Maarten Roomer – Mobiel.nl

Maarten Roomer – Mobiel.nl

Maarten Roomer is Marketing Director at Mobiel.nl, an independent Dutch webshop for mobile subscriptions, smartphones and internet, tv and landline subscriptions. Mobiel.nl offers all providers and smartphones brands available in the Netherlands.

Main KPIs for growth

According to Maarten, Mobiel.nl monitors their KPIs four times a year as part of their brand monitor: “We look at certain elements that reflect our growth, starting with the brand funnel; aided brand awareness, consideration, purchase and repeat purchase. Next to that, we also look at certain image statements. Our message is; making your own choices in a smart way. Our slogan ties into that; ‘Wie slim kiest, kiest Mobiel.nl’ (those who make smart choices, choose Mobiel.nl). Making smart choices is an important element for us. Our role as a brand is to bring order in a chaotic world, a world full of providers and manufacturers with countless offers. Therein, we want to help consumers make the right decisions. Through image statements we measure whether that message comes across and is understood. Whether we are independent, knowledgeable, if we are clear and orderly, whether you can make those smart choices yourself, and are in control of your own purchases.”

“Our brand still has a lot to gain when it comes to awareness”, Maarten continues. “For us, aided awareness is our most important KPI. It stems from the fact that we changed our name in 2016, from Studentmobiel to Mobiel.nl. It was a good step to remove ‘Student’ from our name, as we can appeal to a broader target audience. However, Mobiel.nl is quite a generic name. When I just started working here, people asked me whether I was going to do something with mobility, because my previous work experience was in the field of cars (‘mobiel’ in Dutch also means being mobile). A wrong connection is easily made, so it is very important for us to share what we do and who we are. Now, 4 years later, we are slowly moving towards consideration; highlighting why people should buy from us, and what our USPs are. Awareness starts with above the line communication, having a good TV spot, and translating that to other channels such as radio and digital. We are trying to look into ways to activate that tv spot even more, but our starting point remains quite traditional.”

Role of creatives

Maarten shares that brands can sometimes take creativity too far: “I like thinking outside of the box, but you have to make sure you are still conveying your message clearly. Brands that have more awareness than us, can be more creative, as they have a stronger foundation to build on. We try to be clear in our messaging in favour of awareness. When you move to consideration, you will start to share the story of why people should purchase, or re-purchase from Mobiel.nl, providing you with the opportunity to be more creative in your communication, and visualising those USPs. An example is our concept ‘Telefoon-Cel’ where a telephone booth figures as an escape room for customers. If the customer escapes, they receive their purchase for free. This concept tells something about the brand, but also tries to connect people to the brand to show how fun Mobiel.nl is, to increase likeability. That is creativity, you just need to make sure you don’t go overboard when you are focusing on awareness.”

Maarten shares that Mobiel.nl is working on a new concept for next year, but still making sure the clear message is woven in there: “After having promoted the same theme for years, we realised that we needed to change things, to give a new boost to the brand. We realised that the first spot 3 years ago, was very much told from the consumers’ perspective. A customer shared how Mobiel.nl helped him find the right phone subscription. In those 3 years, we realised that because our awareness was low, we would prefer to tell the story ourselves, instead of letting the consumer tell it. Neither is wrong, it is just the feeling and perspective from which you want to tell a story. Creatives like the ‘Telefoon-Cel’ and the concept ‘Slim Quizzen’ where the quiz master tells something about the brand, but also tries to connect people to the brand, those concepts were already centred more around that idea. So, when we decided on a new advertising agency, we chose the one that was headed in the same direction.”

Creative process

Inspiration can come from many different things, something Maarten certainly lives by: “I always keep an eye on what is happening with other companies, to see if some things are applicable to our brand. Next to that, it is always good to brainstorm with your creative agency, coming up with the craziest ideas until you get to something. Which is how the idea for the telephone booth was born; we were talking about escape rooms, and how you need to make smart choices to win the game, which ties in perfectly with our message. Sometimes ideas are born from things you see whilst you are on the road, at a congress, abroad, perhaps at the pub with friends. I never fully switch off from work, I am always thinking about marketing and consumer behaviour in the back of my head, and how you can connect to consumers and impact them in a clear and/or fun way.”

Maarten: “When we released our first tv commercial, we didn’t test it until it was finished. Back then, we were very lucky that everything came out positive, and we could move forward. But we did think twice about it, and how it would have been a big problem if the results weren’t as good. Now that we are developing the new concept, we have taken testing into account, and will test the first edit of the commercial. This way, we can optimise those elements that don’t score as well. The most important thing for us in testing is that the message is understood by the consumer, and whether the creative is fun, fits the brand and scores well on advertising recognition.”

“As a marketer, you need to cut through the ‘hype’ to see if it is as big as it seems, if it is interesting for your brand, and whether you can use it to realise your KPIs.”

Cutting through the ‘hype’

Maarten shares a few current trends he has come across: “We mostly share short video’s, as the attention span of consumers is quite short. You only have 1 to 3 seconds to grab their attention, and they don’t stick around for long. We are not as strong of a brand that can create a YouTube format and receive thousands of views. You must stay realistic; we will not become Nike. As a brand, we have a certain role in the landscape, and we share our story and create engagement through our content, but at the end of the day, we are just a store.”

“You can see that more and more parties are choosing to use video”, Maarten continues. “But I also notice that audio, in particular podcasts, are getting more attention. As a non-listener, I am being triggered more and more to start listening to them. However, this is the risk that comes with a ‘fashion phenomenon’; the market hypes it to such an extent that it becomes bigger than it really is. Back in the day, digital out of home also received a massive push, as the advertising space that they were selling wasn’t as profitable anymore. As a marketer, you need to cut through that to see if it is as big as it seems, if it is interesting for your brand, and whether you can use it to realise your KPIs. Next to that, YouTube as a search engine is becoming bigger, and how-to videos can contribute massively to brand awareness. So, there are still a lot of opportunities for us there. Same goes for SEO, having your content rank highest in Google. That is a priority, and we are working towards more and more video on our website. When you talk about creatives, video holds the top spot for us.”