Cheryl Gresham, VP and CMO at Verizon Value, is tasked with marketing Verizon’s prepaid and value brands. The Verizon Value Brand Portfolio encompasses the network provider’s prepaid offerings, including Total by Verizon, Visible, Straight Talk, Tracfone, Simple Mobile, SafeLink, Walmart Family Mobile, and Verizon Prepaid. Verizon Value currently serves 21 million subscribers within the value market out of a total subscriber count of 144.8 million on December 31, 2023. Portada interviewed Gresham, who told us about her upcoming initiatives for Verizon’s marketing and the main features of her target consumer.
“We have hundreds of exclusive stores, and we continue to open new locations at a time when other retailers are closing their doors. We recently surpassed a milestone of 50 stores in the greater Los Angeles market alone,” Gresham explains. “We have exclusive store locations open in New York, New Jersey, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Miami, Atlanta, Tampa, Orlando, and Los Angeles,” she adds. “While we do not release specific store numbers, I can tell you this is the fastest retail roll-out in Verizon history,” she asserts.
“This is the fastest retail roll-out in Verizon history.”
Olga Bermudez Paiva, Sr. Director of Brand Marketing, Verizon, and a member of Verizon Value’s team of senior brand marketers, will be a speaker at Portada’s upcoming Marketing in Multicultural America Summit on March 5 in the Lambs Club in New York City.
Marketing and advertising activations for Verizon Value brands include national broadcasts, e.g., the upcoming Super Bowl ad on Univision, and digital media, including streaming in Spanish and English. Key Verizon Value partners are Ogilvy for creative and Publicis Media for media planning and buying. According to Gresham, local store openings are supported by opening events and local digital media. As an example of an initiative around store openings, Gresham explains that “last August in New York, our first local market, we noted an impending 15-cent subway and bus fare increase. As many of our customers are commuters, we sent street teams out to hand out 15,000 MetroCards to people in neighborhoods where our stores were located across Manhattan and Brooklyn.”
Regarding her plans for 2024, Gresham says that she is “looking and assessing which sponsorships make sense for Total and other Verizon Value brands.
Verizon Marketing: Diverse Customer Base
“Close to half our audience is multicultural,” says Gresham. For the executive at the helm of marketing at Verizon Value, “prioritizing the Latino audience is about how our brand values align with theirs. We are about offering hard-working, urban consumers unexpected value and meeting them where they are with that exciting proposition. For example, if they are new to the country in a bodega, we want to ensure they can pay however they need to: cash, online, or credit card auto pay. Their path to wireless comes in different ways. So we want to meet them in a retail location with the types of transactions and plans they need.”
This means customizing service offerings from talk and text, from consumers who use little data to digitally savvy unlimited data users. Gresham notes that Verizon’s unlimited data plans include international calling from the U.S. to 5 countries of choice – including Colombia, Peru, and the Dominican Republic – and roaming in Canada and Mexico. “This unique benefit helps connect Latino families with their loved ones across the globe.”
“Close to half our audience is multicultural.”
Orlando Magic and Super Bowl
Gresham acknowledges that “this is a new audience for us – keeping in mind we also are a new brand launched in 2021. We are developing a 360-degree Super Bowl campaign on Univision – to introduce the Total by Verizon brand to the Latino audience.” Sponsorships play a crucial role in Verizon’s marketing as it has a deep history in sports partnerships.”Live sports are critical to retain a mass market at scale,” Gresham notes. That is where the collaboration of Tobal By Verizon with the Orlando Magic comes in. “In Orlando, our newest market, we officially sponsor the Orlando Magic. We love this team because they are a local favorite, and their mantra of “heart and hustle” closely links to who our customers are. Total by Verizon has several extensions planned for the Orlando Magic partnership, including:
- In-arena activations that enhance fan experience include technology allowing fans to stream video directly to their phone, in-game technology enabling fans to display photos and videos on the center-hung video board and TVs throughout the arena, and on-site activations.
- Beyond the arena, Total by Verizon will launch a game ticket giveaway in all local Orlando stores. “We’re giving away “in-bowl” game tickets close to the court, ensuring sweepstakes winners have a great view of the game – another example of how we look to bring our unexpected value to life,” Gresham asserts.