NAB digital head admits transitioning culture of bank has been ‘really hard’

Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 11.58.48 AMNAB’s digital marketing boss has admitted it has been “really hard” driving the cultural shift towards a more agile setup which has seen the bank move to an attitude of “less Powerpoints and more prototypes”.

General manager of digital Todd Copeland detailed some of the changes which have gone on at the bank over the last 18 months, and revealed 90 per cent of its daily customer interactions come through digital channels, with 65 per cent of those through mobile devices.

Pointing to the need for “effortlessness and consistency” to make a good experience for customers he added: “Only  10 per cent of those mobile customers only use mobile only, so we have to have consistency across the channels. Our customers tell us through social or whatever channel very quickly when we make it hard.”

He was speaking at a session on cultural change at the Adobe Summit overnight alongside Rob Roy, the head of interactive marketing and eCommerce at Time Warner Cable. On change he said: “The more pushback you get probably means the better job you’re doing. When you’re starting to become counter culture that’s when you’re starting to make the biggest impact.”

He said it had overhauled its traditional silos around digital and marketing to make development faster. “It used to be you’d throw something over the wall, development happened and came you back after 6 months and hoped it was something like you wanted,” he said. “We chopped that wall down early on.”

Copeland said the bank had worked hard to make its online experiences more seamless, but admitted it had been  “really hard, it’s a big change for an organisation that’s got 156 years of history, there were a few behaviour and mindset changes required”.

“You lead with the customer, but ultimately it’s less Powerpoint and more prototypes,” he added. “It’s adopting more of the minimum viable product and there’s lots of techniques you can use, but it’s putting the customer first.

“You need to put structure aside and look at the operating model, and if you can’t collaborate you can’t engage.”

Roy also outlined the changes he had made in recruiting, saying he did not want people with experience in TV, but from places like Facebook and Google.

“I want people willing to wear multiple hats – what we look for is the spirit of a startup,” he said. “They need to be able to look at product one day, customer experience the next and think about marketing the next day.”

Copeland echoed these sentiments saying he looked for “mindset over skillset”: “Its a mind game get to certain point in our careers because you’ve got capability. It’s the old adage of you get ‘hired for aptitude fired for attitude’.

He added they have been hiring people to the team from retail, energy and telcos over the past year rather than from the “traditional mould”.

 Alex Hayes

Alex Hayes is a guest of Adobe at the Summit conference in Salt Lake City


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.