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CMO50 2016 #26-50: 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 70 staff, 9 direct reports
  • Industry Sector Financial services
  • 2015 ranking 21
  • Related

    Brand Post

    MetLife’s vision is to change the way its customers experience life insurance. To do this, marketing is leading the strategy development and implementation of a new customer-centric approach.

    Chief product and marketing officer, Tim Tez, says his proudest moment in the past 12 months has been established a dedicated ‘Customer Transformation’ team to ensure the voice of the customer was at the centre of all initiatives from product development through to MetLife’s customer service and operations.

    Marketing also led the development of MetLife’s new customer centric tone of voice based on five pillars of engagement. “The life insurance industry isn’t traditionally customer focused, therefore our commitment to making things easier and improve the customer experience will help accelerate change for our customers and the wider industry,” he says.

    From the CMO50 submission

    Innovative marketing

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

    Tez says the strategic issue that needed to be solved is one of awareness for the appropriate level of cover. Research has shown superfund members often do not have the right level of cover and in fact, set and forget. The opportunity was to create a compelling customer experience that adds value to both members and assist them in understanding what the appropriate level of cover for their lifestyle as they join a Superannuation Fund, after changing jobs.

    To do this, marketing developed a Lifestyle Evaluation Calculator designed to engage members through a simple quiz based on their lifestyles. This provided them with an individual personality profile and detailed assessment of the level of life insurance cover they would need to maintain their lifestyle if something should ‘interrupt’ it.

    The first version of the Lifestyle Evaluation Calculator was built and tested with real members of one of MetLife’s key clients and attained a 24 per cent click through rate, much higher than previous calculators. Those who utilised the tool were significantly more engaged and the majority then went on to upgrade their coverage, Tez says.

    “This is an important tool that has allowed us to not only improve out upgrade activity but also profiles our customers better and engages them in a conversation about lifestyle protection,” he says.

    Data- and technology-driven approach

    Another gap identified by Tez when he joined MetLife was that the organisation lacked tools that helped it to compare and benchmark performance for corporate insurance plans against the market, or to track performance and determine important trends in its corporate client portfolio.

    Tez led the development of a solution which would encourage improved decision making based on the most up-to-date data and facilitate communication with key stakeholders internally and externally. This allows MetLife and its partners to gain much greater intelligence from their data, enabling them to better serve the employee’s needs, by giving them access to much greater level of insight and intelligence.

    Tez was an active contributor to ideas and improvements to both the strategy and the functional design of the tool. Marketing ran a skunk works project to develop a corporate data dashboard utilising a new responsive data visualisation tool and a number of the key data analysts in the business.

    This initiative was presented to the regional tea, which approved funding to build the tool and deliver it as part of data capabilities improvements from a regional perspective. Within three months, a fully functional system was developed and presented to the region and a number of key partners.

    The system is now being used by the MetLife team working with the corporate insurance brokers to help them understand data more effectively, as well as develop customer engagement communications and experiences. Additional analysts have joined the team, new IT capability has been added to the business and a compelling and differentiated service has been embraced by key MetLife clients helping with both client retention and in the future client acquisition, Tez states.

    Fostering capability and agility

    MetLife’s vision launch in 2015 is to be a great place to work where great people thrive. To achieve this goal, however, it needed to build some foundations by adding capability and improving leadership, Tez says, such as talent development and competency frameworks.

    As part of building and strengthening the marketing function, Tez has looked to encourage a culture based on development, innovation and cross-functional training among the different functional teams in the marketing department.

    A new competency framework was rolled out across disciplines, and development plans were individually created for every team member. A number of external training and capability development opportunities were created, and a significant portion of the marketing team has completed the IDEO CCD training program. Several staff have also undertaken extensive training on Pragmatic and email marketing as part of a new software tool set being on-boarded.

    Cementing this development focus was a key leadership KPIs for 2015 ensuring every team member had achieved at least one of their development goals by year end.

    To deliver on its customer vision, MetLife also needs to foster a culture that breeds innovation and agility, Tez says. A plan was developed, including a four-step approach to bringing agility into the marketing function and across the business.

    A first step is building capability, and introducing dedicated roles for innovation, customer, insights and digital. Tez is working hard to embed an innovative culture more widely too, and is using regular bootcamps to train and develop employees in the innovation process and to search for new ideas and business models.

    In addition, MetLife has introduced an innovation founders program. This highlights employees passionate about innovation and entrepreneurship, who identify customer problems and help form teams (internal startups) to work through the innovation process.

    On top of this, dedicated, multi-functional innovation teams are established to lead the search for, and execution of new products and services. These teams co-locate and work together to search for and execute new value propositions.

    Test-and-learn is core to how teams work, and MetLife employees vet ideas and content using rapid prototyping and pretotyping to gain valuable feedback from customers. Typically, a two-week sprint is used, leveraging the expertise of the innovation, digital and customer insights team to design experiments that can be tested with customers. This enables the teams to constantly refine and build upon their ideas using human centred design.

    Continuous improvement lies at the heart of these efforts and the dedicated continuous improvement team, together with champions, are embedding lean and agile best practices across the business through formal training, coaching and project management such as Kanban boards and daily huddles.

    “Our internal ideas portal, MetSmart, empowers employees to identify areas of continuous innovation for the business,” Tez says. “In addition, each Australian leadership team member has a goal to achieve 10 per cent improvement in their team.”

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