Social Distancing With Friends: Visible CMO Minjae Ormes

Minjae Ormes moved to a new home in Denver in March, on Corona Street, believe it or not.

A few days later, a shelter-in-place rule was in effect and Visible, the Verizon pay-as-you go mobile cell service and data service where Minjae is CMO, did a full overhaul of its marketing strategy and value prop to customers. The “Yes” and “No” signs pictured were made by her kids, so they know when they can interrupt a call.

The new market dynamics are actually a tailwind for Visible, since a selling point is the relatively inexpensive fixed monthly rate and no contract. But that means Visible must work harder to retain its customers, including efforts like a bill forgiveness offer for those impacted by COVID-19, she said.

Modern CMOs all must deal with the challenge of demonstrating something like true ROI. On top of that, nowadays brands are trying to be relevant but not tone-deaf, or figuring out whether idealistic, almost PSA-style advertising makes sense as a business.

And how does a brand prepare for what used to be the key tentpole events of the year, when nobody is willing to make months-long forecasts right now?

Back-to-school and off-to-college is typically a big season for Visible. Minjae said. And that means the brand’s marketing approach must be much more flexible, since the company doesn’t know if, where or how schools students will return in the fall.

Minjae said the priorities in the first couple months have been to survey customers and prospects, gather insights and see how the service fits into people’s lives right now. And then to figure out where it will be possible to reach new customers without Visible’s marketing mainstay of real-world events.

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