CMO50 #21: Tim Tez, MetLife

  • Name Tim Tez
  • Title Chief product and marketing officer
  • Company MetLife
  • Commenced role December 2014
  • Reporting Line CEO
  • Member of the Executive Team Yes
  • Marketing Function 60 staff, 4 direct reports
  • Related

    Tim Tez took up the newly created role of chief product and marketing officer at MetLife in December 2014, having built up 15 years’ experience in the life insurance industry.

    Tez boasts of an extensive background covering strategy, distribution, product, marketing and business relationship development. At MetLife, he is now responsible for the strategic delivery of capabilities in digital, data analytics and direct marketing, as well as driving a customer-centric product design process.

    MetLife is going through a three-year transformation which kicked off in 2015. Before this transformation started, marketing was a traditional support service inside a traditional B2B company.

    “In the first 12 months we have overhauled the team, added new capabilities in data, digital and insight and become not only the champion of the customer, but a strategic differentiator for the business,” Tez says.

    Empowered and long-term thinking

    “The aim of the marketing function in the next 18 months is to build the brand, create significantly more awareness of MetLife and to design, develop and implement a number of differentiated customer experiences across both B2B and B2C channels,” Tez says.

    “The CMO is the focal point for this change and needs to inspire the team to fail fast, try new ways of thinking, test and learn at every step and move with agility and focus.”

    Top marketing attributes

    It all starts with people, Tez says. “It’s crucial you build a team that is more capable than you are, then put your faith in them and empower them to deliver. As a CMO, you have a responsibility to nurture their talent,” he says.

    “Secondly, it’s bravery. You often have to challenge the status quo or have uncomfortable discussions about changing the status quo. Not everyone will believe in your plans and you have to have the courage of your convictions to stay the course, while also having the humility to also admit when you are wrong.”

    Driving innovation

    “Innovation for me is the process of empowering your people to imagine the future and to go about creating it,” Tez says. “This is not, obviously, a linear journey and there will be plenty of failures along the way. For me it’s really where imagination meets action.”

    From the CMO50 submission

    Business contribution and innovation

    MetLife’s objective is to be a much more significant player in the group insurance category in Australia. To achieve this, Tez helped set up a project to build out MetLife Australia’s capability across product, marketing, member engagement and distribution.

    The initiative has seen a significant increase in capability and headcount across the business and a large number of significant streams of work, including a market-leading piece of strategic thinking and experience design around new digital services for both employers and their employees.

    While it’s only year one for initiative, Tez has already galvanised the whole business around this initiative.

    Modern marketing and customer engagement thinking and effectiveness

    MetLife insures over two million members within industry superannuation funds across Australia. Most of these members have little real awareness and affinity for the default life insurance policy they have within these funds.

    “The strategic issue that needed to be solved is one of utility,” Tez noted in his CMO50 submission.

    “Most superfund members do not have any reason to regularly interact with their insurance policy and it’s ‘set and forget’. The opportunity is to create a compelling customer experience that adds value to both employers and regularly engages employees [members]. Tim led the strategy development of differentiated services designed to, through regular micro interactions; deeply engage individual members of superannuation funds.

    “Workers in Australia are struggling with increased stress and anxiety at work and increased health issues and looking for support and guidance. This new service will provide that across industries and demographics.”

    This significant platform, an omni-channel experience, required the organisation to invest in capability, technology and an increased role for marketing and customer insight. Tez led this initiative and helped create a game-changing proposition that will lead the Life Insurance industry in the next two or three years.

    Data and/or technology driven approach

    One of the other key outcomes from MetLife’s program of work this year was created based on a simple objective: To create an enabling tool for super industry partners to gain much greater intelligence from their data, enabling them to better serve the member’s needs by giving them access to much greater level of insight and intelligence.

    Tez was not only the sponsor, but also an active contributor to ideas and improvements to both the strategy and the functional design of the tool. He kicked off a skunk works project to develop an Industry Super Fund data dashboard, utilising a new responsive data visualisation tool and a number of the key data analysts in the business.

    Within three months, a fully functional prototype was developed and presented to a number of key industry partners. Tez said the response was overwhelming.

    “The system is now fully operational and a number of MetLife’s clients will soon be using their data more effectively, they will know more about their members individual behaviours and will be able to design member engagement communications and experiences,” Tez said in his CMO50 submission.

    Additional analysts have been added to the MetLife team, new IT capability has been added to the business and a compelling and differentiated service has been embraced by key clients helping with both client retention and in the future client acquisition, he added.


    One of the ways Tez has strived for creativity is by challenging the marketing team to reinvent the tender response from MetLife. An industry-leading approach was created and has now been tested successfully called the ‘Pitch Portal’.

    This bespoke website is designed and customised for every pitch/tender and is accessible only to the customer and their third-party ‘broker’. Clients/customer/funds are given a unique log in and as a consequence the content they consume, the time onsite is all tracked and can then continue to be developed, customised and personalised throughout the tender process. Additionally instead of simple analogue “document” the tender can now involve video content, dynamic interaction and linking to external sources for more depth and utility

    This Pitch Portal has been successfully used in a number of tenders recently and has now also been merchandised to a number of key clients who had a similar need.

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