Five years after it launched Postfone, An Post is rebranding its pre-pay phone offer as Post Mobile and adding data services for the first time.
"We struggled with it, to be honest with you," says An Post sales and marketing director Liam Sheehan of Postfone's launch as a mobile virtual network operator on the Vodafone network in 2010.
“When we originally designed the business it was fit-for-purpose, but it took us far longer to get to market than we anticipated,” he says.
And while it was able to run a profitable business with the 30,000 subscriptions that it did attract, this number fell short of its aspirations for the service, given An Post has 1.7 million people walking through its post offices each week.
Sheehan believes the simple packages and price points on the new pre-pay service will appeal to customers.
Selected post offices have now been transformed to more closely resemble a typical mobile shop with an updated range of handsets on display and staff trained to make sales and port numbers efficiently.
It is also spending about €750,000 between now and February on an advertising campaign for Post Mobile that includes two television ads created by Target McConnells and directed by Father Ted and Moone Boy director Declan Lowney.
“It’s a considerable investment,” says Sheehan. But, having joined the data age, he believes An Post can grow its phone service customer base to more than 100,000. As its advertising slogan goes, “now you’re talkin’.”