TMW Unlimited

Core disciplines: CRM/Customer engagement, Digital


Shifting from product-centric to customer-centric digital communications


Sony Mobile is a challenger brand in a saturated and highly competitive market. Although it is a brand that is highly regarded for product quality, faced with ever increasing competition from the likes of Apple, we need to continuously differentiate the brand to drive preference.

As Sony Mobile’s global digital and CRM agency, our role is to engage over 20 million customers and market both multiple product sets – handsets, tables, apps and accessories – and propositions across 36 markets. Our goal is always to help the brand connect more emotionally and deeply, delivering a more personalised experience for customers. This has involved developing a viable roadmap for digital communications and a central-local operating model that works for everyone, including the customer.


The global customer engagement framework we designed, and now manage centrally, identifies the key variations in messaging and digital touchpoints. This enables our digital communications programme to thrive across markets, provide greater consistency and apply best practice. It also ensures continual optimisation. By ensuring we are flexible to enable local market relevance, we have also helped Sony Mobile’s central marketing team gain greater support and engagement from their local teams in the process.

Our roadmap is informed by:

  • Global audience segmentation which highlights different user types across markets

  • Global passion points research that identified the most relevant universal themes across markets e.g. travel, photography, music and film

  • The Sony brand DNA


Moving the organisation away from their product-centric mindset and putting customers at the heart of their communications, we now use customer interests and passion points such as travel, photography, music and film to demonstrate product benefits. For instance , using beautifully shot travel and nature photography to showcase the incredible Motion Eye camera features and the 4K HDR movie recording on the latest Xperia range. Or VIP content from the latest music artists to demonstrate the latest high-resolution audio features. We use actual or modelled data to tailor content based on a customer interests, or inferred interests and ensure we are delivering the most relevant communications to each customer.


Underpinning this, a detailed lifecycle strategy ensures every Sony Mobile customer gets the most from their device, and from being part of the wider Sony brand world. Customers pass through a number of phases – welcome, early-mid-late development, retention, recovery and conversion – and propositions are flexed to reflect the different product offerings and availability. Crucially, this has also involved broadening the customer touchpoints beyond email and we now communicate via the Xperia Lounge app, with tailored content that is device responsive, as well as email, social, SMS, push and web.

Throughout the lifecycle we prompt customers to continually engage with Xperia Lounge, where they can experience relevant, exclusive Sony content that we know is of interest to them. This includes personalised rewards, such as competitions and offers, and VIP streaming content such as live concerts, behind the scenes movie footage and sporting events.


We have maximised the relevance of communications through enhanced personalisation and targeting using data and insight. For example, in the first six months (welcome and early development phase), we deliver practical tips and hints on how customers can get the most from their particular phone and signpost relevant premium and value lines and ancillary products. The retention phase is also highly tailored to the customer to deliver the right upgrade. We use customer behaviour (e.g. website tracking or Xperia Lounge analytics), our identified passion points and a sophisticated RFV segmentation model to push personalised next best handset communications in a timely fashion.


In managing the roadmap centrally, we develop a quarterly content overview plan that is shared with markets. We also outline any test and learn elements. This enables local markets to identify where they wish to localise or add content within the flexible modules in our communications. Development and Retention are the most flexible parts of the programme, where local markets can add or shape content to be more culturally relevant or specific to the product range, business priorities or partnerships within that market.


To offer the client greater control when liaising with their international markets, we have helped build an internal campaign management function at Sony Mobile. We supported during the vendor selection process that resulted in the procurement of Salesforce Marketing Cloud and provided a fully managed service for two years while helping Sony Mobile build their in-house capabilities. This was achieved by building operational process around the platform that was compatible with business, running training sessions and sharing best practices learnings. Now that Sony are self-sufficient, we provide overflow campaign management services which Sony utilise during periods of peak activity.


  • 47% average uplift in email CTRs across markets
  • 17% increase in retention
  • Average ROMI of 17:1 on all new product launches

Due to contract restraints, we are unable to quote revenue figures, but incremental spend and YOY uplift is significant.

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