A Fresh Approach To Business Strategy: Andy Bateman

A Fresh Approach To Business Strategy: Andy Bateman

With 25 years’ experience helping brands, businesses and teams around the world achieve dramatic growth, Andy Bateman – who has the titles of former Telstra marketing director and Interbrand chief executive under his belt — is currently scoring big wins with his new growth strategy firm, Everyone.

Bateman tells B&T the four-month-old firm is “committed to unleashing latent growth potential for its clients through people, purpose and experience integration”.

In the pursuit of new growth opportunities Bateman and his Everyone partners insists the magic formula lies in an integrated approach focusing on three key areas.

“To build businesses that will significantly matter, we must create a sense of ownership with all employees — not just the leadership,” he said. “In constructing Everyone, we have focused on three interconnected areas; people, purpose and experience”

“The first area is defining purpose, mission and values — that is, how you engage employees from top-to-bottom within an organisation — to deliver better experiences for their customers.

“Second, we design ever better customer experiences that those people can deliver.

“It is about smart technology application in human-centred design and delivery and focusing on customer experiences that help the brand to stand out, be remembered and differentiate.

“Thirdly, we work with clients to create marketing and innovation strategy that can bring that differentiation to life.”

Bateman says the cross-functional nature of customer experience design necessitates a systematic approach linking these three areas into a cohesive strategy, rather than thinking about them as separate and discrete activities.

“It is about joined-up thinking,” he said. “In many ways, advances in tech and data have allowed us to re-think the customer experience and create a more sustainable differentiation for brands.”

Bateman claims it also requires creativity.

“I would not want to paint a picture that this is all about funnelling down from data and coming to some purely logical conclusion about fixing pain points — that’s largely hygienic,” he said.

“There is a layer of creativity that is required in a good strategy business that imagines new opportunities, new types of customer experiences, and designs new ways for customers to interact, as a basis for brands to differentiate.

“To do that, we need ideas and creativity not just strategy, research, process and integration.

“You can boil the ocean here but I think the critical thing is to design experiences that stand out.”

 Achieving sustainable long-term business growth through corporate purpose, creativity and customer experience design, is no easy feat.

However, for Bateman, this is reassuringly familiar territory. His solid career track record replete with repeated wins on the scoreboard gives gravitas to his connected approach.

At Telstra, Bateman created the firm’s corporate purpose and values with the board and CEO leadership team during the fabled customer-centric David Thodey era, which translated into core value propositions. As Telstra segment marketing director, he headed all marketing across consumer, small and medium business, global enterprise and government, and the international business portfolio.

During this time, Bateman launched product and service initiatives across global cloud services consumer entertainment and mobility and doubled international brand awareness.

This resulted in multi-billion-dollar revenue growth for the telecommunications giant — despite the disruptive ongoing reshaping of an industry beset by rapid digitisation.

It was also during the three years he led Interbrand’s New York office; Bateman demonstrated his deft — and now signature — ability to steer firms through uncertainty.

In a city besieged by the Global Financial Crisis, he stabilised the brand consultancy’s earnings in 2007, and quickly led the top-line growth effort that doubled profits in the following years.

By the time he left Interbrand, the reinvigorated New York office had created Bing for Microsoft, won an array of client accounts including Intel, Thomson Reuters, Barclaycard, MoMA, and Victoria’s Secret — in addition to an impressive 90 per cent client retention rate.

“Interbrand was an incredible experience,” Bateman said.

“We had a brilliant team — we added a layer of provability and analytics to our approach which really differentiated it, and we were able to bring that rare thing of data and creativity together for clients.

“I feel very fortunate to have been a part of it, and I am proud to see that Interbrand continues to excel.”

It is hardly surprising that since launching Everyone in May this year, Bateman’s consultancy has quickly accumulated clients keen to engage his strategic vision and marketing expertise.

“The feedback and interest we have had from clients has really been positive,” he said. “The market hardly needs another player but it does seem that there is always room for experienced, quality thinking and people who really want to make a difference.

“It is early days but we are gathering momentum.”

With his passion for technology, combined with his flair for turning around businesses and building global footprints, it certainly sounds like Bateman’s boutique strategy business has much to offer local firms needing a fresh approach to addressing their growth challenges.

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