The journey to bring personalisation to TelstraSuper members

Marketing chief shares how he's worked to differentiate the brand by personalising engagements with its members

It has been 15 years since Australian workers were given the ability to choose which superannuation fund would manage their retirement nest egg.

While many funds have used that time to create sophisticated marketing functions to attract and retain members, the ability for them to differentiate in the eyes of customers has at times proved challenging.

For TelstraSuper and its executive general manager for marketing and digital, Jean-Luc Ambrosi, that challenge is compounded by being tied directly to one of Australia’s most well-known brands, and the expectations that come along with that.

“We are attached to an organisation that has completely transformed itself from a telco to a technology company,” Ambrosi tells CMO. “While we were doing a very good job, there was a need to change and a need to become a fund that was technology driven as well.”

Since joining TelstraSuper six-and-a-half years ago Ambrosi has been on a journey to reinvent how the business markets to its members, with the goal of offering a truly personalised service. As a profit-to-member business only open to employees of the Telstra Group and their families, Ambrosi says the pressure to offer personalised service is very strong.

“What differentiates us is our ability to get a lot closer to our members,” he says. “Because if we did ‘one size fits all’, then we are just like any other fund.”

While Ambrosi’s journey began with the realisation that TelstraSuper needed to reorganise its marketing around digital channels, he had inherited a brand identity that was resolutely analogue.

“Our brand was not geared for digital,” Ambrosi says. “We had old fashioned colours which never rendered well, and our logo was very long - you can’t have a long logo on social because social tends to use cube-shaped images.”

After hiring Cato Brand Partners to reinvent the company’s visuals, Ambrosi and his team then set about revamping its digital presence, including its content management system.

“We were completely locked in a system with no flexibility,” Ambrosi says. “It had no ability to personalise any information, no ability to nudge members, no ability to be flexible in its templates or wireframes.”

After evaluating possible solutions, the company settled on Sitecore as its new platform. Ambrosi says he was impressed by Sitecore’s promise of technology infrastructure that would evolve over time as TelstraSuper’s members’ needs evolved.

With those elements in place, Ambrosi and his team set about building segmentation models within the TelstraSuper member base. But rather than just look at their life stage, Ambrosi set about understanding aspirations and disposition.

“Retirees are not all the same,” Ambrosi says. “Some have different ambitions, and some are better prepared than others. So there are a lot of flavours to retiring.”

By understanding the members better, Ambrosi says TelstraSuper has been able to align that knowledge with functional and behavioural data to get down to his desired ‘segments of one’.

“It is about building a series of communications that make sense to where they are at any point of time, to define what was happening with those people and how should we communicate to those people,” Ambrosi says. “When you add segmentation to those two data sets, that is when you get to a segment of one.”

This effort was recently recognised internationally when TelstraSuper was named a winner of the 2020 @Sitecore Experience Awards in the ‘Most intelligent content optimisation’ category. This global award recognises brands that have built customer-centric digital experiences.

The next phase of activity will see TelstraSuper bringing greater automation into its marketing program.

“And that is the journey, to embed personalisation throughout the process using automation,” Ambrosi says. “And as we automate certain data sets that drive actions, we can concentrate on new ones that we haven’t actioned yet.”

The end result is TelstraSuper is having one-to-one engagements with 98.5 per cent of members.

“It was the ability to be relevant to members was what was going to make a difference,” Ambrosi says. “And members who are digitally engaged are more likely to stay with us.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

Conversations over a cuppa with CMO: Microsoft's Pip Arthur

​In this latest episode of our conversations over a cuppa with CMO, we catch up with the delightful Pip Arthur, Microsoft Australia's chief marketing officer and communications director, to talk about thinking differently, delivering on B2B connection in the crisis, brand purpose and marketing transformation.

More Videos

Hey there! Very interesting article, thank you for your input! I found particularly interesting the part where you mentioned that certain...

Martin Valovič

Companies don’t have policies to disrupt traditional business models: Forrester’s McQuivey

Read more

I too am regularly surprised at how little care a large swathe of consumers take over the sharing and use of their personal data. As a m...

Catherine Stenson

Have customers really changed? - Marketing edge - CMO Australia

Read more

The biggest concern is the lack of awareness among marketers and the most important thing is the transparency and consent.

Joe Hawks

Data privacy 2021: What should be front and centre for the CMO right now

Read more

Thanks for giving these awesome suggestions. It's very in-depth and informative!sell property online

Joe Hawks

The new rules of Millennial marketing in 2021

Read more

In these tough times finding an earning opportunity that can be weaved into your lifestyle is hard. Doordash fits the bill nicely until y...

Fred Lawrence

DoorDash launches in Australia

Read more

Blog Posts

Highlights of 2020 deliver necessity for Circular Economies

The lessons emerging from a year like 2020 are what make the highlights, not necessarily what we gained. One of these is renewed emphasis on sustainability, and by this, I mean complete circular sustainability.

Katja Forbes

Managing director of Designit, Australia and New Zealand

Have customers really changed?

The past 12 months have been a confronting time for marketers, with each week seemingly bringing a new challenge. Some of the more notable impacts have been customer-centric, driven by shifting priorities, new consumption habits and expectation transfer.

Emilie Tan

Marketing strategist, Alpha Digital

Cultivating engaging content in Account-based Marketing (ABM)

ABM has been the buzzword in digital marketing for a while now, but I feel many companies are yet to really harness its power. The most important elements of ABM are to: Identify the right accounts; listen to these tracked accounts; and hyper-personalise your content to these accounts to truly engage them. It’s this third step where most companies struggle.

Joana Inch

Co-founder and head of digital, Hat Media Australia

Sign in