Updated: Ubank confirms CMO departure amid restructure

Jo Kelly shares why she's leaving the digital-only NAB subsidiary after just over three years in the role

Jo Kelly
Jo Kelly

UBank has confirmed the departure of its chief marketing officer, Jo Kelly, after just over three years in the role amid a restructure of its organisation.

Kelly will pursue opportunities outside of the NAB digital-only banking brand, and finishes up at the end of October. A replacement has not yet been announced, with a company spokesperson saying it'll make further announcements about the marketing structure once plans are confirmed.

Prior to joining UBank, Kelly was head of marketing for AMP New Zealand. Her resume includes a number of marketing and operational roles in the financial services and FMCG space, including stints with Bank of New Zealand and Fonterra.

"After a period of unprecedented growth at UBank, we’ve been reflecting on how we can take our strategy to the next level and realise our vision of becoming Australia’s most referred brand," a company spokesperson stated.

"To enable this, we’re proposing some changes to our organisational structure. We’re still in a period of reviewing opportunities with our team members, but as part of this our CMO, Jo Kelly, has decided to leave UBank."

Among Kelly's achievements since joining UBank are a rebrand of the business in early 2016, a move which saw it adopt the tagline, ‘Simple, better, smarter’ banking. She’s also overseen campaigns covering real estate tips through to ‘Science of Spending and Saving’ and ‘Terminally Ill’.

Her work saw Kelly ranked 17th in the 2017 edition of the CMO50 list of Australia’s most innovative and effective marketers. 

Speaking to CMO, Kelly said she felt like three-and-a-half years was a good time to have spent with Ubank. With the organisation continuing to experience significant growth, and its CEO looking at how to do things differently as its evolves from its startup roots, she said it was a good time to move on. Kelly was offered a role under the new-look operating structure but has opted not to take it.

For next her professional challenge, Kelly said she is keen to work in a growth business with a great culture, strong brand purpose and that gave her the opportunity to again grow a business. She was less fussed on job title, agreeing many organisations are experimenting with executive structures right now as they strive to be more customer-led.

“More and more organisations are focusing on customer, and looking at CX roles, and the question of where brand sits. It’s an interesting time and it’ll continue to morph,” she commented.

Kelly highlighted a couple of milestones during her UBank tenure. One has been opening up the conversation with Australians on better mortgages and spending with the ‘All I need’ program, as well as her work on the ‘Terminally ill’ campaign.

“These are really strong, powerful conversations to be having with people and focused on thinking about what’s most important in your life,” she said. “I’m also really proud of how we have accelerated growth using performance marketing, and optimised what we are doing using digital ecosystems. Using AI as part of the innovation strategy has also helped us build the brand.

“It’s been good, solid work with great results.”

In a statement, the company also highlighted Kelly's efforts to redefine the UBank brand in order to demonstrate its commitment to customers.

"She’s a bold and provocative thinker who’s been able to both push creative boundaries and completely change the way we measure the effectiveness of our marketing efforts," UBank stated.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu


 

 

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