Telstra Wholesale is a B2B operating unit born out of the need for Telstra to support the regulatory framework for telecommunications in Australia. It has evolved to include white-label channel capabilities, which includes selling voice, data and mobile services to other telcos and managed IT providers.
The marketing team at Telstra Wholesale has been on a digital transformation journey over the past 12 months, implementing new customer relationship and marketing automation platforms before turning its focus to improving the internal marketing processes, adopting agile marketing and using Simple to help streamline the way marketing works with a complex range of suppliers and stakeholders.
General Manager of Marketing, Glenn Flower, says Telstra Wholesale wanted to transform manual work practices and tools such as spreadsheets and email through the use of a single platform that would enable the team’s marketing operations to be agile and manage its marketing work more efficiently.
One of the biggest issues for the marketing team at Telstra Wholesale is the ad hoc nature of much of its workload. Regulatory requirements mean that every small change to its product line-up must be communicated to its B2B customers. And with a big team of product managers, that can add up to a lot of changes.
“There are walk-ups every day,” Glenn says. “Those requests come from throughout the business. It’s difficult to prioritise because it’s not planned. But it’s mandatory. There was no formal way for us to triage.
“The real problem is when multiple projects land that have to take priority. The marketing team has to get those projects done quickly.”
“We also made the decision to run agile in our marketing team,” Glenn says. “Traditionally we were very waterfall-structured, with smallish numbers of projects with big cycles and big investments. We wanted to flip and then pivot to being more responsive with smaller cycles and more projects.”
In addition, the Telstra Wholesale marketing team works with a wide variety of external suppliers and agencies.
“Like most marketing teams, we rely heavily on our agency partners,” Glenn says. “We’re managing a lot of creative and design work through external agencies. We have multiple agencies that help and support our events, customer marketing, mandatory communications, and so on.”
The structure of the Telstra Wholesale team and the way it approaches its marketing work has changed. “Historically the structure of the team was … based around categories such as mobiles, data networks, internet, and so on,” Glenn says. “That created silos within the team.
The business has now centralised how marketing operations runs, making it more customer-focused and easier to manage.
Communicating and keeping track of marketing work at Telstra Wholesale has traditionally been done in a very manual way. “The operations team was trying to manage all that through spreadsheets, which was a real challenge,” Glenn says. “It’s very manual and time-intensive.”
Telstra Wholesale will use Simple’s Jobs feature because it supports the team’s agile marketing workflow via a centralised backlog and kanban board that gives the business a view of how that work is progressing. The team has adopted new, agile methodologies for collaboration and is refining its marketing processes accordingly.
Initially the marketing team is using Simple to brief work into its external agencies, as well as to collaborate with them.
Simple’s brand collaboration platform enables marketers to brief work out to agencies easily and quickly using flexible templates, and to collaborate with them using on-screen markup to arrive at the finished result.
Operationally, it’s easy to see how work is progressing. Any creative that has been submitted can be viewed using Simple as a central system of record, workflow and approvals tool. Once the work has been approved, it functions as a repository for approved creative assets that may then be reused.
“We explored several platforms that didn’t quite meet our requirements around an agile way of working or were too clunky and difficult to use,” Glenn says.
“The simplicity of managing work in Simple is one of the key benefits the team can see. The opportunity to know real-time project status, and who’s working on each initiative at any one time is great,” he says.
“From my perspective, a triage platform that enables the leadership team to prioritize the most urgent and important work and align that to business goals is critical. We can also understand at any one time what the capacity of the team looks like.
“Through this digital way of working, we will also deepen our understanding of the outcomes for our customers and our business through leveraging Simple’s reporting and analytics functionality… that’s the plan!”