemic and inflation. Osuna adds that “these have been trying times and as such consumers are more interested in products that win on value without trade-offs and brands that offer a straightforward value proposition and treat the customer right.” One of the things Osuna takes a lot of pride in at T-Mobile is “that its most popular plans pack tremendous value with features like taxes and fees which are already included in your bill and price lock where we guarantee the price of your rate plan will not go up. We also feel very strongly that customers, and specifically Latinos do not want to make trade-offs for the quality of the network. Hispanic wireless customers have blessed us with their preference because at T-Mobile we offer a benefit-packed product offering at an incredible price and with a superior quality experience. In fact, our quality goes beyond the service that connects our phones, our quality is also measured in the experience: the retail experience and the customer experience.” The recently introduced Coverage Beyond campaign is an example of T-Mobile’s offering and marketing in this regard. In addition, the recently announced partnership with TelevisaUnivision. through which T-Mobile customers get a free subscription to VIX+ is an example of an initiative targeting a specific subsegment of the Hispanic population; Spanish-dominant Hispanics. ViX+ includes more than 10,000 hours of classic and original Spanish-language shows, movie premieres, news and live sports.
Secondly, Osuna maintains, this is a segment that has a lot of pent-up demand for travel; “You have all heard the stories of the crazy travel season. We have added tremendous value to customers that fly or drive. For flyers, and specifically for our international flyers, we offer seamless plans that accommodate your needs. Most of our plans just work when you arrive, no setup is required. To that extent, T-Mobile’s plans have always been very international and national travel friendly. With our Magenta plan, you get High-Speed data in 11 European countries, with our Magenta Max you get 5GB of High-Speed data in more than 215 countries, including 23 in LATAM. Calling to Mexico has also been included for many years now. If you travel this fall, make sure you check out the free Wi-Fi on select airlines as well as unique travel benefits that include tremendous high-speed data in many countries around the world. For drivers, we now offer a free year of AAA in the US.”