CMO interview: Charting a new customer course at an NFP fintech

Former Ubank chief marketing officer talks about her customer and strategy game plan at the not-for-profit charity platform provider
Jo Kelly

Jo Kelly

Team clarity, customer journey mapping and cross-functional connection lie at the heart of success for Good2Give’s inaugural chief customer officer.

Speaking to CMO just shy of her six-month anniversary at the not-for-profit business (NFP), Jo Kelly said bringing together the group’s marketing and sales teams was part of the fintech’s growth plan to lift the amount of funding it’s channelling into Australian charities to $300m.  

Good2Give’s tech platform facilitates charitable giving, enabling businesses to set up trusts, grants, charity partnerships and workplace giving programs. Established in 2000, the group undertook a digital transformation about six years ago, then rebranded as Good2Give in 2016. It now works with thousands of clients including 20 per cent of the ASX100, and aims to increase this to 25 per cent of ASX100 businesses by the end of this year.

And the growth ambitions are certainly looking achievable. Kelly said Good2Give’s solution has been in high demand in recent months as Australian organisations work to support communities and individuals affected by the recent bushfires through appeals and social enterprise initiatives.

“We had a perfect storm brewing out there – Celeste Barber was suddenly able to mobilise $50 million in donations, we had a passive government, and the fires were continuing to burns for months,” Kelly commented. “Subtly through Celeste’s work, there was a lot of naming and shaming, and a number of organisations and CEOs were exposed around what they were or were not giving. We have been inundated with calls from organisations asking how quickly they could run appeals.”  

Couple that with a general increase in consumers demanding more social purpose from organisations they interact with, the damming results of Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services industry, growing interest in the link between employee engagement and brand purpose, and now a global health pandemic with COVID-19, and you have hot conditions for an NFP operating in this space.

“This does make people who have a job much more compassionate and empathetic towards other’s slighted circumstances. I think we proved that out with the bushfires,” Kelly said. “It’s surfacing a bunch of social issues, and unemployment is just one of them. I certainly feel differently about giving.

“We’ve had more Australians giving, a huge influx of money from people being distributed to charities, and more of us taking the time to think about the common man. That’s a bit of a game changer.”

Strategy and capacity planning

To ensure Good2Give can meet demand, Kelly has just finished strategic planning and commenced a customer journey program of work, something which has never been done before in the organisation. She expects to have at least 90 per cent of all customer journeys mapped out by the end of the financial year.

“What’s hard in our business and what I observed coming into the sector is it can be really easy to over service a client,” Kelly said.

“I’m trying to free people to work on the right engagements, with a view to enhance our customer experience.”

Another priority for Kelly is overcoming what she sees as a tension point between her team and customer support, reporting to the CFO, around how larger versus smaller clients are serviced. To help, she’s bringing in PwC to help with capacity modelling.

“I need my team to have 20 per cent capacity available to do business development,” she said. “That is what will allow us to grow the business. If we’re always doing the same thing, we won’t achieve the growth we need do. We have to have process improvement.”

Kelly cited it as a challenge surprisingly no different to one she faced while CMO at UBank, National Australia Bank’s digital-only subsidiary.

“We’d drive the top of the funnel, but then have the mortgage processing team saying they couldn’t process these in the lower funnel,” she said. “Yet we were a high-growth business, I wasn’t going to turn the tap off. So we spent two years on process improvement to be able to achieve that.

“This is the same situation. I want to get more clients on-board and drive more engagement. But we then face teams struggling to take on more work. We’re trying to solve that. As we get our strategy signed off, we’ll come back to the teams, then structure follows strategy and we’ll look at how we’re supporting what we have agreed on.”

Being clear on functional responsibility and clarifying the line between marketing, sales and support is not surprisingly a key part of the process.

“Every organisation will have urban legends in every organisation about which team does which, and none of those things are true,” Kelly said. “A key thing is role clarity and being crystal clear about what I see.”

One step Kelly has taken is rewriting her teams’ job descriptions. “We had to define that grey area between customer support versus my team and who does what when and why,” she said.

“The best gift you can give anyone in business is clarity on role and who does what and why that’s important. That ensures people are more respectful on what people spend their time on, and it removes tension in the business, saves time, and gives my team time to meet clients with new product enhancements, for instance.”

Up next: The go-to-market plan, plus how to lead disruptive change

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Go-to-market plan

Meanwhile, a major pillar in Kelly’s go-to-market strategy is strengthening and expanding partnerships. One example highlighted is with Communiteer, a social good network offering volunteering services that can bolt on to Good2Give’s platform offering.

Kelly noted setting up volunteering management within an organisation is quite a task. Yet it’s equally clear clients are looking for fewer suppliers to work with.

“The idea is we become the lead client partner but we’re still able to offer services a client is looking for,” she explained. “We’re trying to do client acquisition through less traditional ways.

“We may have other volunteering partnerships as well where we can be agnostic, such as those with human capital companies. For example, there are startups offering payroll services for medium-sized businesses where we could partner to offering the workplace giving element.”

This again ties into a wider effort to be relevant to customers. “One request I have with the board is for a company to help us do voice of customer, NPS [Net Promoter Score], and be able to measure that link between employee giving programs and engagement. The biggest challenge most CEOs have is this,” Kelly said.  

From a marketing execution perspective, Good2Give is leveraging social media, PR and customer forums to provide more thought leadership around how organisations can approach and managing giving programs.

“Our marketing is all aimed at how to break the mould in this sector around value and ways of thinking differently that ensure people remember you,” Kelly said.   

Change agent

Kelly admitted the changes she’s trying to implement at Good2Give are disruptive.   

“I know I’m causing a lot of pain in the business as I’m challenging things that haven’t been looked at for a long time. It’s not to say the business hasn’t been run well - it has. But when we put a different lens on things, it does create pain,” she said.

Yet bringing in process is vital in a world where Good2Give is dealing with sophisticated clients, Kelly said. She agreed having a ‘chief customer officer’ title has been helpful in achieving such a quest.

“I’m enjoying having control of this whole customer experience piece, rather than just being a participant in it, which I have been in many organisations,” she said.

“In our customer planning, we’re doing the usual things of looking at the top 20 customer pain points, prioritising them then solving for five first. And we’ll keep going until we solve them on. I’ve done that in other organisations, but I didn’t think it would be something I’ve enjoyed as much as I am. I feel in control of the timeline and process.”

Kelly is also well-aware she needs to inspire staff along the way with the many reasons why she’s implementing such change at Good2Give.

“Every time we get together I stress these things as a way to deliver something much better for our customers,” she said.

“There are a lot of complexities to this business, more than I’d first thought, and we haven’t looked as far ahead on what things means in the future. Externally, we have that emphasis on thought leadership, but we need to do more internally as well.”

Kelly added people often choose to work in the NFP sector as they don’t want the corporate pushes and drivers. “I totally understand that, but we are still a business, a cool one, and we have big aspirations,” she said, noting the goal to have a hefty $300m out in the charity sector by 2022.

“My goal is to get some of the people who choose to work in this sector to just think a little more commercially. For some it’s a hard shift, but… Unless we change things, we won’t get to our growth increase ambitions.”

And the opportunity is huge. Kelly pointed out participation rate across corporates for giving is just 5.5 per cent.

“Even if this increases to 10 per cent, that’s only 3500 people in an organisation of 35,000 staff engaged in some form of regular giving. The scope of the opportunity is huge, but organisations have to take some responsibility of doing the work themselves and motivate people by putting time and effort into it,” she added.  

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