CMO50 #26-50: Greg Sutherland, Australia Post
Digital disruption is just the next phase of how Australia Post connects and supports its customers, according to its CMO and executive GM of consumer and small business, Greg Sutherland.
“The strategic aim for me in my role as CMO and the marketing function is to reposition the Australia Post Group – in a post letter reform world – as an engine of the Internet with a key focus on culture, customer experience and innovation,” he says.
“Through this, we are making life simpler for customers – helping Australians to get online, enabling small businesses to get online and grow globally, and powering the supply chains of ecommerce and the digitisation of corporates and governments. Everyone, everywhere, everyday.”
From the CMO50 submission
Business contribution and innovation
Digital technology is transforming how people live, learn and work, and consequently how business and government operate. Businesses are being driven by ecommerce, providing unprecedented opportunities for small businesses and changing or disrupting larger businesses.
Stemming from this, there are two key opportunities for Australia Post to evolve and continue to support Australia communities into the future:
1. Becoming one of Australia’s leading ecommerce businesses, building on its core capabilities of deliveries, identity, payments and trusted communications
2. Building on its trusted services that support the digital transformation of corporations and government.
Over the last 12 months, Sutherland has led a major program of work within Australia Post to create a new contemporary brand and culture. This is around telling a new story post-letter reform based around Australia Post’s importance in the lives of customers, community and businesses and in the world of ecommerce, and the role the group plays in making their lives easier and simpler.
In September 2015, Australia Post received permission from the Australian Parliament to introduce priority and regular mail service for consumers, following approval from the ACCC*. This monumental decision signals a new future for Australia Post and an opportunity to reposition under its new contemporary positioning, ‘We love delivering’.
The essence of this new positioning is the idea that culture and brand are crucially linked. For Sutherland, key objectives include:
- Enhancing the engagement of Australia Post’s people, customers and community
- Shifting their understanding and optimism about the group’s future in a digital world
- Motivating behavioural change that enhances Australia Post’s safety, innovation and customer centricity, and increases the digital participation and interaction.
The ‘We Love Delivering’ campaign commenced with the rollout of refreshed shared values for employees mid-2015. This was followed by launch of the national ‘We love delivering’ campaign in October, featuring TVCs, billboards, in-store promotion across all of Australia Post’s retail outlets, a new small business page on Facebook, small business stories on stories.auspost.com.au and social media activity.
Modern marketing and customer engagement thinking and effectiveness
The ‘We Love Delivering’ program of work is designed to send a message to Australia Post customers and communities that the group has always loved delivering, and that it will deliver ecommerce to Everyone, Everywhere, Everyday. The initial release is about small business, but Sutherland said this is just the beginning of a stronger ongoing engagement with Australian small businesses and startups across Australia Post.
To be successful, the work is underpinned by six key principles:
- Storytelling - simple and authentic
- Customer as the Hero
- Starts with our People
- Top Down and Bottom Up
- Short Term and Long Term
- Owned and Social Media
Sutherland said Australia Post’s contemporary brand will be built not on what it says about itself, but on what others say about the organisation. As a result, Australia Post is transforming how it goes to market, and the ‘We love delivering’ campaign marks that shift.
Data and/or technology driven approach
To support the new branding and campaign, Sutherland led the launch of a new digital content platform, stories.auspost.com.au. The new site has been created as the home of customer-centred content, providing engaging and shareable content both from, and for, customers across all segments.
As well as helping to reposition the brand, surfacing innovative and customer-centric initiatives, the content will help Australia Post to strengthen its ranking in organic search, Sutherland said.Stories will align with and support enterprise objectives. The content will be shared with customers through an integrated mix of channels including social, email, influencers and PR, as well as through organic search and earned social shares.
Another recent program Sutherland has championed is a new innovative approach to working with customers and developing new practices that emphasise how Australia Post works with customers, how it ideates and experiments.
One example he pointed to is work with business customers to integrate their offerings with Australia Post’s services through a suite of new and enriched Send a Parcel, domestic eParcel and Track a Parcel APIs.
“Our focus has been, and continues to be, on how we do things. It starts with a pure belief that change begins and ends with good people,” Sutherland said.
To help, Australia Post is focusing on the following principles:
- Take action based on what customers say
- Learn fast through agile development, and frequent releases enabling small scale in-market experiments, then refine and evolve
- Aligning development to the priorities customers have set
- Embedding customer-led innovation into the way Australia Post works
- Integrating real customers throughout the process
- Employing customer innovation as part of standard development methodology
* Editors note: Australia Post received a ‘no objection’ form the ACCC on 27 November for the letter reform and is now moving ahead with formal approval