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CMO50 #26-50: Jean-Luc Ambrosi, Telstra Super

  • Name Jean-Luc Ambrosi
  • Title General manager marketing
  • Company Telstra Super
  • Commenced role March 2014
  • Reporting Line CEO
  • Member of the Executive Team Yes
  • Marketing Function 21 staff, 4 direct reports
  • Twitter @jeanlucambrosi
  • Brand Post

    Digital Foundations Essential for Optimal Customer Engagement

    The creative process is critical to engaging members in the superannuation industry, says Telstra Super’s GM of marketing, Jean-Luc Ambrosi. Communications must also be customer-centric as opposed to operational centric, yet all too often, funds forget this, he claims.

    “To achieve maximum relevance, the approach I lead aims to define clear strategies and tactical pathways in which creativity performs a leading role,” he says.

    “In practice, we use many techniques used by strategic consultancies and creative agencies to build a flow concepts and ideas. I have also enabled an environment where creativity is stimulated and rewarded.”

    From the CMO50 submission

    Business contribution and innovation

    One of Ambrosi’s current tasks is to drive implementation of a ‘digital-first’ strategy at the superannuation fund, starting with the marketing and technology areas. The objective is to bolster the fund’s competitiveness in the next 3-5 years through delivery of a digital capability that enhances member experiences and delivers specific points of differentiation.

    Ambrosi said the strategy focuses on member interaction as well as the operational, technological and structural changes required for a digital-first environment. To achieve this, Telstra Super has worked to articulate the evolution path required in member interactions, the specific areas of operational development, as well as the structural changes necessary to implement the strategy.

    This digital-first approach, while led by marketing, has a substantial impact on the rest of the organisation, so the first part of the approach was to engage the entire business and receive broad-spectrum support, he said.

    Modern marketing and customer engagement thinking and effectiveness

    The superannuation industry is renowned for its use of complex communication formats and unintelligible language. As part of a member experience overhaul, Ambrosi directed the implementation of a new communication approach with members across the different cohorts comprising its membership.

    The strategy was developed to maximise engagement with members across the different cohorts comprising Telstra Super’s membership.

    Consequently, the fund has now a clear communication strategy to express concepts, and a mechanism to direct the attention of members to specific areas of importance to them.

    The implementation resulted in the build of an extensive guide for the marketing team. Extensive training was also provided to member-facing staff. This was undertaken to ensure integration of the communication principles and cohesiveness of messaging irrespective of the channel utilised.

    Culturally, this evolution has resulted in driving a customer-centric approach to communication across the different units, irrespective of the type of communication, Ambrosi said. Telstra Super’s legal team, for instance, has adopted a significantly different approach to written communication approval, with member understanding and member engagement a key outcome.

    Data and/or technology driven approach

    Utilising customer data to build targeted communication is at the core of the marketing strategy Telstra Super is implementing. Recently, Ambrosi led development of a new segmentation model that could be deployed throughout the organisation, breaking away from multiple models targeting and analysing members in a disparate manner.

    This model was built over a period of eight months and defines the membership base according to variables affecting a member’s attitudes and behaviours, as well as the lifecycle needs inherent to the superannuation offering. This integrated model has been rolled out across all business units including marketing, strategy, business intelligence, contact centres and financial planning and is also used for management and board reporting.

    From a member engagement point of view, all push marketing has been grouped into core segments, with each receiving targeted content, adapted imagery and copy.

    In addition, the segmentation model allows the fund to pinpoint member cohorts according to objectives, and is linked to a dedicated data warehouse, ensuring test-and-learn is intrinsic to any activities, Ambrosi said.


    To achieve maximum relevance, Ambrosi’s approach aims to define clear strategies and tactical pathways in which creativity performs a leading role.

    Once the core business and marketing objectives were clearly defined, the creative process came into full flight. Specifically, Ambrosi said Telstra Super has been using a creative process to conceive a range of activities and communication streams relevant to our member segments, and create content, imagery, visual communication, formats, sequences and schematics that will appeal to member segments.

    In practice, the fund employs many techniques used by strategic consultancies and creative agencies to build a flow concepts and ideas. Ambrosi said he’s also enabled an environment where creativity is stimulated and rewarded, and pointed to development and implementation of the company’s unique tone of voice for new communication.

    "We were also able to provide clear direction to our creative agencies, enabling them to freely develop a wide range of creative concepts and ideas within an agreed framework,” he said. “From a cultural perspective, this approach has been a contributor to increased marketing staff satisfaction.

    “Member feedback and research have demonstrated the effectiveness of this approach as well as providing pointers towards areas of focus.”

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